Fixing Bathtub Drain Stopper: Step-By-Step Instructions

Frustrated by the bathtub drain? In this article, we’ve covered choosing, fixing, and removing a drain stopper simply and easily.
Deborah Beams
Deborah Beams
Research Writer
Deborah is an incredibly talented journalist who's been working for numerous online magazines for over 8 years now. She's also our main research writer who can turn any bori read more
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Charles Eggleston
Charles Eggleston
Expert Consultant
Charles's been a plumber his entire life. Thanks to his vast experience we can always rely on Charles' expert opinion when creating any of our articles. He's also a fantasti read more
Last updated: August 09, 2023
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Home is where the heart is. It’s important to keep that heart and home healthy and happy. That includes the dark drains in the bathtub. The bathtub drain stopper requires maintenance to stay clear and functional. This article provides the information needed to maintain a home with a beautiful and functional bathroom.

Having a nice, beautiful drain is a luxury as is having a gorgeous bathtub. For now, let’s start with the bathtub stopper.

Types Of Bathtub Stoppers

The latest study by Grand View Research Trusted Source Plumbing Fixtures Market Size Worth $121.9 Billion By 2025 | Grand View Research, Inc. The global plumbing fixtures market size is expected to reach USD 121.9 billion by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 4.8% over the forecast period. showed that the plumbing fixtures market will be increasing in value and be worth around $121.9 billion by 2025. This market has an immense variety of plumbing fixtures in general.

Regardless of whether one is a shower lover or a bath lover, the bathtub stopper is still important. If one chooses between a shower and a bath, make sure to get one that works perfectly and find the best shower system.

Choosing a bathtub stopper can be hard because of the immense options available to homeowners and renters. Function, style, and ease of use are vital when it comes to picking out a drain stopper. Keep those in mind while we go over some of the most common options of bathtub drain stoppers.

Combining functionality and aesthetics is important. Here’s an example. According to most reviews, the drain stopper, Kohler Antique is not only beautifully functional but functionally beautiful.

Pop-Up Drain Stopper

Fixing Bathtub Drain Stopper: Step-By-Step Instructions
You have to press the pop-up drain stopper to open and close it.

Pop-up drains are a standard type of drain that requires little to no effort to install and use. Also called the press and seal drains, they are operated using a simple pop-up mechanism. To activate the drain, simply press down on the drain cover.

There are a lot of pop-up drains available with many of them being highly rated by reviewers. The Woodbridge B0011B shows a splendid example of the pop-up drain as it seamlessly matches the bathtub, provides a perfect seal, and is included with the bathtub! Unlike other tubs, this model has a drain in the middle of the tub floor making it perfect for the pop-up drain.

Lift-and-Turn Bathtub Drain Stopper

Fixing Bathtub Drain Stopper: Step-By-Step Instructions
If you lift and turn the knob in one direction, the stopper opens while turning the knob in the opposite direction closes it.

Lift and turn also called twist, and turn, stoppers are identified with the tiny knob placed on the top of the stopper. This knob eases the motions, and can easily open or close the stopper by twisting it one way or another.

Simple and easy. This is one of the simplest drain stoppers. This one has the added security to avoid leaks as it twists tight into a seal.

Flip-It Bathtub Drain Stopper

Fixing Bathtub Drain Stopper: Step-By-Step Instructions
A flip-it lever bathtub drain stopper contains a toggle system that opens and closes the drain with a simple push of a toe or finger.

These are a great drain to have in the bathroom because of their innovative nature. With a simple flick of a lever or switch, it opens or closes. These stoppers are easy as they require no tools or glues to get the proper fit for an existing tub or bathroom sink drain.

It may be hard to choose from the available variety.

Push-Pull Drain Stopper

drain stopper 5 new
A push-and-pull stopper is pushed down to close and pulled up to open.

Push and pull stoppers are common. This style and the one above are similar in look and function, and even installation. The difference is that instead of holding the know and twisting, it requires a pull motion to open the drain and a push motion to close the drain.

There are many stoppers to choose from. Comparatively, these are handy as they’re easy to use, maintain and remove If need be.

Trip Lever Drain Stopper

Fixing Bathtub Drain Stopper: Step-By-Step Instructions
A trip lever stopper operates using a plunger in the tub overflow pipe, which moves up and down to close and open the tub’s drain pipe.

A trip-level stopper is a less common drain stopper and a bit more confusing. This model has levers on the water overflow plate on the front part of the bathtub. Turning it on and off requires a simple lever.

This stopper isn’t just in the drain and it’s also in the pipes connected to the overflow water panel. This means that it’s not only secure and durable but also allows a greater degree of adjustability depending on the style of the tub. If you do not want to face difficulties when taking a bath, just think about a touch-toe stopper, one of the most convenient and modern bathtub drain stoppers today.

How To Remove Bathtub Drain Stopper?

Having a bathtub drain stopper stuck may seem exceedingly simple but that’s not always the case.

There are complex drains plugs and stoppers with tricky mechanisms that aren’t straightforward. Each different bathtub drains stopper type requires a slightly different method to remove.

These steps below will help whether the bathtub drain stopper needs to be removed or entirely replaced.

Removing Lift-and-Turn Stopper

Removing this stopper requires unscrewing the drain from the center setscrew in the drain’s crossbar.

Tools needed: Screwdriver or Allen keys

Step 1

Start with the stopper in an open position. Hold the stopper and slowly turn it until a visible set screw on the knob is seen.

Step 2

If there isn’t a screw, then turn the stopper counterclockwise until the stopper unthreads.

Step 3

Taking Either a screwdriver or Allen wrench, loosen the visible screw. In most cases, it doesn’t need to remove it completely. Simply loosen it enough to remove the stopper and remove the stopper.

Step 4

Lift the stopper and remove it from the drain.

Removing Push-Pull Stopper

This is a typically simple removal needing little materials.

Tools needed: pliers, towel

Step 1

Start by getting a grip on the knob of the stopper. Hold the stopper’s knob tightly.

Step 2

Next, turn the stopper counterclockwise until it releases.

Step 3

Then Lift the bathtub stopper and remove it from the drain.

Removing Trip Lever Stopper

Fixing Bathtub Drain Stopper: Step-By-Step Instructions
Removing the trip level stopper: Step 3

Removing the trip level stopper is a much harder process. removing it completely requires taking out the overflow tube and plate.

Tools Needed: Screwdriver

Step 1

Locate the screws on the trip lever and the cover plate.

Step 2

Remove the first screw from the cover plate of the trip lever stopper. Remove the second screw completely while holding onto the faceplate.

Step 3

As the faceplate loosens, it will start to spin and swivel. Take it off

Step 4

Completely to see into the plumbing and remove the trip lever from the wall of the tub. Be careful, it may need to wiggle a bit to come loose as the stopper is within the pipes not just at the opening.

How To Unclog Bathtub Drain

EPCOR, a utility company throughout North America explains that Making an effort to reduce FOG’s from going down the drain will prevent odours Trusted Source Proper Small Business Disposal of FOGs | EPCOR Learn how a small business should dispose of fats, oils, and grease to prevent blockages. , sewer backups and clogged pipes at [a] business. It will also help to reduce the chance of damages to the municipal wastewater system or nearby homes and businesses.”

Starting with a durable shower and bathtub is an effective way to start. Starting with buying one of the best bathtubs, it is unlikely that they are going to get any maintenance concerns in the first few years.

Clogged drains are frustrating, to say the least. Avoiding clogs at the beginning is extremely helpful. With stoppers such as the Disposal Flange and Stopper, it’s simple to stop it before it’s a problem. There are multiple reasons for clogged drains including hair, plants, dirt, grease build-up, toiletries, sanitation pads, toilet paper, paper towels, poor water flow, a power ranger toy, or simply a bend in the pipe.

EPCOR continues to explain the impact of clogged drains and, “An estimated $700,000 in staff time is spent on cleaning clogged pumps”.

Easy Methods and Steps

This is an exceedingly widespread problem in the average household. Just because it’s a widespread problem doesn’t make it any less unpleasant. Making it even more unpleasant is having to call a plumber costing hundreds of dollars for an issue that can be fixed and prevented with the right stopper.

Baking Soda and Vinegar method

Fixing Bathtub Drain Stopper: Step-By-Step Instructions
Pouring baking soda with a half and half water-vinegar solution.

This is an easy and simple method that works. The reason it works is that the chemical reaction forms the backing soda and vinegar loosen anything in the drain while the boiling water rinses it away.

Tools needed: boiling water, baking soda, vinegar

Step 1

Begin with pouring boiling water down the careful not to burn anything with the water.

Step 2

Secondly, pour a cup of baking soda followed by a half and half water-vinegar solution.

Step 3

Cover the drain with the plug or a cover and wait 5 minutes or until the bubbles stop.

Step 4

Bring back the boiling water and pour it down the drain again.

Plunging method

Fixing Bathtub Drain Stopper: Step-By-Step Instructions
A plunger is one of the most necessary tools in the household.

If there is too much of a blockage or is a sink full of water, plunging is the way to go. it’s time to bring out the plunger.

Tools Needed: Plunger, Water

Step 1

Make sure that there is water around the drain. This is vital to create a seal and let the plunger do the work.

Step 2

Line the plunger up on top of the drain. Start pumping up and down quickly and continuously.

Step 3

Remove the plunger. Then wait to see if the water does drain.

Step 4

Repeat the process until the water drains freely.

Plumber’s Snake

Fixing Bathtub Drain Stopper: Step-By-Step Instructions
The plumber’s snake method of unclogging a bathtub drain: Step 2

If it’s a clog that’s putting up a fight, it might be time to take a tip from a plumber with a plumber’s snake.

Tools required: plumber’s snake, water

Step 1

Get a plumber’s snake. These are easy to find at the local hardware store or even in some dollar stores. It’s simple to make one out of a metal clothes hanger. Simply straighten the hanger into a long piece of metal. Make sure to keep the hooked end. This is what will be used to grab on the debris.

Step 2

Line it up with the drain and plunge in the wire hook first. This will grab any debris and bring it out. Simply feed it down the drain a bit at a time. Make sure to go gently as it’s possible to accidentally push the clog further down along the pipe.

Step 3

Keep going until the blockage is gone. Finish by running hot water down the drain to see if it’s gone.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind the bathtub drain stoppers are one aspect of a beautiful bathtub, but they are an important aspect, nonetheless. From choosing bathroom faucets, drains, showers, tubs, and even decoration, to maintaining the plumbing, the bathroom is an important room.

Whether one owns or rents property, it’s always good to know how to keep up a home.


Plumbing Fixtures Market Size Worth $121.9 Billion By 2025 | Grand View Research, Inc.
The global plumbing fixtures market size is expected to reach USD 121.9 billion by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 4.8% over the forecast period.
Proper Small Business Disposal of FOGs | EPCOR
Learn how a small business should dispose of fats, oils, and grease to prevent blockages.
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