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How to Remove a Bathtub Drain Stopper

How to Remove a Bathtub Drain Stopper

A stubborn bathtub drain stopper can be a real nuisance. You're all set for a relaxing bath, but the water simply refuses to disappear down the drain. The culprit is often the bathtub drain stopper. At Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we help property owners overcome challenges with their pipes and fixtures with our comprehensive services including bathroom plumbing repairs, replacements, and installations. If you’re struggling with drain issues in your bathtub, read below to find out how to remove your stopper.

Toe-Touch Tub Stopper

This type of stopper is relatively common in many households. It's designed for easy operation, but when it comes to removing it, things can get a tad tricky. Here's how you can do it:

  • Gather Your Tools: Before you begin, you'll need a pair of pliers and a screwdriver.
  • Access the Stopper: Locate the small set screw on the side of the stopper. Use your screwdriver to remove it carefully.
  • Unscrew the Stopper: With the set screw out of the way, you can now unscrew the stopper counterclockwise. Be sure to hold onto the body of the stopper while you do this to prevent it from falling down the drain.
  • Remove the Stopper: Once it's unscrewed, you should be able to lift the stopper straight out of the drain.

Push-Pull Tub Stopper

These stoppers are known for their simplicity, and removing them is a breeze:

  • Get Your Tools Ready: You'll need a pair of pliers for this task.
  • Locate the Stopper: Look for a small knob on top of the stopper. This knob is what you'll be using to remove it.
  • Twist and Pull: Grip the knob with your pliers and give it a gentle twist counterclockwise. As you do this, you'll feel the stopper loosening.
  • Lift It Out: With a few twists, the stopper should come free. Lift it out of the drain, and you're good to go.

Flip-It® Tub Stopper

For those with a Flip-It® tub stopper, here's how to conquer it:

  • Tool Kit: You'll need a pair of pliers and a screwdriver.
  • Find the Screw: Beneath the stopper, there's a screw. Use your screwdriver to unscrew it counterclockwise.
  • Remove the Stopper: Once the screw is out, you can easily lift the Flip-It® stopper out of the drain.

Lift and Turn Tub Stopper

This type requires a slightly different approach:

  • Tool Check: Grab your pliers and a screwdriver.
  • Locate the Screw: Underneath the stopper, there's a screw. Use your screwdriver to loosen it by turning it counterclockwise.
  • Remove the Cap: Once the screw is out, you can remove the cap on top of the stopper. It may require a bit of wiggling, but it should come off.
  • Unscrew and Lift: Now, you'll find a brass post. Use your pliers to unscrew it in a counterclockwise direction. Once it's loose, you can lift the entire stopper out of the drain.

What to Do After You Remove the Bathtub Drain Stopper:

Now that you've successfully removed that troublesome bathtub drain stopper, what's next? After removing the stopper, you should:

  • Inspect for Debris: Take a moment to inspect the drain for any debris or gunk that might be lurking. A clogged drain is a common cause of slow drainage, and now is the perfect time to clear it out.
  • Clean the Stopper: Before reassembling, give the stopper itself a good cleaning. Use a mild cleaning solution to remove any soap scum or residue that may have accumulated.
  • Reassemble Carefully: Follow the reverse steps for your specific type of stopper to put it back in place securely.
  • Test It Out: Finally, test your newly cleaned and reassembled stopper by running water in the bathtub. Ensure that it's functioning smoothly, allowing water to drain away as it should.

Do You Need Help from a Reliable Plumber?

If you continue struggling with bathtub backups, it could be a sign of plumbing trouble. If you suspect that there’s more going on than just drain stopper issues, it’s best to get help from an experienced plumber. If you need a plumbing service, call the team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing. Our specialists are always ready to ensure that your plumbing concerns are resolved promptly and professionally. Contact our office for more details or to schedule your next bathroom plumbing service.


Oct 15,2023

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