How to Remove a Bathtub Drain Stopper

We’ve all been there – the bathtub isn’t draining properly.

Most likely, you’ve got a big clump of hair stuck in there. (We know – gross!)

But to really see what’s causing the problem, you’re going to have to remove the drain stopper. That’s a fairly simple process, but they aren’t all created equal.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common types of drain stoppers, and how to remove them!

Toe-Touch Stopper

Just as it sounds, this type of drain stopper opens and closes when you touch it with your toe. To remove it:

  1. Place the stopper in the open position.
  2. Twist the cap counterclockwise to remove it. You’ll see a slotted screw underneath it at the center.
  3. Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove the screw and loosen the stopper.
  4. Twist the stopper counterclockwise by hand.
  5. Pull out the stopper.

Push-Pull Stopper

This type of stopper has a knob at the top, which is pushed down to close the drain and pulled up to open it. To remove it:

  1. With the stopper in the open position, unscrew the knob from the stopper base.
  2. Push the stopper closed. You’ll see the center post.
  3. Use pliers or a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the slotted screw inside the center post. Turn in a counterclockwise direction.
  4. Lift the stopper from the drain.

Lift and Turn Stopper

Also sometimes referred to as a twist-and-pull stopper, this one is tricky because you can remove it several different ways.

If the stopper has a removable knob: Unscrew the knob from the stopper base. Then, get a screwdriver and unscrew the screw inside the knob so the stopper is loose and you can pull it out.

If the stopper has a screw-in base: First, grab a flashlight. That will help you see the screw head that is underneath the stopper, which connects to a base. Then you can use the screwdriver to turn the screw counterclockwise until you can separate the stopper from the base.

If the stopper has a twist style base: Use a wrench to rotate the base counterclockwise until the stopper loosens from the drain strainer. Then, detach the stopper from the drain.

Pop-Up Stopper

Similar to the lift and turn stopper, you can remove it several different ways! No matter which one you have, always make sure it’s in the open position before attempting to remove it. Here are two techniques you can employ:

  1. Squeeze each side of the stopper, then pull it up until it comes out. You might have to wiggle it back and forth if it’s stuck.
  2. Or, twist the stopper counterclockwise to unscrew the cap. Then, use a screwdriver to unscrew the base and lift it up.

You should be able to handle the removal of your drain stopper yourself – but if not, your local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is here to help! Give us a call at 1-877-BEN-1776, or contact us online.