Life hack

How to remove a drain from a tub

If your tub drain just isn’t doing its job, you may need to take it out to clean or replace it. Rest assured that in just a few simple steps you’ll have the drain out and be on your way to resolving your tub trouble.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub How to Remove a Drain from a Tub How to Remove a Drain from a Tub How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Photo: Zillow Digs home in Los Angeles, CA

It’s unfortunate but true: Over time tub drains clog and sometimes even corrode. After all, your bathtub is put to the test every day as you and the other members of your household bathe, forcing all sorts of body care products—and copious amounts of human hair—through the drain and into the pipes beyond. The day may come when your drain ceases to function. When that happens, you’ll probably need to remove the drain for inspection, followed by either a careful cleaning or a complete replacement. The removal process isn’t particularly difficult or time-consuming, taking anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours from start to finish, depending on the type of drain you’re dealing with. Yet, as with all things DIY, a few simple instructions will help the task go more smoothly.

While bathtub drains vary by type, they can be sorted into two broad categories: simple drains (including foot lock, roller ball, and lift-and-turn types) and drains with a trip lever (such as pop-up and plunger drains). Instructions for removing both types appear below. Just find your drain style, and follow the step-by-step to remove it yourself.

Type #1: Simple Drains (Foot Lock, Roller Ball, and Lift-and-Turn)

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
– Rubber gloves
– Screwdriver
– Wrench
– Vinegar
– Baking soda
– Mild cleanser (optional)
– Blow dryer (optional)
– Drain key or smart dumbbell (if you’re e moving the entire drain, including the flange)

Before you disassemble your tub drain, it’s important to note its condition. Excessive amounts of rust, mildew, or decay may indicate a larger problem, in which case professional assistance may be needed. Otherwise, if the drain is in good shape, pull on a pair of rubber gloves and continue on your mission.


• For a foot lock or roller ball plug, simply rotate it counterclockwise until it separates completely from the drain shaft.

• In the case of a lift-and-turn drain, lift the plug and free it by loosening the setscrew underneath. If you find that the setscrew on your lift-and-turn drain is stuck, a series of light-to-medium taps may help to loosen it. Use your wrench or screwdriver to nudge it into motion if necessary, but be careful not to use too much force, which could damage the drain.

Once the drain basket is fully exposed, use a mild cleanser or a mixture of one part vinegar and one part baking soda to wash it off. Also clean the plug or stopper if you’re planning to reinsert it rather than replace it.

Now, fill the tub with an inch or so of water and watch it drain. If the water still drains too slowly, move on to a stronger drain cleaner (one that specifies that it’s suitable for tubs) or turn to a tried-and-true DIY drain cleaner that uses materials you already have on hand. Fill the tub again with about an inch of water, and watch it drain. Repeat as necessary until the tub empties at a reasonable rate, then proceed to reinstall or replace the part(s) you’ve removed.

If you’re removing the entire drain apparatus, including the basket (also known as the flange), insert your drain key or smart dumbbell into the opening. Turn it counterclockwise and continue turning until the drain flange is released, then remove the flange while it’s still attached to the drain key.

Tip: If the flange is stuck, use a hair dryer to heat it up and loosen the putty, then try again.


Once the drain flange has been removed, be sure to clear out any old putty residue from the base of the opening before replacing the flange or installing a new one.

Type #2: Drains with Trip Levers (Pop-Up and Plunger)

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
– Rubber gloves
– Screwdriver
– Wrench
– Drain key or smart dumbbell (if removing the entire drain, including the flange)
– Blow dryer (optional)
– Vinegar and baking soda, or mild cleanser (optional)

Before you begin, check the drain for excessive rust, mildew, or decay, which may indicate a larger problem that may require the services of a professional. If the drain looks to be in good shape, it’s probably fine to proceed.

• If your drain has a visible stopper, then set the lever to the open position and use a screwdriver to remove the trip lever faceplate as well as the lever and linkage.

• If your drain has a trip lever without a visible stopper, use a screwdriver to remove the screws on the trip lever faceplate and move it away from the tub wall; the attached plunger should come out along with it.

Once the drain has been disassembled, use a mild cleanser or a mixture of one part vinegar and one part baking soda to wash it off. Also clean the plug or stopper if you’re planning to reinsert it rather than replace it.

Now, fill the tub with approximately one inch of water and watch it drain. If the tub still drains slowly, try your luck with a stronger, tub-specific commercial drain cleaner or a homemade cleaner and repeat the drain test.

When the tub again drains properly, reinstall the cleaned drain parts or replace them with new ones. If you choose to remove the entire drain apparatus, including the flange, use a drain key or smart dumbbell as described in Steps 3 and 4 above.


Although a number of DIY plumbing projects fall outside of most homeowners’ comfort zones, removing a tub drain is a relatively accessible task. The best rule of thumb when you’re tackling any new plumbing job is to proceed with an abundance of caution and remember that if complications arise, a professional plumber is just a quick phone call away.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Removing a tub drain is necessary if you’re removing or replacing the bathtub or if the drain fitting is badly corroded or it leaks and needs to be replaced. The drain fitting is a metal basket-like piece that has a lip or flange at the top and a body with threads on the outside. It screws into the elbow, or shoe, of a horizontal length of pipe that extends toward the end of the tub and ties into the drain pipe assembly.

Inside most drain fittings are two metal crossbars that form an “X” to prevent large items from falling into the drain. The crossbars are what make it possible to remove the drain with a plug wrench or pliers:

  • Plug wrench: A plug wrench is a small wrench made of cast iron or steel that is milled to fit the crossbars of two or more different sizes of drains. If you expect to be removing your tub drain more than once, it will be worthwhile to purchase this inexpensive item. Also, because the head is form-fitted to the drain’s cross, there is less chance of accidentally breaking off the cross.
  • Pliers: Short of a plug wrench, the best substitute is a set of needle-nose locking pliers. The pliers need to be small enough to reach into the drain and through the cross. Once the locking pliers are secured, you use a pair of standard pliers to turn the locking-pliers and loosen the drain.

If your drain doesn’t have crossbars, you’ll need to use a tool called a tub drain extractor. It has a conical shape and helical knurls that grip the metal wall on the inside of the drain fitting. You turn the extractor with an adjustable wrench, as with a plug wrench.

Tub drains are stubborn, often due to corrosion, gunk, or hardened plumber’s putty. Heat helps to loosen old plumber’s putty. If the tub is very cold, gently blow warm air from a heat gun or a hair drier over it for a few minutes to soften the putty before removing the drain.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Small flat-head screwdriver
  • Plug wrench
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Locking needle-nose pliers
  • Standard pliers



Remove the Tub Stopper or Screen

Remove the drain stopper or screen to gain access to the tub’s drain fitting. If the tub has a screen, simply pry underneath the screen with a small flat-head screwdriver to pop it off. Tubs with screens usually have a bucket, or plunger, type stopper assembly that stops the water inside the drain pipe.

If the tub has no screen, it likely will have a stopper set into the drain opening. The method to remove it depends on the stopper type. Stoppers that you open and close by moving the stopper itself usually unscrew from the drain or are secured with a setscrew. Stoppers that you operate with a lever on the overflow drain plate may have a metal rocker arm that extends through the horizontal portion of the tub drain pipe. Carefully pull the stopper and rocker arm from the drain.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Remove the Drain With a Plug Wrench

Insert the end of the plug wrench into the drain opening so the tines on the wrench fit onto the crossbars of the drain. Most plug wrenches have more than one size of head; use the head that makes the snuggest fit.

Turn the plug wrench counterclockwise with a large adjustable wrench or tongue-and-groove pliers to loosen the drain. Unthread the drain all the way by hand once it is loose enough.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Remove the Drain With Locking Pliers

Insert a pair of locking needle-nose pliers into the drain opening as far as jaws will go. Make sure the jaws are on opposite sides of the crossbars, over the center of the “X”. Clamp the locking pliers they grip the crossbars tightly.

Grip the locking pliers with a set of standard pliers, grabbing as low as possible on the locking pliers so that they do not interfere with the locking action. Turn the pliers counterclockwise. Be patient and go slowly.

After a few rotations, the tub drain should be loose enough so that you can set aside the second set of pliers and turn the locking pliers by hand. ​

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Clean the Drain Opening

Use a flat-head screwdriver or a putty knife and a rag to remove the old ring of plumber’s putty from around the drain opening. Try not to let the putty fall into the drain because it never breaks down and could start a clog.

If you’re replacing the old tub drain with a new one, take the old piece to the store with you to be sure you get the right replacement part.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Replacing an old, leaky or damaged tub drain in a mobile or manufactured home can be different from a tub drain in a standard site-built home. Mobile homes often have “garden” style tubs that do not have an overflow tube, and the drain includes just a seal and nut that you tighten onto the tub itself. In a standard home, the drain assembly is usually a threaded insert onto which a mounting nut is screwed from below.

How to Replace a Garden Tub Drain

Most garden tubs have drain fittings that are removed from the top of the tub. This can be replaced with a new drain fitting that is secured with a retaining nut on the bottom side of the tub.

  1. Use a tub drain wrench (sometimes called a Dumbell wrench) to unscrew the drain fitting counterclockwise, levering the wrench against the crosshairs inside the drain fitting. If the fitting is stuck or the crosshairs break, cut the fitting with a mini hacksaw or a hacksaw blade. Cut through the threads and the rim of the fitting but not deep enough to go into the tub itself. Make a second cut about a 1/2 inch away from the first cut. Pry out the cut segment with a flat screwdriver, then use the screwdriver to pry up one of the edges of the drain fitting and unscrew it counterclockwise.
  2. Prepare the new drain fitting and the drain pipes for installation. Beneath the tub, locate the drain trap secured by a nut. Loosen the trap nut and move the trap and drain pipes out of the way to make room for the new tub drain.
  3. Move to the top side of the tub. Roll out an even bead of plumber’s putty and position it around the new drain fitting. Push the fitting into the drain opening in the tub.
  4. Go back under the tub. Push the rubber seal, followed by the retaining nut, onto the tailpiece of the drain fitting. Screw on the nut until the fitting is tight. If the drain fitting spins instead of tightening, you may need a second set of hands to help hold it in place from above the tub while you tighten it from underneath. You can also use the tub drain wrench to hold the drain fitting in place as you tighten the retaining nut.
  5. Install the rest of the tub drain pieces onto the new drain fitting. The fittings required may vary but often include using a 1 1/2-inch female adapter that is screwed onto the drain tailpiece, using plumber’s tape on the threads for a watertight seal. You may need additional pipes and fittings to complete the connection. Whenever possible, use trap and pipe pieces that are all the same diameter to help the tub drain faster. Finally, tighten the trap nut.
  6. Have a helper fill up the tub and drain it while you watch for leaks from below.

Using a Trap Adapter

An alternative method for replacing a tub drain is to use a flanged tailpiece and a 1 1/2-inch tubular trap with a trap adapter to convert back to the 1 1/2-inch drain pipe. This type of trap includes slip-joint washers that are easy to use and are similar to those used on kitchen and bathroom sink drains. This alternative option makes it easy if you are having trouble lining up or connecting the tub drain in any way.

However, one potential problem with using 1 1/2-inch tubular pipe is that the tub will not drain quite as fast because it is a smaller pipe. The drain also needs to be in an accessible location, since these are mechanical joints that can leak more easily than glued joints. Also, if you attempt to snake the drain from the tub, the thin tubular trap can break. To prevent this, you can remove the trap from underneath the tub and snake the line from there, if necessary.

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Occupying the same amount of space as a standard tub, a whirlpool tub provides relaxing bubbles during your bath. Because whirlpool tubs are often used to replace a standard tub, the plumbing is installed in the same manner. The drain is identical to a typical bathtub drain. If the drain leaks or looks old and rusty, installing a new drain will stop water from leaking around the drain and improve the appearance of your whirlpool tub.

Place the handles of a pair of slip-joint pliers into the drain, placing one handle on one side of the crossbars inside the drain and the other handle on the other side of the crossbars. Place a screwdriver between the handles of the pliers, and push the screwdriver counterclockwise to loosen the drain and remove it.

Remove any old putty or caulk around the drain hole in the whirlpool tub with a damp cloth.

Insert a tube of clear silicone caulking into a caulk gun. Push the plunger up to hold the tube in place. Cut off the tip of the tube with a utility knife. Place the tip of the tube on the lip under the new drain, and squeeze the trigger to apply a bead of caulk around the edge of the drain.

Remove the access panel to gain access to the plumbing for the whirlpool tub. Have a friend hold the drain pipe in place.

Insert the new drain into the drain hole in the whirlpool tub. Turn the drain clockwise to thread it into the drain pipe. Grasp the crossbars inside the drain with the pair of pliers and turn it clockwise to tighten it. Remove any caulk that has squeezed out around the drain with a cloth.

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  • How to Remove a Bathtub Pop Up Drain

A clogged bathtub drain can be difficult to unclog because of the different bathtub drain assembly designs. Removing a drain assembly from a sink is much easier, as you can access the underside of the sink and many sink drains have similar construction. Since you cannot access the underside of the bathtub, you must remove the stopper to access the drain body. Once you remove the stopper, the drain assembly can be disconnected. Removing the drain assembly allows you to snake the drain and remove the clog.

Toe Touch Drain Assembly

Place the tub drain stopper in the “open” position. Turn the stopper counterclockwise until you can lift the cap from the stopper.

Grab the stopper shaft with your fingers and turn it counterclockwise until you can lift it from the drain. If your stopper shaft has a screw on top of the shaft, use a flat-blade screwdriver to remove the screw and lift the shaft from the drain.

Look into the drain body; it has two pieces of metal that intersect each other, creating a cross that divides the drain body opening into four equal sections. Rather than purchase a tub drain remover, you can insert the handles on a pair of heavy-duty tongue-and-groove pliers into the opening in the tub drain body. Thread a heavy-duty screwdriver through the plier handles horizontally. Grab both ends of the screwdriver and rotate it counterclockwise. The screw driver will turn the pliers, and the drain body, so you can remove the drain body from the tub.

Push-Pull or Turn-Lift Drain Assembly

Place the drain stopper in the “open” position. Pull the knob on top of the stopper and turn the stopper to look for a set screw beneath or above the stopper. Loosen the set screw with a flat-blade screwdriver to release the stopper. If your drain stopper does not have a set screw, you must remove the knob from the stopper to remove the stopper from the drain.

Wrap a rag around the knob to protect the finish. Hold the stopper with your fingers to stabilize it. Use pliers to turn the knob counterclockwise to remove it and expose the brass shaft beneath it.

Unscrew the brass shaft with a flat-head screwdriver. If the shaft will not turn, squirt penetrating oil around the brass shaft and let the oil soak the threads for 15 to 30 minutes. Turn the brass shaft counterclockwise with the screwdriver to remove it.

Lift the stopper from the drain to access the drain body.

Look inside the tub drain body. Two pieces of metal intersect to create four equal opening in the drain. Insert the handles of a pair of heavy-duty tongue-and-groove pliers into the openings inside the tub drain body, rather than purchase a tub drain remover. Thread a heavy-duty screwdriver through the plier handles horizontally. Grab each end of the screwdriver and rotate it counterclockwise to rotate the drain body and remove it from the tub.

Trip Lever Plunger Drain Assembly

Remove one of the screws from the overflow plate on the wall of the tub. The face plate also contains the trip lever that activates the stopper inside the drain.

Hold the face plate with one hand and loosen the remaining screw. Allow the face plate to swing down and away from the opening in the tub while the remaining screw remains connected. This exposes the empty screw hole belonging to the first screw you removed.

Replace the removed screw into the exposed screw hole. This keeps the overflow elbow and pipe from falling down behind the wall of the tub. Continue to hold the face plate as you remove the remaining screw.

Grab the trip lever and face plate with your hand. Slowly wiggle the lever and face plate to remove the drain plunger and assembly from the tub.

Remove the screw holding the strainer plate over the tub drain in the floor of the tub. Lift the strainer plate away to expose the drain body.

Look inside the tub drain body. Two pieces of metal intersect to create four equal opening in the drain. Insert a pair of heavy-duty tongue-and-groove plier handles into the tub drain body, rather than purchase a tub drain remover. Thread a heavy-duty screwdriver through the plier handles horizontally. Grab both ends of the screwdriver and rotate it counterclockwise. The screw driver will turn the pliers, and the drain body, allowing you to remove the drain body from the tub. shows you the easiest method of how to remove a tub drain stopper with no time-consuming prep work, no mess and no hassle. With the SimpliQuick™ Tub Fix solution, it’s as easy as 1-2-3 with three simple steps to a shiny new tub drain stopper. We’ll show you how to remove that old tub stopper and transform your tub with a shiny new tub drain stopper.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

The first step to a shiny new drain is removing your old tub drain stopper. We show you step-by-step instructional videos on how to remove the most common bathtub stoppers. Once your tub stopper is removed, it’s easy to install the new SimpliQuick™ Tub Fix with either a screw in assembly or simply place on top of your old drain with a firm silicone adhesive. No need to remove your old drain and with the silicone installation there is no need to fix or remove broken cross bars in the drain.

How to Remove the Most Common Tub Drain Stoppers

It’s easy to learn how to remove a tub drain stopper once you determine the type of stopper you have. The following are two removal options of the most common tub drain stoppers with easy removal instructions:

Removal Option #1:

  • Place the bathtub stopper in the closed position.
  • In the event the knob is difficult to turn, you may need to use pliers on the knob while holding on to the stopper base.
  • Then begin removing the bathtub stopper by turning the knob in a counter clock-wise motion. Be sure to hold down the stopper base with your bare hand while you are turning the knob.
  • At this point the stopper should come out of the drain.

Removal Option #2:

  • If the stopper does not come out of the drain look for a set screw underneath the top of the stopper. Loosen the set screw and remove the top of the stopper.
  • Then take a pair of pliers or a flathead screwdriver and remove the stem.
  • In the even the knob comes off, but the stem stays in the drain take a flathead screwdriver and turn counter clock-wise to remove the remaining parts.

Drain Management

Drains systems are a common feature of post-operative surgical management and are used to remove drainage from a wound bed to prevent infection and the delay of wound healing. A drain may be superficial to the skin or deep in an organ, duct, or a cavity such as a hematoma. The number of drains depends on the extent and type of surgery. A closed system uses a vacuum system to withdraw fluids and collects the drainage into a reservoir. Closed systems must be emptied and measured at least once every shift and cleaned using sterile technique according to agency protocol.

Drainage tubes consist of silastic tubes with perforations to allow fluid to drain from the surgical wound site, or separate puncture holes close to the surgical area. The drainage is collected in a closed sterile collection system/reservoir (Hemovac or Jackson-Pratt) or an open system that deposits the drainage on a sterile dressing. Drainage may vary depending on location and type of surgery. A Hemovac drain (see Figure 4.3) can hold up to 500 ml of drainage. A Jackson-Pratt (JP) drain (see Figure 4.4) is usually used for smaller amounts of drainage (25 to 50 ml). Drains are usually sutured to the skin to prevent accidental removal. The drainage site is covered with a sterile dressing and should be checked periodically to ensure the drain is functioning effectively and that no leaking is occurring.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub Figure 4.3 Hemovac drain How to Remove a Drain from a Tub Figure 4.4 Jackson-Pratt drain

Checklist 39 outlines the steps to take when emptying a closed wound drainage system.

Checklist 39: Emptying a Closed Wound Drainage System

Disclaimer: Always review and follow your hospital policy regarding this specific skill.
Safety considerations:


Additional Information

Maintain the plug’s sterility.

The vacuum will be broken and the reservoir (drainage collection system) will expand.

11. Document procedure and findings according to agency policy.

Record the number the drains if there is more than one, and record each one separately.

If the amount of drainage increases or changes, notify the appropriate health care provider according to agency policy.

Drain Removal

Removal of a drain must be ordered by the physician or NP. A drain is usually in place for 24 to 48 hours, and removal depends on the amount of drainage over the last 24 hours.

Checklist 40 outlines the steps for removing a wound drainage system.

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Bathroom sinks may drain shampoo, soap, hair, toothpaste and other material that may clog them. Also, the drain plug occasionally becomes corroded and ceases to function properly. Frequent use of chemical drain openers can be damaging to the drain plug and pipes. Removing the drain plug from the bathroom sink is a simple process requiring no experience and few tools. The project usually can be completed in approximately 15 minutes.

Close the sink drain hole completely by lifting the lever that opens and closes the drain plug.

Look underneath the sink for the straight length of P-trap that extends straight down from the bottom of the sink before it curls around and connects to the inside of the wall.

Find the metal pivot rod that sticks out from the upper part of the P-trap and extends through one of the holes in the flat metal piece that also extends from the bottom of the sink.

Grasp the retaining nut that holds the shorter end of the metal pivot rod in place against the P-trap — with of pliers if necessary — and unscrew it using a counterclockwise motion.

Pull the metal pivot rod straight out from the P-trap to release the drain plug. Pull the drain plug straight out of the drain hole.

Have a flashlight available that sits on the floor and directs the beam where you are working. Clean the drain plug and replace it if necessary.


Wear safety goggles and tight-fitting plastic gloves to avoid burns if chemicals have been used in an attempt to clear the drain. Never use excessive force when working on the sink.

There might come a time when you need to remove a tub drain in your bathtub. Although we tend to think of the tub drain purely as the hole through which the water disappears, it’s a more complex unit than that which consists of the drain itself, the overflow pipe and the control for the tube stopper which are all interconnected. It’s a job that doesn’t requite much plumbing skill but which can prove awkward if it’s difficult to gain access to the drain area. Although it’s not vital, it can be easier to turn off the water to the tub before beginning the job.

Step 1 – Access

Most people will not replace the tub drain unless there’s a specific need for it, such as a problem with the tub draining or fitting a new model. The first important hurdle to overcome is to have proper access to the drain area of the tub. Where there’s a crawl space behind the tub, this can be quite easy. When no such space exists, you might be forced to work in cramped conditions from the side of the tub. This will not only lengthen the job but also make it more frustrating.

Even with a crawl space, the wooden frame might limit access. If it’s old and in need of replacement, cut some of it away to offer proper access at the start of the job.

Step 2 – Drain Basket

The first part of the drain to be removed is the drain basket which is in the tub itself. While some can be unscrewed with just a pair of crossed screwdrivers, the job will be a lot easier using a specialized tool called a basket wrench which designed purely for this job. Unfortunately, it isn’t in most tool boxes. By applying the basket wrench, you will be able to unscrew and remove the drain basket from the tub drain.

Step 3 – Overflow

The next thing to do is to uncouple the overflow pipe. Use a wrench on the nut and when it’s fully loosened, ease it away from the tub overflow fitting. Pull out the old fitting. If the nut doesn’t want to turn, use some penetrating oil on the nut and wait a few minutes before trying again. It should now turn quite easily. The overflow tube behind the tub will join into the main drain pipe. Use the wrench to loosen this and remove the overflow pipe.

Step 4 – Stopper

To remove the stopper, which controls the opening and closing of the tub drain, begin by unscrewing the two screws holding it in place in the tub. Disconnect the knob from the control behind the tub and remove the stopper control from inside the tub.

Step 5 – Drain

In order to remove the drain from under the tub, you will need to disconnect the main tub drain tube at the point where it joins the house plumbing. Use a wrench to do this. When completely loose, you will be able to ease out the entire tub drain from the tub. To finish the job, use cleaner in the tub to erase the marks made by the drain basket, the overflow cover and the stopper control, especially if you’re planning on replacing the fittings.

If you’re trying to clean your bathtub drain of clogged hair and your drain is covered by a tub drain stopper, you’re probably getting frustrated. Tub drain stoppers are difficult pieces to remove and WD-40 won’t help ease open any screws. Plumbers have specialized tools to remove the drain stopper, but if you want to do it yourself, there’s a makeshift way [source: Vandervort]. Read the steps listed below and learn about how you can remove a tub drain stopper yourself.

All you need are slipknot pliers and a sturdy screwdriver.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Choose your tools It’s easy to make your own homemade tub drain remover. Go into your toolbox and pick out a pair of slipknot pliers small enough to fit inside your drain. Also take out a sturdy screwdriver that will withstand a bit of muscle power. You won’t be using the screwdriver for screws — just as a tool for leverage.
  2. Position the slipknot pliers With the handle end going first, place the pliers into the drain. There is an X-shaped arm inside the pipe. You want to get the arms of the pliers to latch onto the X. Approximately half of the pliers should be hidden by the pipe.
  3. Position the screwdriver Place the screwdriver between the handles of the pliers.
  4. Unscrew the drain Using the screwdriver as a handle and the pliers as a wrench around the X-shaped arm, unscrew the tub drain stopper. It may require some effort to ease the tight grip inside, but once you get it, the drain stopper should come out easily [source: Trethewey].

Depending on how old your bathtub and drain are, you might want to call a plumber to remove the drain stopper. If any of the parts are damaged in the process of removal, reinstalling them can be a hassle [source: Trethewey].

Related Content

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

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How to Remove a Drain from a Tub How to Remove a Drain from a Tub How to Remove a Drain from a Tub How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Maybe you dream of upgrading to a modern jetted model, or simply want to switch to a stall shower to gain square footage—whatever your reason, that old bathtub has got to go. While a cast iron tub of yesteryear can weigh as much as 500 pounds, removing it yourself (well, with three or four strong friends) is entirely doable. You’ll need the right tools, of course, and some plumbing know-how is helpful when disconnecting drainage and water supply lines. But if you follow the procedures outlined here, the process of removing a bathtub should go smoothly.

Before starting, protect the floor from damage by laying down sheets of plywood. And keep in mind that your junk may be another homeowner’s joy: Cast iron claw foot tubs can fetch as much as $800 on the salvage market, and the feet alone could net you upwards of 40 bucks!

Shut off the water supply. Freestanding models generally have a shutoff valve on the exposed line that runs to the faucets, but for other bathtubs you may need to turn off the H2O to the bathroom or even the entire house. Open tub faucets and another faucet in the house to bleed the water pressure off the lines. When no more water runs from the tub faucet, you’re ready to move on.


Remove the overflow and stopper assembly. These vary slightly by bathtub, but typically the overflow consists of a plate with one or two screws that holds a stopper lever. Once the plate is unscrewed and removed, slip the lever hook off the linkage bar with your fingers. Next, disconnect the stopper from the drain by unscrewing or pulling, depending on type.

Remove the drain flange with a dedicated drain flange removal tool, or stick a pair of needle nose pliers in the drain flange, twist counterclockwise, and pull. If yours is a freestanding tub, gather your able-bodied buddies: You might be able to lift it up and off the drainpipe at this point. For built-ins—or if the drain flange on a freestanding tub is stuck—proceed to the next step.

Detach the drainpipe. For a freestanding tub, reach underneath and cut through the drainpipe close to the bottom of the bathtub with a reciprocating saw that is fitted with a metal blade. For built-in tubs, you’ll have to gain access from below, through a basement or crawlspace, to disconnect the drainpipe. Use pipe wrenches or water pump pliers to grasp and twist the pipe loose at a connection. If the joints are glued PVC, cut the line with a reciprocating saw.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Cut away a horizontal strip of wall about 6 inches above the bathtub to reveal the tub flange, and remove any screws that secure the flange to the wall studs. You can use a reciprocating saw to cut wallboard, but take care not to cut the studs or any mechanical elements, such as wires or pipes that might be in the stud spaces. If the wall is tiled, use a grinder with a diamond blade to cut through a horizontal grout line and then pop off the individual tiles below with a chisel.


Cut away caulking around the bathtub with a utility knife, and then pull the tub out and onto the plywood. If the bathtub sticks, carefully pry it loose with a crowbar. As soon as you pull the bathtub, stuff a large rag in the top of the now-open drainpipe to block smelly sewer gases; this will also ensure nothing gets accidentally dropped into the line. In high concentrations, sewer gases can be toxic and flammable, but the small amount that filters out of the tub line will be more obnoxious than hazardous.

If the old bathtub has value and you wish to salvage it, remove the feet (which should twist off) counterclockwise. If rusted in place, spray with a rust-removing solvent to loosen. Then carry it out with the help of your friends. Take some measurements first, however: You may need to pull hinge pins and remove a door to gain enough space to fit the bathtub.

If the tub is worthless to you, cover it with an old, heavy towel or blanket and put on goggles and a long-sleeve shirt for extra protection from flying chips. Then break the tub into manageable pieces with a sledgehammer. You can also cut steel, fiberglass, and plastic tubs into smaller pieces with a reciprocating saw.

If you have no plans to install a new bathtub in the old one’s place, you’ll need to terminate the water supply and drain lines. Terminating a drainpipe involves removing the drain trap and the drainpipe back to at least the nearest plumbing connection. Then you can install a cap or plug on the pipe. The process will vary slightly depending on your piping:

For PVC, cut the pipe with a reciprocating saw, and then clean the pipe end with PVC cleaner. Next, apply PVC glue to both the end of the pipe, and on the inside of a matching PVC cap, and slip the cap over the end of the pipe.
For galvanized pipes, use pipe wrenches or water pump pliers to loosen the pipes at a joint, and then install a corresponding cap or plug, using plumber’s putty and plumber’s tape to hold the cap in place. If you run into a cast iron trap (very hard, dark metal), or a lead trap (so soft, you can nick it with a knife) that connects to a cast iron drainpipe, call a plumber to cut it to avoid breakage. It’s difficult to cut cast iron pipe without specialized tools.


In order to terminate the water supply lines, you need access to the stud space behind the faucets. If the tub installer did not put in an access panel in the room on the opposite side of the faucets, you’ll have to open up that section of the wall with a reciprocating saw in order to reach the water supply lines.

Once you have access, remove the faucet(s). Pop off the caps with a flathead screwdriver, removing the screws. Then use a pipe wrench to remove the faucet sleeves and stems. The spout may have a setscrew on the underside, or the whole thing might twist off, counterclockwise. After cutting the water supply lines, cap them with corresponding push-to-connect end caps.

With the tub out and both water supply and drain lines successfully sealed, you’re free to repurpose all of that newly opened square footage however you’d like! Whether you plan to turn the room into a half-bath with storage for linens or keep renovating until the entire space is a dreamy walk-in closet, rest assured that the bulk of the work (literally) is done.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Many people think that it is hard to replace a clawfoot tub drain. The good thing about retrofitting a clawfoot tub is that you can actually replace the tub’s drain, restoring its functionality. There are many times where the piping has become rusty and the pipes are clogged up and old. Follow these steps to replace and old, rusty clawfoot tub drain.

Step 1 – Shut Off the Main Water Supply

In order to avoid a major water leak, you need to shut off the main water supply. It is usually located where the water pipes enter the home. You might also find this valve in the basement. Test that the water is turned off before moving on to the next step.

Step 2 – Disconnect the Tub From the Water Supply

In order to disconnect the water supply from the clawfoot bathtub, you will need the help of an adjustable wrench. Remove the pipes from the nut connections. Remove the pipes that connect your bathtub to the floor.

Step 3 – Remove the Overflow Plate

This plate is attached with screws or nuts. Use a screwdriver to safely remove it. The overflow plate inside the tub is attached to the pipes on the back of the clawfoot bath tub.

Step 4 – Removing the Overflow Pipe

A tee is used to connect an elbow to the rest of the drain. It needs to be removed with a wrench.

Step 6 – Taking Away the Old Putty

There are many times when the putty is very hard, causing problems when trying to remove pipes or nuts. It also makes it harder to install new nuts or pipes into the bath tub. To remove the old putty, you can use thinner, or you can scrape it carefully with a utility knife.

Step 7- Installing the New Piping

Look under the tub and attach the tee to the drain and the overflow pipe using a wrench.

Step 8 – Attaching Overflow Assembly and Drain

These 2 parts must be attached to the drain pipe that is protruding out from the floor. You can attach it by using the adjustable wrench.

Step 9 – Attaching the Strainer

Take the tube drain hole and attach the strainer. Use and adjustable wrench to attach it, and put putty on both ends to help the connection stay strong and avoid leaks.

Step 10 – Fastening the Overflow Pipe

There should be a plate that needs to be placed from inside the tub to the drain. Take this plate and attach it to the overflow pipe with the adjustable wrench. Once the overflow pipe is properly attached, this do-it-yourself job is complete.

A bathtub drain stopper is a vital part that helps prevent water from draining or acting as a valve to drain the water. The drain stopper sometimes gets stuck due to built-up gunk.

That’s the reason why you need to remove the stopper to clean the drain thoroughly. Though all types of bathtub drain stopper serve the same purpose, you must identify your drain stopper type so that you can remove it properly. There are usually five main types stuck in closed position: toe-touch, push-pull, lift-turn, pop-up, plunger style (trip lever).

Getting confused? Don’t worry because we are about to introduce to you in detail how to remove the bathtub drain stopper types!

How to remove a bathtub drain stopper stuck in closed position?

What will you need?

  • Old rag or towel
  • Pliers
  • Penetrating lubricant
  • Drain body remover
  • Adjustable wrench or Channel-lock
  • Flat-head screwdriver


To seal your bathtub with a toe-touch drain stopper, you only have to push it down with your toe. In case you want to drain the water, pull the drain stopper up.

Usually, this type of drain stopper uses a spring-loaded design. The stopper body is fixed in place using a screw under the cap of the stopper. A toes-touch drain stopper is easy to install, easy to use, and easy to disassemble.

There would be nothing too complicated when it comes to removing a toe-touch stopper.

Step 1: Cover the tub surface with an old rag or towel. You don’t want to scratch the tub’s finish or spray it with dirt in the stopper, do you?

Step 2: Unscrew the cap by hand to reveal the screw underneath. Twist the cap counterclockwise to remove it.

Step 3: Remove the main part of the drain stopper. Get yourself a screwdriver and twist the screw underneath the cap you just removed counterclockwise. When it is loosened, you can unscrew it using your hand. Then, lift the main part of the drain stopper out and you are good to go.

After successfully removing the toe-touch drain stopper, you can either clean it or replace it with a new one. Just remember to bring the drain body part with you to the store to get the most suitable one. To place the drain stopper back, reverse the removal process.

Push-pull and Lift-turn

A push-pull and lift-turn stopper are much alike regarding their designs and installation. One main difference between these two types of drain stopper is the way each of them functions. While the push-pull needs pushing down to close and pulling up to open, the lift-turn requires twisting.

Unlike the toe-touch, it is a little trickier to remove a push-pull/lift-turn drain stopper. You will need a channel lock and nose plier to remove this kind of bathtub drain stopper stuck in closed position.

Step 1: Cover your tub’s finish with an old rag or towel.

Step 2: Get the channel lock. Make sure that the drain stopper is into the closed position on down so that it will not turn anywhere while you are doing your job.

Then, use the channel lock to grip tightly under the top knob on the cap and turn it. Keep twisting until the knob is loosened enough so that it can easily come out.

Step 3: Turn the brass shaft exposed after removing the knob. Then, lift the stopper.

After cleaning the drain stopper, insert your new drain key into the drain body.


Pop-up tub drains are designed with a stopper. And on their overflow faceplate, there is a mechanism that allows you to control easily. It is a bit troublesome to remove and clean a pop-up tub drain stopper. However, don’t worry, we will make it simple for you.

Step 1: Cover your tub’s finish with an old rag or towel.

Step 2: Remove the top cap by twisting it counterclockwise when the drain stopper is locked in place.

Step 3: Use a flat-bladed screwdriver to unscrew the main portion of the drain stopper. This stage can be done from inside the bathtub and there will be no need to go underneath, depending on which problem you are coming into: water doesn’t stop flowing down the drain or the spring or the push-pull portion no longer works.

Step 4: Clean or replace the whole drain stopper key inside. In case you want to get a new one, make sure that you take the main part of the pop-up drain stopper to the store with you. This will ensure that the thread at the end of the drain stopper will match up with the one inside your bathtub.

Step 5: Put the cleaned/new drain stopper back by reversing the whole process. Remember to use a screwdriver to tighten everything in place and reinstall the top cap.

A small tip for you, if you are unable to unscrew the main part of the pop-up drain stopper, insert several drops of penetrating lubricant.

Plunger style

A plunger style or a trip lever is the type of drain stopper functioning using a Turn Style overflow plate or Trip Lever.

Step 1: Cover your tub’s finish with an old rag or towel.

Step 2: Use a screwdriver to remove the screws in the trip lever.

Step 3: Once the trip lever is loosened, pull out the whole body part inside.

Step 4: Take the needle nose plier to remove the cotter pin and separate the faceplate from the linkage.

Step 5: Install a new shiny faceplate, put the cotter pin back in; remember to bend it over so that it is perfectly secured in place. And your drain stopper is good to go.

In case the water is not draining well, you can take the float in the body part and raise it.

Wrap things up!

Next time your drain stopper is not doing its job, don’t hesitate to take it out and clean it. Follow our steps to remove and clean a bathtub drain stopper stuck in close position effortlessly. Have a nice time chilling in as clean as a new pin tub.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Inside-Slow drain clogged with hair driving you crazy? See how to get hair out of drain like a pro. It only takes minutes to clean.

I will warn you, this post is not for the faint of heart. I am always amazed (and completely grossed out!) by what comes from my drains. But, if you are like me and have lots of hair you will love this tip on how to get hair out of drain.

About every six months, I notice my drains are draining slowly. I used to use Draino, but I have since discovered this easier and cheaper way on how to get hair out of drains. It will cost you about $6 to buy a tool to remove the hair, but then you can reuse the tool over and over again. You can save money in the long run by not buying draino all the time to get rid of the hair in the drain.

When you notice that your drain is draining slowly just use this trick to get the hair out of your drains and have it draining like normal again. Start with a plastic drain snake. I picked mine up at Menards for free on a rebate sale, but you can get them from Amazon for around $6. The drain snake is easily worth $6. Who wants to be buying draino all the time to clean out hairs? It has these great little hooks that grab onto the hair and pull them from the drain.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Start by slowly inserting your drain snake into the clogged drain. This takes a little bit of patience. You will need to slowly guide it into the drain and passed any bends or curves. Once you have the snake in pretty far you will want to twist it around a couple of times.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

After twisting it a couple of times slowly pull the drain snake out of the drain. You may feel some resistance as it pulls the hair from the drain. You can see below all the hair that came out on the drain snake.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Remove all the hair from the drain snake (you may want some rubber gloves when you do this). Then, insert the drain snake back in the drain to remove some more hair. Make sure you once again twist the snake a couple of times and gently remove the snake from the drain.

Usually, about two times removes 90% of the hair for me. Check out below all the hair that was removed from the drain this time.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Obviously, my drain is working much faster after this. Once finished remove all the hair from the drain snake. I like to spray mine down with some rubbing alcohol to kill off any germs. Then you can store it and use it again and again. If you tried to remove the hair from the drain and didn’t get much hair it may be another problem clogging your drain. If you don’t have any draino at home, or want a more natural solution to drain clogs you can see my favorite tip for cleaning drains or you can try this one here.

The drain snake works great on almost all bathtub and shower drains. Plus it is easy to use to unclog a bathroom sink drain without removing the stopper. It just easily slides in the drain and under the stopper.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

So next time you are dealing with hair clogging a drain skip the draino and grab one of these reusable drain snakes to get the drain cleaned in minutes. You can easily use it to unclog a bathtub, sink or shower drain. Knowing how to get hair out of drain can be a huge timesaver and money saver.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

25 Jul How To Remove A Shower Drain Cover

A shower drain cover is great for preventing things like loose pieces of jewelry, hair clips, bathroom razor blades, and shampoo caps from slipping down into the drain. They aren’t great at stopping hair though. Over time, hair accumulates down inside the drain, which creates a clogged drain. The clog eventually causes the water to drain slower. When that happens, it’s time to take the cover off and remove the debris that caused the clogged drain.

First Step to Removing a Shower Drain Cover

Do a quick glance over before removing it. Examine how it’s attached. A standard shower drain cover is attached with a screw in the center. Other drains snap into place instead. A snap-on shower drain cover will generally have a silicone adhesive that holds it in place. Just give it a little tug and it will pop out.

Helpful Tools to Use in Removal Process

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Having tools on hand to use during the removal process helps removal go a bit smoother. Helpful tools to have close by are:

  • Philips screwdriver or a flat-head screwdriver for a screw in the drain cover
  • Needle nose pliers for a snap on drain cover
  • Spray lubricant to use along the outer lip of the cover
  • Utility knife
  • Silicone caulk

How to Remove the Cover

Spray lubricant along the lip of the cover and let it settle down into the threads for a minute or two. A cover attached by a screw is as simple as inserting the screwdriver and turning it until the screw comes out. If the screw doesn’t turn easily, spray a little lubricant on it and try twisting it out again with the screwdriver. Once the screw is out, place it somewhere that can’t fall down into the clogged shower drain once the cover is off. Insert the tip of the screwdriver through an opening in the cover and lift up.

How to Remove a Drain from a TubFor a snap in cover, spray lubricant along the edges of it as well. Let it settle down into the threads. Insert the needle-nose pliers into the openings of the drain cover, firmly grip the pliers, twist it towards the left, and pull it out. Use an additional lubricant during removal if necessary.

Use a utility knife to cut the caulking around the cover. Put masking tape around the drain prior to cutting the caulking. This will help in preventing any possible damage to the shower floor while cutting caulk away.

Oftentimes, hair and debris will be wrapped around the cover, making it hard to pull it off. If there is hair or debris wrapped around the cover, just use the utility knife to cut it loose. Clean the cover off and remove any excess once the cover is removed.

Cleaning Out the Clogged Shower Drain

Once the drain cover is removed, use a flashlight to look down into the drain. Make sure there aren’t any large objects down inside the drain.
If the clogged drain is due to hair buildup, reach down inside and pull the hair out of it. Make sure to wear gloves while pulling all of the hair out. It will be slippery and slimy.

If there is any hair further down inside the clogged shower drain that is out of reach, use a snake to pull it out. A wire hanger can be used as well. Untwist the wire hanger completely. Bend the straight end of the wire into a small hook with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Insert the snake into the clogged drain, using a flashlight to look down into it, and hook any hair or debris inside it. Once it is hooked, pull it out of the drain. Repeat the process as necessary, until all the hair and debris is removed.

Last But Not Least

When the clogged shower drain is clear and flowing freely again, replace the shower drain cover. Add silicone caulk around the edge and insert it into place. Screw the screw back in, or snap it back on and twist right if it is a snap on cover. Let the caulk set before using the shower again.

If you aren’t conformable removing your shower drain cover, or if drainage problems persist after the shower drain has been cleaned, contact a plumber. If the water is still draining slowly, this means the blockage may be much further down the line and may require professional grade tools to remove the blockage. Trust Ben Franklin with all of your residential plumbing needs, call us today!

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Duncanville serves the Southwest Dallas cities of Cedar Hill, Dallas, DeSoto, Duncanville, Glenn Heights, Grand Prairie, Maypearl, Midlothian, Oak Cliff, Oak Leaf, Ovilla, Red Oak and Waxahachie with a team of certified plumbers. In addition to emergency plumbing repair, some of the plumbing services provided by the company include: faucet repair, drain services, toilet repair, plumbing fixture installations, tub and shower installations, kitchen sink repair, faucet installation, water heater repair/replacement, and garbage disposal replacement. Call us today at (972) 263-5010 to schedule an appointment!

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

A clawfoot bathtub is a classic fixture; however, these beautiful tubs must sometimes be removed. Removing a clawfoot bathtub is a physical job, but it can be easily accomplished with the right tools and knowledge. Read this article to learn to remove your tub effectively and efficiently.

Step 1 – Close the Water Supply

Shut the water off by locating the water shut off valve and turning it all the way off. Turning the faucet to see if any water flows. If not, you are good to move on to the next step.

Step 2 – Remove Drain Gate

To remove the drain, first remove the drain gate that is located on top of the drain. Do so by removing the screws that hold it into place using your screwdriver. It may be necessary to pry the cap with a screwdriver. With older tubs, it is sometimes necessary to do so because it has become attached to the drain.

Step 3 – Remove the Drain

Insert the large end of the basket wrench into the drain. Use a socket wrench to remove the drain by turning loose. Then safely and effectively remove the drain from the tub.

Step 4 – Safety First

Now it’s time to start breaking the tub a part. Use a drop cloth to cover the area where you are working. Protect yourself with safety goggles and work gloves.

Step 5 – Break It Up

Use your sledge hammer to pound on the tub. Strike until the tub starts to break into pieces. Continue until you have broken the tub into pieces that are easy to remove and dispose.

Step 6 – Clean Up

Remove the smashed sections of the tub and dispose of them properly into a dumpster.

Whether you are removing your clawfoot bathtub to replace it with a new unit of the same stature, or you are replacing it with a completely new tub, half of the hard work is over.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Stuck tub drain?

When the cross members are broken off the inside of a bathtub drain there is one tool that will remove the stuck and broken drain. It’s not cheap. But neither is a plumber. You can try vice grips and channel locks spread open but they always slip.

The drain removal tool has teeth that grab the drain from the inside. You use a socket wrench to turn the tool and as it turns the teeth expand outward and apply pressure to the drain. The good news is that it has always worked for us. You can learn about the bathtub drain removal tool here…

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

    How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

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Edmond Bathtub Refinishing provides tile and bathtub resurfacing and reglazing to the Greater Oklahoma City Metro Area within a 150 mile radius. We guarantee our workmanship for 5 years and have refinished hundreds of tubs in Oklahoma.

Changing the drain in a utility tub can be a tiring procedure, but if you don’t properly replace the tub drain, you can find yourself having problems with leaks, poor water drainage, or even completely blocked pipes. This problem can be solved by replacing the old utility tub drain with a new one. These can be bought from local hardware stores, or even on the Internet. Fitting the new one should not be terribly difficult; if you have basic home improvement skills, you shouldn’t need the assistance of a professional. These simple guidelines will help you get the job done quickly and easily.

Step 1: Remove the Old Drain

The first step is to take off the old drain. Turn your water off completely at the mains to ensure that no water enters the system by accident. Then, remove anything from below your sink, such as cleaning fluids and washing up liquids, and put your arms into the space. Leading down from the drain, you will feel a large pipe. Using your spanner, remove this pipe by unscrewing the nut at the top of the connection. You should then see the drain pan and the filter. You will need to unscrew the filter from its position, and then take the drain cord from around the edge (this is a metal strip with a bolt at one end). Unscrew this, and you should be able to lift the drain away from the sink.

Step 2: Install the New Sink

Next you will have to install the new sink. This can be done fairly easily by unscrewing all of the pieces, and placing them in their separate positions. Screw in the drain pan first, using a new drain cord to tighten the pan onto the lip of the sink. Make sure that these two pieces are tightly connected. You should then use your screwdriver to screw the filter into place.

Step 3: Refit the Pipes

Once that is completed, you will have to replace the pipes you took away in the first step. Place the bottom of the pipe in first and then push it into the top of the filter. Tighten the bolts again, so that it is sealed. You may need to add some caulking around the outside to secure any joins.

Step 4: Finishing

Before you finish the project you will have to turn the water back on, and make sure that the drain is working properly. Check your connections for signs of leakage as the water drains away. Once you are satisfied that it is all fitted together correctly, you can replace your utilities under the sink, and use the drain as before. shows you how to fix a tub drain stopper, how to remove your old stopper and replace it with the simplest tub fix solution. We want to help you fix your tub drain and stopper problem with a shiny new bathtub stopper which installs in less than 5 minutes. SimpliQuick™ Tub Fix fits right over your existing drain so there is no need to remove your old drain.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

The universal fit makes it an ideal fix for almost any tub drain with no time-consuming prep work, no mess and no need to call a plumber. We give you everything you need with free, easy to follow instructional videos and quality Watco tub drain and stopper products. The SimpliQuick™ Tub Fix solution easily replaces the most common types of bathtub stoppers including:

  • Toe-touch
  • Push-pull
  • Lift and turn
  • Tip
  • Flip-it
  • Pop-up
  • Plunger style

We show you step-by-step instructions on how to remove these most common types of tub stoppers and how to fix a tub drain stopper with the quickest, simplest tub fix solution.

How to Fix a Tub Drain Stopper Without Removing Your Drain

We show you how to fix a tub drain stopper without removing your existing drain. Due to the revolutionary design, SimpliQuick™ Tub Fix fits right over your existing drain with easy installation. No need to figure out the correct drain diameter, thread count or depth of your existing drain. No need to worry about replacing broken cross bars, by using the silicone adhesive, or how to remove that broken, old tub drain. Transform your bathtub drain in three easy steps and enjoy a beautiful, shiny new tub drain with a functional grid mesh to catch hair and debris.

SimpliQuick™ Tub Fix comes in a variety of finishes to match any décor and spruce up the look of your tub. Choose from chrome plated, brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze. Consider adding a matching overflow plate for a complete, polished look.

Jennifer Schwartz, MD, is a board-certified surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

You may have been told you that you will have a surgical drain in place after a procedure, or perhaps that you need to have a drain placed to help treat a collection of fluid or to treat an infection, such as an abscess. Having a drain may sound scary or intimidating, but the device can actually speed healing and help prevent complications. A drain can also reduce pain after surgery.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

A surgical drain is placed to keep fluid or infectious material from building up at the site of your surgery. The drain does exactly what it sounds like: it drains fluid away and out of the body, just like a plumbing drain.

A drain can be placed during surgery or as an outpatient procedure. Outside of surgery, drains are often placed in interventional radiology, and the doctor placing the drain uses an X-ray machine or another type of scan to make sure the drain is in the appropriate place.  


There are many types of drains, ranging from chest tubes that keep fluid from accumulating around the heart after open-heart surgery to small bulb-type drains that apply gentle suction.

The type of drain that is used depends on the type of surgery, the preference of the surgeon and the site of the surgery. There may be one drain or several, depending on the nature of the problem.

For the most part, drains are not painful to have in place, but they can cause discomfort depending on the size and location. Typically, the pain is mild, but the larger the drain, the greater the likelihood that it will cause pain.

In fact, after heart bypass surgery, many people report that chest tubes are more uncomfortable than the chest incision.

If pain occurs, use Tylenol (acetaminophen) rather than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, Advil (ibuprofen), or Aleve (naproxen) which can promote bleeding.

Removing a Surgical Drain

Drains are designed to be removed without the need for further surgery or additional procedures. They may leave the body through the surgical incision, or a small incision may be made specifically for the drain itself. The drain may have sutures holding it in place to prevent it from being accidentally dislodged.

When there is no longer drainage coming out, or the drain is no longer needed, it can be removed by cutting the sutures and gently pulling the drain out. This procedure may be done by a physician or a nurse, depending on the type of drain that is in place and the reasons for the drain. If any resistance is felt while removing the drain, the procedure is stopped until it can be performed safely.  

Generally speaking, a drain can be removed when there is less than 30 cubic centimeters (1 ounce) of fluid for two straight days or three weeks after surgery, whichever comes first.

Having a drain removed usually does not hurt, but it can feel rather odd as the tubing slides out of the body. The incision is then covered with a dressing or left open to the air. Stitches are usually not needed, but you should avoid swimming or soaking in a tub for two days.

In some cases, the drain will come out of the surgical incision itself, which will continue to heal and close after the drain is removed.

Caring for a Surgical Drain

If you are sent home with a drain, be sure to protect it, making sure it doesn’t dangle freely or in such a way that it could be accidentally removed. Some drains can be accidentally removed when they have to much weight pulling on them, such as the collection device used to hold drainage.

Some people use bandage tape that can be purchased at the drug store to keep the drain near their incision and prevent it from accidentally being removed. If you do this, be careful when removing the tape so that you do not accidentally remove the drain.

Caring for the drain is very much like performing good incision care. Wash your hands before touching your incision or the drain. Cleanse the area around the drain gently in the shower with mild soap and rinse well.

Avoid bathing in a tub when you have an incision that has not completely healed or a drain in place unless your surgeon says it is safe to do so. Take the time to inspect the area around the drain for signs of infection, just as you would a normal surgical incision.

It is also important to pay attention to the type and amount of drainage that is coming out, it may be bloody, a clear serous fluid, or it may be colored drainage that indicates infection. Abnormal types of drainage should be reported to your surgeon.  

When to Call a Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, heat, and tenderness at the incision site
  • Cloudy, pus-like fluid with a foul odor

If you’ve ever dropped jewelry down a drain, you know how stressful the situation can be. Fortunately, with the help of Roto-Rooter, you can learn how to recover jewelry from a drain like a pro. Watch our video for tips and information and find out how to get a ring out of the drain quickly and easily. If you can’t recover your jewelry on your own, your local Roto-Rooter experts are here to help. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week our technicians can handle it all, and get your plumbing back online in no time.


Few things are more stressful than losing jewelry down a sink drain, but if you act quickly and follow these instructions, you’ll most likely be able to recover an item from the drain before it slips away forever. When jewelry goes down a drain, it’s usually a bathroom sink drain. A woman might drop a ring or an earring while doing hair or applying makeup, while a man might drop a tie tack in the same way. If an item falls into an open sink drain, don’t run water into the drain. Water could push the item beyond your reach. Without water flowing into the drain, the item will remain in the P trap, which is the J-shaped pipe beneath your sink. You’ll need to disassemble the P trap in order to recover the item. But first, there’s a shortcut if you have a Wet/Dry Shop-Vac. Don’t use a regular vacuum, you could be electrocuted. Remove the pop-up stopper assembly if it isn’t out already. Carefully stretch a nylon stocking over the end of the Shop-Vac hose. Hold it tightly in place. Then, place the stocking-covered hose end over the drain hole, and turn on the Shop-Vac. Wait a few seconds, then lift the hose away from the drain. With luck, your jewelry will be sticking to the stocking. The Shop-Vac technique works best on small and lightweight items, such as earrings. But if the Shop-Vac isn’t strong enough to suck up heavier jewelry, you’ll need to remove the P trap beneath the sink. First, grab a bucket and put on some rubber gloves. Next, check to see if you have the type of P trap that can be disassembled by hand or if you’re going to need tools. A good set of Channellock pliers works best, but any wrench that can get around the release will work too. Loosen the nut and carefully pull the pipe assembly apart. Pour out the water into your bucket. The jewelry should fall right into your bucket. Reassemble the pipe, and tighten it securely. If your lost item is not inside the P trap, that means it has traveled into the branch line, or maybe even into the main sewer. If so, don’t run water or flush toilets anywhere in the house. Call Roto-Rooter right away. We have special video cameras that can be snaked through your pipes. They help us find, then recover your jewelry. Remember, a Roto-Rooter professional is only a click, or call, away. [Roto-Rooter jingle]

Hot tubs are a little different than swimming pools in that they need to be drained and refilled occasionally.

Draining and refilling a pool is a huge task that wastes way too much water to be practical, but hot tubs are small enough that it is feasible to drain them every few months and start over with fresh water.

Why You Need To Drain Your Hot Tub

It’s necessary to drain hot tubs because the temperature they are operated at make them an even bigger breeding ground than pools for bacteria and all kinds of other gunk.

That’s right, your unclean hot tub can be a breeding ground for E-cole, legionella, and a whole slew of other foul-sounding germs!

But I’m here to show you how to get rid of all that!

Draining and cleaning your hot tub is a fairly easy process that anyone can do.

So, let’s get started!

Step #1: Flush The Lines

Bob Vila says (and who doesn’t trust Bob Vila?) that you need to flush your hot tub lines BEFORE you drain your tub.

That’s because the product needs to be added while the hot tub is operating so that it sends it through all the lines.

Why do you need to flush the lines?

Because that’s where most of that disgusting bacteria is being harbored.

Right there in that sticky, slimy layer of biofilm that is lining the inside of your plumbing lines.

For this step, you just choose a line flush product, turn your hot tub jets on, and add it according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Allow the chemical to circulate through the plumbing system for the specified amount of time before you drain the water.

Step #2: Turn Off The Power

Not only is it dangerous to work with this amount of water while connected to a power source, it is also bad for your hot tub if the system powers on while its empty.

Turn it off and completely disconnect anything electrical before you start to drain the tub.

Step #3: Drain The Hot Tub

Check with your hot tub manufacturer for specific directions to drain the water from your unit.

You’ll have a drain plug somewhere in the tub that needs to be removed in order to allow all the water to drain out.

You can also use a submersible pump to remove the water if you prefer a faster method; these can usually be rented from your local pool supply store.

Step #4: Clean The Filters

You can technically remove the filters while your hot tub is draining or even before.

While you’re waiting for the water to drain out is a good time to start cleaning them.

Use a good hot tub cleaning agent to spray them down and then hose off.

Some of the line flush cleaners are also good for general hot tub cleaning; just check the label to see.

If your filters look particularly dirty, but you don’t think it’s been long enough to need to replace them, you can try soaking them in a vinegar and water solution or a dry dishwasher detergent and water solution.

Just soak them overnight and then rinse clean.

Your filters should be replaced about once a year, so if it has been that long or if your filters seem to be really gunked up, go ahead and toss them out and replace them with fresh ones.

Step #5: Clean The Hot Tub Interior

Once the pool is empty, spray it down well with your hot tub cleaner. Then wipe it away with an absorbent towel.

It’s also a good idea to go ahead and rinse the cleaner off with a hose, then give it another wipe with a towel just to make sure you remove all the solution.

Any residue or cleaner leftover will cause your hot tub to foam excessively.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

A bathtub drain acting up and becoming clogged or leaking is among the peskiest (and most common) plumbing problems to be encountered in any home. In this short guide, we will briefly explain the basics of how to unclog the bathtub, how to replace tub drain assembly (if need be), how to recognize more complex bathtub drain plumbing issues and so on. Whenever you notice that your bathtub won’t drain or you’re dealing with a leaking shower drain, you should be able to handle the situation on your own at least temporarily, until you’re able to call in the professionals for a more thorough and permanent fix. Here’s everything you need to know about the most common bathtub drain issues.

How to Remove a Bathtub Drain

As long as the clogged bathtub drain isn’t completely blocked up, there are still chances that you can perform the drain fix yourself. To verify just how clogged the situation is (if the drainage is very slow, but you’re not sure whether it’s completely blocked or not), you need to let water run in the tub for a while and then observe to see if there’s any signs of the water draining away and how fast. If you’re dealing with a completely clogged bathtub drain (standing water), then you’re dealing with a completely clogged drain bathtub. When the tub won’t drain at all, it’s best to call for professional drain repair and not attempt to handle the situation yourself, since you risk making it worse.

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How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

If instead you’re just dealing with just a partially clogged bathroom drain, it’s safe to attempt one of the DIY unclog bathroom drain methods below:

How to Prevent Clogging Your Bathtub Drain

The best solution on the long run, in order to avoid having to attempt fidgeting with the above methods of unclogging the bathtub drain, is thorough prevention. This can be done in two main ways. The first one consists of the simple fix of trying to regularly clean the gunk which accumulates around the drain stopper. In its initial stages, this gunk consists of soap residue and clumps of hair, which could theoretically be scrubbed away regularly in order to make the bathtub drain clog more slowly in the future.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

The second method of prevention involved discussing a more professional and permanent fix with your plumber. We can’t recommend a definitive clogged drain fix for you here, since it all depends on the exact configuration of your house and sewage system, but solutions can be found for even the most unfortunate setting. Depending on the details, your plumber may recommend any combination of the following: installing mesh screens on all your drains, investing in a more professional home plunger, teaching every member of the household a short training course on maintaining the ‘health’ of the drains (including teaching them about what items and substances can be disposed through drains and so on and which shouldn’t be disposed this way), and so on.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

If the setting of your building is extremely unfortunate (much too narrow drains), you could even discuss with your plumber the possibility of rebuilding your sewage system for a complete modernization. This would of course not come as cheap as the other fixed recommended above, but it will surely save you years of frustration and further spending, since the smaller fixes above can take quite a toll on your budget if repeating too often. You will definitely be dealing with a clogged bathtub drain much less often (if ever), once you check if any such improvements can be made to your sewage system.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

UPDATED: July 25, 2017

The waste and overflow is the drain mechanism behind and under the bathtub that connects the overflow with the tub drain. It’s usually covered with a chrome plated cover above the tub drain near the top of the tub level. It allows water to drain out of the tub in the event the water is left on or the level gets too high when someone gets in and the water is displaced. Usually, the complete repair of the waste and overflow is time-consuming and difficult. As you can see there is no easy way to get to the drain unless you have a point of access in a wall behind the drain or from underneath the tub. We’ve got the best method for you, so let’s jump right into these step-by-step instructions.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Installing a Bathtub Over Flow Drain

When a waste and overflow needs to be repaired the plumbing technician needs to get access either underneath the tub or more preferably behind the tub. If this is a waste problem, locate the hair or loose odds and ends that is causing the clog and remove it. If you’re the drain remover, you’re definitely going to want to keep your eyes peeled for the next few steps when working on the tub overflow drain.

The first step to installing bathtub overflow drain is removing the waste and overflow is to remove the overflow cover. The removal of the cover is an easier part of the process. This overflow cover is usually directly above the plug that drains the water on the bottom of the tub. You usually don’t need a tool to do this. The second and much more difficult step is to unscrew the tub drain from the shoe. The tub drain threads into the drain shoe body of the waste and overflow and snugs up both to the bath tub.

When you remove the drain stopper most times there are crossbars that the stopper is attached to, these are used to back the drain out. You also might run into a drain flange which is the finished and visible part around your drain hole. The drain flange helps seals the tub and drain assembly.

Quite often the drain breaks, making this job a time consuming project. (We will expand upon removing and replacing a waste and overflow). Here is another place where this can become difficult. If you’ve got access to the drain from behind the tub there is usually a slip nut that connects the drain to the drainage piping, this is a fairly easy installation, if not it is very difficult to remove the drain from below. Most times you have to cut it out and piece it back together. It is not unusual for a waste and over repair to take 6 hours or so.

Bathtub Overflow Drain Cover

The drain cover’s finish is the most apparent reason for changing it. The finish tends to pit or peel. The waste and the tub overflow cover usually has one screw in the middle or two to secure the cover to the body of the waste.

The Problem is Behind the Faceplate and Water Leaks down the Drain Waste Tube.

The single biggest reason a waste and overflow leaks is the gasket behind the drain cover or faceplate. The rubber behind the tub begins to break down and when the water level rises to the level of the overflow the water makes it’s way to any breach in the seal. Sometimes these leaks can be tricky to find because the water may run down the drain waste tube and the leak shows itself right at the spot of the waste and overflow or the water can run along and under the tub and shows itself quite a distance away from the actual leak.

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

How do I Fix the Tub Overflow Gasket and Stop the Plumbing from Leaking?

How to Remove a Drain from a Tub

Honestly, we’ve always said that we would be cautious when plugging a product. However, when one comes along that is innovative and can save people time and money it’s our duty to let people know how to fix the bathtub overflow gasket.

There is an Easy and Economical Way to Repair Your Bath Tub Waste and Overflow?

The Watco Universal NuFit® is a quick and easy way to freshen up your tub drain and the Ultimate Overflow Gasket takes care of the issues of any leaking you may have from the overflow gasket. The Ultimate Overflow kit uses a patented gasket that fits on the outside of the tub and telescopes into the overflow tube bypassing the damaged gasket eliminating the leaks. Another common issue with bathtubs, in general, is the drain. Chances are if the waste and overflow gasket and cover are damaged the bath tub drain looks the same.

The Watco Universal NuFit® drain kit features an all brass lift and turn remodel drain that fits on top and into your old drain. No need to attempt to unscrew the old drain and risk possible damage to the tub or drain assembly. Just unscrew and remove the old lift and turn assembly and or linkage pop-up drain. Clean with a mild detergent removing any soap or build-up, dry thoroughly, apply the kits RTV silicone bond caulk, place the drain on top of the old, press, turn and leave for 24 hours and you’re done. The entire drain remodel can be done in 15 minutes.

Tub Overflow Drain Not Just for Repairs

The great thing about this product is it’s not just for repairs. If you are remodeling your bath or changing the finishes on your faucets you can purchase the kit in all of the currently popular finishes. You don’t have to live with a chrome or brass waste and overflow cover/drain with new brushed nickel faucets. Both kits come in a variety of finishes including chrome, brushed nickel, stainless steel and oil rubbed bronze. The Watco drain is available in many other colors as well.