How to Fix Pop-Up Tub Stopper Leaks

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When the pop-up stopper in your bathtub leaks, it's annoying to take a bath while the water slowly drains out. Tick off the possibilities on this step-by-step checklist until you find the problem. All involve easy fixes; it's just a matter of going from the obvious to the items behind the tub wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar or mild detergent
  • Brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Pull up the tub stopper and remove it along with the attached rocker arm from the drain. It may put up a fight, but you can prevail.

  • Remove any hair or debris from the stopper. Clean the stopper assembly with vinegar or a mild detergent and a brush. Lubricate the stopper assembly while you have it out.

  • Examine the rubber seal if you have one for signs of wear and replace, if necessary.

  • Adjust the nut underneath the stopper and lengthen or shorten the connection to the rocker arm. Replace the stopper in the drain. If these steps don't work, go to Step 5.

  • Take screws out of the overflow plate on the wall of the bathtub and lift out the overflow assembly.

  • Adjust the nut on the overflow assembly to lengthen or shorten the rod assembly. If you lengthen it, that will push the stopper higher. If you shorten the rod assembly, it will drop the stopper lower.

  • Lubricate the overflow assembly before putting it back in the wall. Screw the cover plate back on.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the drain clean of hair and other debris to prevent a build-up that will keep the stopper from closing properly.

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