How to Remove a Tub Drain Stopper


Drain stoppers come in many styles and finishes. Determining the type of drain stopper your bathtub has will aid you in knowing what tools to use for removal. Most typical drain stoppers come out of the tub using the same, simple method. Whether you are replacing the drain stopper with a new one, or removing it for repair, this project will take very little time to complete.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Tub drain wrench
  • Rubber glove

Lift-and-Turn Tub Drains

  • Place the drain stopper in the open, or "up" position in the bathroom tub. Grab the drain stopper with your hands and turn it counterclockwise.

  • Lift the drain stopper up and out of the bathroom tub. If the stopper does not come out, you will need to find and remove the "set" screw.

  • Turn the drain stopper until a small screw is visible. This is called the drain stopper "set" screw. Loosen the "set" screw with a screwdriver. Keep unscrewing the "set" screw until it comes out of the drain stopper.

  • Grab the drain stopper with a pair of pliers and turn in a counterclockwise rotation until it easily lifts from the bathtub.

Pop-Up Tub Drains

  • Set the drain stopper in the "open" position by moving the trip lever. Wear a rubber glove on one hand. Grab the pop-up drain firmly with your hand. The rubber on the glove acts as a non-slip surface for a firm grip. Pull-up on the drain stopper and wiggle it from side to side. The drain stopper should now be free to lift completely out of the tub drain.

  • Use a screwdriver to remove screws located on the cover and overflow plate. Remove the overflow plate, along with any remaining drain parts and the trip lever.

  • Insert the tub drain wrench inside of the drain hole and turn counterclockwise. Lift the drain cover plate out of the bathtub with the tub drain wrench.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pop-up drain stoppers have a knob located on the overflow plate at the head of the bathtub. This knob is moved up or down to open or close the pop-up drain stopper. A lift-and-turn bathtub drain requires the small protruding knob on the drain stopper, turned and twisted at the same time to open and close the drain.

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  • Photo Credit drain black and white image by askthegeek from
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