How to Fix a Bathtub Stopper

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What do you do if your bathtub stopper is stuck or not stopping water as it should? The good news is that a faulty drain stopper is often very easy to fix. While a trip-lever drain stopper is a little trickier to work with, it’s still a problem that you can tackle on your own.

Foot Lock or Rollerball Stopper

If your tub has a foot lock or rollerball tub drain, you may be able to quickly fix the issue by rotating the plug counterclockwise. Once the plug is removed from the drain, clean it with a mild cleaning solution. Reinstall the drain and test.

Steps to Clean and Lubricate

Remove the two screws which fasten the trip lever plate into the bathtub. Be sure to put the screws on the restroom floor or someplace safe. This way they don’t fall down the drain.

  • Grip the trip lever plate and then carefully remove the trip lever and linkage in the overflow.
  • Clean the linkage, rocker arm, and stopper using a mild cleaning solution. If you prefer a natural method, vinegar also works.
  • Ensure the drain of free from blockage and debris by flushing it with a way of boiling water, 1 cup of baking soda, and one cup of vinegar. Put both components into the drain until the stopper is in its closed position. Then lubricate the threads of the linkage.
  • Reinstall the overflow drain.

Depending on the bathtub, the linkage might need to be adjusted. Loosen the locknut to rise the drain flow rate. If the stopper does not properly seal in the closed position, loosen the locknut, then turn the lift pole clockwise to tighten it. This should cover the basics and if the problem is persisting or more complex give us a call.

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