Tub Stopper - Remove A Tricky Tub Stopper To Clear A Drain

Bath plug
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I did a service call today that involved a very common plumbing issue: slow draining tub. The owner suspected that hair in the drain could be the problem but he could not remove the tub stopper to check. Of course he was right. I removed the tub stopper and cleared out the build up and the tub now drains like new.

So why couldn’t he remove the tub stopper himself? Unfortunately, not all tub stoppers are easy to remove.

Some are made to swivel in place and must be removed with the bolt that is under the cap. Here is how to remove a tricky tub stopper:

  • Start by placing a wrench under the lip of the stopper and grasping the bolt to hold it in place.
  • Use a second wrench to unscrew the cap at the top of the stopper.
  • Once the cap is removed you can use a wrench to unscrew the bolt that holds the stopper in place.
  • Now that the stopper is removed you can clear out any hair and build up from the drain. When it is clear and the water drains well you can replace the stopper.
Note: You can avoid having to use the wrench in the future by not over tighten the stopper when you replace it. Put the stopper back on hand tight and you will be able to remove it easier next time.