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How to Get a Bathtub Stopper Out

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An image of a hand gripping a rusted metal bathtub stopper, with water droplets clinging to it

Did you know that millions of people struggle with a stuck bathtub stopper every year? If you’re one of them, fear not! In this article, I will guide you through the process of removing different types of bathtub stoppers.

With just a few tools and some patience, you’ll be able to easily get that pesky stopper out and enjoy a relaxing bath in no time.

So let’s dive in and learn how to free your bathtub from its stubborn stopper!

Key Takeaways

  • Different types of bathtub stoppers include push-pull stoppers, lift-and-turn stoppers, toe-touch stoppers, and pop-up stoppers.
  • The right tools, such as a screwdriver, pliers, and plumber’s tape, are important for removing bathtub stoppers.
  • Common issues with bathtub stoppers include clogs, buildup, and corrosion.
  • Safety precautions should be taken when removing bathtub stoppers, such as wearing gloves and using caution with sharp tools.

Types of Bathtub Stoppers

There are two common types of bathtub stoppers that you might encounter: the push-pull stopper and the lift-and-turn stopper. Differentiating between drain stoppers is important to understand how they function and how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

The push-pull stopper is a simple mechanism that you can easily operate by pushing or pulling it to open or close the drain. On the other hand, the lift-and-turn stopper requires you to lift and then turn it to lock or unlock the drain.

Both stoppers can experience common problems, such as becoming stuck or not sealing properly. If your stopper is stuck, you may need to use pliers or a screwdriver to loosen it. If it’s not sealing properly, you can try cleaning it or replacing any worn-out parts.

Tools and Materials Needed

You’ll need a few tools and materials to remove the bathtub stopper. Here are the essentials:

  • Screwdriver: This is needed to remove any screws or fasteners holding the stopper in place.
  • Pliers: These come in handy for gripping and turning the stopper if it doesn’t have screws.
  • Allen wrench: Some stoppers are secured with an Allen screw, so having a wrench of the appropriate size is crucial.
  • Plumber’s tape: This can be used to create a watertight seal when reassembling the stopper.

When troubleshooting bathtub stoppers, it’s important to identify common problems such as clogs, leaks, or stoppers that won’t open or close properly. By having the right tools and materials on hand, you can tackle these issues with confidence and successfully remove the bathtub stopper.

Removing a Push-Pull Stopper

To remove a push-pull stopper, start by unscrewing the overflow plate using a screwdriver.

Push-pull stoppers are commonly used in bathtubs and can sometimes become stuck or difficult to remove. One common issue with push-pull stoppers is that they may get clogged with hair or debris, preventing them from operating smoothly. In such cases, it is important to clean the stopper thoroughly before attempting to remove it.

Another common issue is that the stopper may be worn out or damaged, making it challenging to remove using the traditional method. In such situations, alternative methods can be employed, such as using pliers or a stopper removal tool to grip and twist the stopper counterclockwise until it comes loose.

It is important to exercise caution and follow proper safety procedures when attempting to remove a push-pull stopper to avoid any damage to the bathtub or injury.

Removing a Toe-Touch Stopper

The toe-touch stopper is another type commonly found in bathtubs and can be removed by following a few simple steps. First, locate the small screw on the side of the stopper and use a screwdriver to loosen and remove it. Next, grasp the stopper firmly and twist it counterclockwise to unscrew it from the drain. Once the stopper is loose, gently pull it upward to remove it completely.

Common problems with toe-touch stoppers include clogs and leaks. If you encounter a clog, use a plunger to try and dislodge the blockage. If the stopper is leaking, check the rubber gasket for any signs of damage or wear. Replace the gasket if necessary.

Alternative bathtub drain options include pop-up stoppers and lift-and-turn stoppers. These options may offer different mechanisms for opening and closing the drain, but they can be just as effective in preventing water from draining out of the tub.

Removing a Lift-and-Turn Stopper

Removing a lift-and-turn stopper requires twisting it counterclockwise to unscrew it from the drain. However, there are common problems that can arise when trying to remove this type of stopper.

One issue is that the stopper may become stuck due to buildup or corrosion. In such cases, applying a lubricant like WD-40 can help loosen it.

Another problem is when the stopper won’t fully unscrew and remains partially stuck. To address this, using pliers can provide extra grip to twist and remove it completely.

Alternatively, if these methods don’t work, another option is to remove the overflow cover plate and access the stopper from there.


In conclusion, removing a bathtub stopper is like unraveling a puzzle. But with the right tools and techniques, it becomes a dance of precision.

Whether it’s a push-pull, toe-touch, or lift-and-turn stopper, each one requires a specific approach. This ensures a seamless removal.

Just like a maestro conducting a symphony, delicately maneuvering the stopper out can bring a sense of satisfaction.

So, fear not the stubborn stopper. With a little know-how, you can triumphantly bid farewell to clogged drains and say hello to a relaxing bath.