Home Improvement

How to Remove a Drain Stopper

A drain stopper is a normal part of the kitchen sink assembly, likewise the bathtub assembly. It’s just a small device but when it fails to function as it should, trouble arises. Closing the stopper means keeping water in the basin or tub and opening it means letting water to drain thereby emptying the vessel.

Seemingly, a drain stopper doesn’t look complicated but in reality, it comes with a fitting you don’t normally see because it’s found inside the drain plus a rod used for lifting and lowering the stopper valve.

And mind you, bathtub drain stoppers come in six types. If you have no idea how to remove the stopper you’re using at home, better ask your trusted plumber or a blocked drains Croydon expert.

Ways of Removing a Drain Stopper

Known by many names – tub/bathtub stopper, drain stopper or simply stopper, this device that plugs the drain in your tub also needs to be cleaned or replaced in order to get rid of clogs like hair strands and tiny soap bits. It gets dirty because waste water passes through it when draining. Sure, you don’t want messy bathroom floors hence, drain stoppers are important fixtures in your bathrooms.

So, how do you remove such a thing?

Well, if the style of the stopper you’re using doesn’t have a trip lever apparatus, you’d be glad to know that it’s the easiest to detach and replace. For this discussion, let’s focus on two of the most common styles of stopper.

  1. Push and Pull

To open, pull the stopper up. To close, push it down. To remove, you need a flathead screwdriver, pliers and a clean rag.


Remove the knob above the stopper. To do that, use your hand in holding the stopper in place while the other hand is turning the knob counter-clockwise to unscrew it. The clean rag is for wrapping around the knob in case unscrewing is difficult. The pliers will help remove the knob. The screwdriver is for unscrewing the brass found at the centre of the stopper as you turn the post counter-clockwise. You can now see the post threaded into the strainer’s crossbar. Raise the stopper up from the strainer.

  1. Toe Touch

Just a push of your toe will open and close the stopper. A flathead screwdriver is needed to remove the stopper.


Hold the stopper’s shaft cylinder while turning the top counter-clockwise. Do this when the stopper is in ‘open’ mode. In case the cylinder tends to turn, release your hold on it then go on unscrewing the stopper. You’ll find that the shaft cylinder is threaded into the strainer’s cross bar.

When unthreaded, pull it up and remove the entire stopper. With the top cap now unscrewed and lifted off, you can now unscrew the shaft cylinder counter-clockwise in order to disconnect the threaded post that’s screwed into the strainer’s crossbar.

Author Since: Mar 17, 2019

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