How to Remove and Replace a Bathtub Drain and Stopper

Bathtubs feature a drain assembly used to hold water. A trip lever mounted against one wall of the tub features a cylindrical stopper connected to the back of the trip lever with a linkage. When the trip lever is activated, the stopper plugs the overflow drain to seal off the flow of water. If water drains out of the bathtub when the trip lever is activated, chances are good that the stopper requires replacement.

Stoppers can easily become cloggged with hair and debris.
  1. Remove the two screws that secure the drain assembly's coverplate to the wall of the bathtub with a screwdriver.

  2. Pull the drain assembly out of the wall of the bathtub to expose the stopper at the bottom of the assembly's linkage.

  3. Compress the two ends of the cotter pin that secures the stopper to the bottom of the assembly with pliers, and pull the pin out of the assembly to release the stopper.

  4. Coat the O-rings that wrap around the replacement stopper with heatproof grease.

  5. Position the stopper against the drain assembly's linkage and slide the cotter pin through the stopper and linkage.

  6. Separate the two ends of the cotter pin with pliers to secure the stopper to the linkage.

  7. Lower the stopper into the wall of the bathtub, along with the drain assembly.

  8. Position the drain assembly against the wall of the bathtub and tighten the coverplate's two screws into the assembly with a screwdriver.

About the Author

John Stevens has been a writer for various websites since 2008. He holds an Associate of Science in administration of justice from Riverside Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School. Stevens is a lawyer and licensed real-estate broker.