The bathtub drain stopper stuck in the closed position

You’re enjoying a long soak in the bathtub when you notice the water draining slowly. You give the drain stopper a quick yank, but it doesn’t budge. Panicked, you realize that the stopper is stuck in the closed position, and the water is quickly draining out of the tub!

Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. This article will teach you how to fix a stuck bathtub drain stopper.

The bathtub drain stopper stuck in the closed position

Different Types of Bathtub Drain Stoppers

There are a few different types of bathtub drain stoppers. You’ll want to identify your type before trying to fix it.

The most common type is the twist-and-lock drain stopper. This has a small post on the top that you twist to open or close the drain. There’s also a lever arm that you pull up or down to open or close the drain.

The other common type is the plunger-style drain stopper. This one has a rubber plunger attached to a metal arm. You push the plunger down to seal off the drain and then pull up on the arm to release the plunger.

If your bathtub drain stopper is stuck in the closed position, you’ll need to try and open it using one of these methods.

What to Do if Bathtub Stopper Is Stuck in Closed Position

If your bathtub drain stopper is stuck in the closed position and water is not draining, you will need to remove the drain stopper to fix the problem.

The first step is to find the drain stopper. It is usually a small, cylindrical object attached to a metal chain. The second step is to remove the drain stopper. This can be done by pulling on the chain or turning the stopper counterclockwise. The third step is to clean out the drain. This can be done by using a plunger or a wire hanger.

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How to Remove and Inspect the Bathtub Drain Stopper

Before you remove the bathtub drain stopper, it’s important to inspect it and figure out why it’s stuck in the closed position. There are a few common reasons why this may happen:

  • The stopper may be dirty and need to be cleaned.
  • It may be misaligned and need to be realigned.
  • The spring may be broken and need to be replaced.
  • The cord may be loose and need to be tightened.

Once you’ve identified the problem, you can remove and fix the drain stopper.

Common Causes of Bathtub Drain Stoppers Getting Stuck

The bathtub drain stopper can sometimes get stuck in the closed position due to simple wear and tear. Hard water mineral deposits on the drain stopper can build up over time, causing it to stick in place. Another possible cause is corrosion of the metal parts that hold the stopper in place.

In addition, if the rubber part of the drain stopper is worn or damaged, it could cause the mechanism to become stuck in place. 

Conversely, if too much soap or shampoo has been used in the bathtub, it could cause a sticky residue buildup on the stopper, leading to it getting stuck. Finally, dirt and debris can build up around the drain causing it to become stuck.

Fixing the Issue Without Replacing the Entire Bathtub Drain Stopper

Have you checked to see if the drain stopper is simply stuck? It could be that it is not connected to the lever correctly, or the metal has worn down over time, making it difficult to move.

Fortunately, this is not an issue that requires you to buy a brand-new bathtub drain stopper. You can use DIY solutions to fix the problem without replacing the entire stopper. For example, you might use pliers or a screwdriver to help move the lever. 

Or, if something is lodged in there, you can use an empty soda bottle and some duct tape with a few lubricants like vegetable oil or WD40 to work it out.

The other option is manually cleaning out any gunk clogging up your bathtub drain. This will take patience, but boiling water and a plunger can get the job done without breaking the bank.

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DIY Tips for Maintaining Your Bathroom Plumbing

You should regularly inspect your bathroom plumbing for long-term maintenance to ensure it works properly and catches potential problems. It’s also a good idea to periodically review the drain stopper in your bathtub or sink, as it can get stuck in the open or closed position.

If the drain stopper is stuck in the closed position, you may be able to fix it yourself by removing it from the drain and cleaning it with a mixture of warm soapy water and white vinegar. Once cleaned, reattach the stopper and make sure it is secure. You may need to replace the entire unit if it’s still stuck.

You should also ensure that all drains are clear of any blockages or buildup. If your gutters have been slow lately, pour half a cup of baking soda into each one, followed by half a cup of white vinegar. Allow this mixture to sit for about 30 minutes before flushing with hot water for maximum effect.

Conclusion

You try to push the stopper down, but it doesn’t budge. You pull on it, but it won’t move. What can you do when your bathtub drain stopper is stuck in the closed position?

You can do a few things to get the bathtub drain stopper unstuck. You can use a plunger to create suction and pull the stopper up. You can also use a coat hanger to push the stopper. If these methods don’t work, you can call a plumber to help you get the bathtub drain unstuck.

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