How to Remove a Tub Drain Stopper

If you're trying to clean your bathtub drain of clogged hair and your drain is covered by a tub drain stopper, you're probably getting frustrated. Tub drain stoppers are difficult pieces to remove and WD-40 won't help ease open any screws. Plumbers have specialized tools to remove the drain stopper, but if you want to do it yourself, there's a makeshift way [source: Vandervort]. Read the steps listed below and learn about how you can remove a tub drain stopper yourself.

All you need are slipknot pliers and a sturdy screwdriver.


Here's what to do:

  1. Choose your tools It's easy to make your own homemade tub drain remover. Go into your toolbox and pick out a pair of slipknot pliers small enough to fit inside your drain. Also take out a sturdy screwdriver that will withstand a bit of muscle power. You won't be using the screwdriver for screws -- just as a tool for leverage.
  2. Position the slipknot pliers With the handle end going first, place the pliers into the drain. There is an X-shaped arm inside the pipe. You want to get the arms of the pliers to latch onto the X. Approximately half of the pliers should be hidden by the pipe.
  3. Position the screwdriver Place the screwdriver between the handles of the pliers.
  4. Unscrew the drain Using the screwdriver as a handle and the pliers as a wrench around the X-shaped arm, unscrew the tub drain stopper. It may require some effort to ease the tight grip inside, but once you get it, the drain stopper should come out easily [source: Trethewey].

Depending on how old your bathtub and drain are, you might want to call a plumber to remove the drain stopper. If any of the parts are damaged in the process of removal, reinstalling them can be a hassle [source: Trethewey].