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How to Repair Tub Drains

October 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Plumbing Service, Tips


It is important to determine the kind of drain before tackling any drain repair project. Without professional help, it is possible to repair tub drain within three hours with the help of household tools that are available quite easily. There are various types of drains for the bathtub where some consist of trip levers whereas others do not have trip levers.

Drains Consisting of Trip Levers

  • Pop-Up Drains
  • Plunger Drains

Drains that do not have Trip Levers

  • Roller Ball Drains
  • Foot Lock Drains
  • Lift and Turn Drains

How to Fix Roller Ball and Foot Lock Tub Drains

These types of plumbing systems are easy to fix and does not require much of an effort. The plug need to be removed from the drains and rotated in an anti-clockwise manner until it is free. The plugs can be cleaned with vinegar or mild cleaning solution.

How to Fix Pop-Up Tub Drains

The trip lever should be set in an open position and the assembly should be wiggled to separate it from the drain. After that, the cover plate screws need to be taken out and the linkage and trip lever should be removed from overflow drain. In case, the tub is leaking then the rocker arm, linkage and stopper should be cleaned with vinegar or mild cleaning solution and brush. The tub drain can also be flushed with one cup baking soda and one cup vinegar and rinsed with boiling water. Moving part of the stopper and rocker arm should be lubricated and put back to the drain till the time the stopper is placed in closed position. The linkage threads should also be lubricated and installed back to the drain.

How to Fix Lift & Turn Tub Drains

The drain plug should be removed and the setscrew needs to be located under the plug lip. The setscrew should be loosened and the plug should be removed. The plumbing system consisting of the overflow drain and tub drain can be cleaned of residue with one cup baking soda and one cup vinegar. After that, it can be rinsed with boiling water before reinstalling drain plug and the overflow face plate.

How to Fix Plunger Tub Drains

The coverplate screws should be taken out and pulled away from tub wall. With the coverplate, the plunger and linkage also comes out. The linkage along with the plunger can be cleaned with a brush and vinegar or mild cleaning agent. The overflow drain and tub drain can be flushed with one cup baking soda and one cup vinegar and rinsed with boiling water. The linkage and plunger needs to be lubricated for proper operation and installed back to their positions. In order to increase flow rate of the drain, the locknut should be loosened and the lift rod should be rotated in a clockwise direction and the locknut should be tightened. Overcompensating can be avoided by screwing the lift rod out or in 3 or 4 turns at one go.

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