Cleaning A Tub Stopper – On the House

Cleaning A Tub Stopper

By on April 16, 2014
bathtub drain

Question

The stopper for my tub keeps getting plugged and it slows the drain. It’s one of those that has the little screw on knob on the top that you grab and pull up and turn to make it stay. I can’t figure out how it comes off or out. I’ve just been able to reach through the sides with a hanger and pull out the hair that is plugging it. We have lots of girls with long hair.

Donovan

Answer

Just as there are many styles of faucets, there are several styles of tub stoppers. Unfortunately, you have the style that doesn’t prevent hair from clogging the drain. Although the style of stopper that you have can be removed from time to time for cleaning, we suggest that you consider replacing your current stopper with a “plunge” style stopper that will stop the drain in the waste and overflow piping and not at the tub level. A lever at the overflow plate operates the stopper. This style of stopper allows you to have a perforated grate at the tub drain that will collect hair after each use. When it comes to replacing the stopper, the best tool is your telephone. Use it to call in a qualified plumber.If you’re set on regularly cleaning your existing stopper, you can do it, but the task can be daunting. The “finger knob” at the top of the stopper can be unscrewed from the stopper base. This will expose a screw head that holds the stopper to the shaft that is anchored to the drain. Removing the finger knob can be tough — you may need to a pair of pliers to loosen it. Protect the finish by placing a cloth between the pliers and the stopper. With the stopper out of the way, you will have direct access to the drain.

While we don’t promote the frequent use of chemical drain cleaners, this may be your best alternative.

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