How to remove a drain plug from a bath tub

Written by nathan mcginty
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How to remove a drain plug from a bath tub
Remove the drain plug from your bathtub if needed. (down the drain image by pix29 from

There's nothing like a long, hot bathtub soak at the end of a hard day. Soaking in a tub, however, might not be so much fun if you've got a malfunctioning bath plug that refuses to hold water. A bathtub plug is supposed to keep water trapped in your tub. It sits in the mouth of the part of the tub called the overflow tube; modern tub drain plugs raise and lower by means of a switch on the front of the overflow plate. Removing a drain plug from a bathtub for repair or replacement is a simple project that even a first-time DIYer can handle.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Flat-blade screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Look for the overflow plate on your tub. It is usually located beneath the tub spout and is held in place with two flathead screws. On the plate will be a lever, used to control the drain plug, that protrudes from the front.

  2. 2

    Place a cloth or towel over the drain to help prevent losing any small parts, such as screws, inside.

  3. 3

    Remove the two screws holding the overflow plate in place.

  4. 4

    Gently lift the overflow plate from the tub. Use caution, because the plug is still attached to the switch on the overflow plate by means of a chain linkage. Once you have enough space, you can pull the plug out by the chain.

  5. 5

    Remove the plug from the chain if you plan on replacing the overflow plate. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to undo the ring holding the plug to the linkage.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're removing the drain plug for replacement, a PVC overflow plug and plate is an inexpensive option.

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