How to get the drain plug out of a bathroom tub

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are trying to unclog a bathroom tub drain or replacing it with a newer model, the first task is to remove the old drain plug. The drain plug is the device that sits in the drain and prevents water from flowing out. While some drain plugs simply lift out of the drain, others are a bit more difficult to remove. Removing lever type plugs or lift-and-turn plugs requires basic tools.

Press down on the plug to raise it.

Wrap a towel around the plug to protect the finish from damage. If you are replacing the plug and don't care whether it is damaged, you can skip this step.

Place a wrench around the base of the drain plug and tighten the wrench until it is secure.

Turn the handle of the wrench counter-clockwise with firm pressure until you feel the drain plug start to move.

Remove the wrench and grasp the top of the drain plug with your hand. Turn the plug counter-clockwise until it spins freely. Some drain plugs have a metal cap that unscrews from the top before you can unscrew the main plug.

Insert a screwdriver into the top centre of the drain plug and turn it counter-clockwise to unscrew the main plug from the drain.

Locate the overflow cover, which is a round piece of metal located just underneath the faucet.

Remove the two screws that hold the cover in place, using a screwdriver. Set the screws in a safe location, out of the way.

Grasp the cover in your hand and pull it gently from the tub. As you do so, a chain attached to the cover will also come out. Continue pulling the cover out until you see a rubber stopper plug come out of the hole.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.