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The Bathtub Drain Won’t Unscrew: Remove a Lift,Tools to Use

Bathtub Drain screw

Having to struggle with a bathtub drain that won’t unscrew can be stressful and time-consuming. It hinders your efforts to keep your bathtub clean. This is because you cannot unscrew the bathtub to clean it.

Therefore, over time, dirt will accumulate, messing up the draining system and deteriorating the bathtub’s hygiene. For that reason, keeping your bathtub clean is a responsibility you cannot disregard.

You can earn to clean your bathtub by yourself. It saves you money and time. You do not have to hire a professional to do the cleaning for you. However, there are possibilities of mistakes and challenges you might face.

One of them is having a bathtub drain that cannot unscrew. It makes it hard to clean those hidden areas around the bathtub drain.

Reasons Why Bathtub Drain Won’t Unscrew

A significant number of bathtub drains have a stopper to hold water. When the stopper closes, it allows your bathtub to prevent water from draining out. However, some issues might jeopardize such functionality.

Unscrewing Bathtub Drain

For instance, if the drain stopper does not close, then your bathtub will not hold any water. The water will flow out through the bathtub drain.

If the brain stopper can no longer close, you have to find a way of fixing that issue.

You will need to disassemble the bathtub drain system to solve the problem.

Unfortunately, you might find it hard to unscrew your bathtub drain.

This occurs due to various reasons. First, you get to notice that your bathtub drains slowly. That becomes an indication of build-up dirt and hair, thus slowing down the seamlessly flowing out of water.

Normally blockages in your bathtub drain are a result of poor hygiene. You need to frequently subject your bathtub to thorough cleaning to prevent clogging around the draining system.

Such blockages are one of the reasons you will find it hard to unscrew your bathtub drain. The dirt clogs around the screw, making it tighter and thus posing a challenge when attempting to unscrew it.

How to Unscrew your Bathtub Drain?

To unclog your bathtub drain, you will need to disassemble it. In this connection, you have to unscrew your bathtub drain to reach those areas that might be harboring dirt.

Bathtub Drain screw

However, do not expect this task to be a walk in the park. You might find it hard to unscrew your bathtub drain despite your frantic efforts.

In such an instance, calling in a plumber will be your best bet.

But who said you could not unscrew your bathtub and unclog it by yourself? It is very cost-effective.

However, you need to follow tips to unscrew your bathtub drain without any issues.

First, you have to remove that overflow cover from your bathtub. The next step is to use a screwdriver to unscrew those screws holding the bathtub drain. 

Once you remove your bathtub drain, you can now focus on cleaning it. Ensure you check around it to remove any dirt likely to cause further clogging or blockage.

In case the bathtub drain is very old you should replace it with a new one. It goes a long way to improving the drainage in your bathtub and enhancing its hygiene.

Reasons for a Bathtub Stopper Sticking in Closed Position

One of the types of bathtub stopper that tends to stick in a closed position is the pop-up drain stopper. A pop-up bathtub drain stopper requires you to push it in order to close it. To open it, you also need to push it again.

Unfortunately, in your attempt to open the stopper, it might remain in a closed position. That means you have to figure out have to solve that instance.

Before you fix the bathtub stopper, you need to know why it is not opening. While using your bathtub, you will want it to hold water. In that connection, push the pop-up stopper to close the bathtub drain.

Then you will also need to push the stopper once again to allow the bathtub to drain water. The bathtub drain stopper only remains closed if the connecting rod which attaches to the trip-lever becomes short due to continuous use.

How to Remove a Bathtub Stopper Stuck in Closed Position?

Dealing with a stopper that does not open can be very frustrating. This means your bathtub cannot drain water. In that regard, you have to resort to other ways of ensuring you get rid of the water in your bathtub. But worry not; you will not even require a plumber to come by to solve this issue. You can do it yourself.

Sticking Bathtub Stopper

When it comes to removing a bathtub drain stopper that does not open, there are steps to follow religiously.

The steps are like your manual to ensure you have an easy process of opening the bathtub stopper.

Therefore, cleaning your bathtub drain will not be a problem.

Most importantly, you will not have to worry about your water not draining out.

Below are the guidelines to follow when dealing with a pop-up bathtub drain stopper:

1. Get Rid of the Cover

Unmount the screws that hold the cover plate using a screwdriver. Doing so allows you to extract the spring and connecting rod.

2. Cleaning of the Spring

One of the reasons your bathtub cannot drain out water is clogging. The clogging comes from debris and dirt that accumulates around the bathtub drain. The dirt even finds its way to the spring that holds your bathtub drain stopper. Therefore, you have to clean the spring to remove any build-up hair, debris, and dirt.

In case your tub gets rust or yellow stains, you can clean it with ease.

3. Adjusting the Connecting Rod

Your bathtub drain stopper remains in a closed position because the connecting rid is short. Hence, it is up to you to lengthen it. That is why you have to adjust it to a length that increases its downward force. That ensures once you push the stopper, it opens up, thus allowing easy flow of water from your bathtub.

4. Time to Reassemble your Drain Stopper

If your drain stopper is faulty, you will need to replace it with a new one. However, if it is still functional, you can just solve its issue and use it once more. So, after cleaning the spring and lengthening the connecting rod, it is time to reassemble the stopper. Insert the stopper back to the bathtub drain, and cover it. You can now operate it to determine if it is functioning properly; it can open and close easily.

Tools to Use to Do All That

If you choose to undertake the task of fixing your bathtub stopper that cannot open anymore, there are tools you have to use. These tools are important since they will make your work easier. If you will be replacing your old bathtub drain stopper, ensure you buy a new one in advance. It prevents any unnecessary delays that might occur.

The tools you will need to remove a pop-up bathtub stopper that remains closed include the following:

  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Small Scrub brush
  • New bathtub drain stopper (if necessary)


The cleanliness of your bathtub drain is something you need to take seriously. Remember, there is a threat of blockages and clogging that might interfere with the drainage system. The clogging emanates from the continuous accumulation of dirt around your bathtub drain.

Besides, you also need to be on the lookout for the functionality of your bathtub drain stopper. If it does not allow you to hold water and drain it out seamlessly, then fixing it as soon as possible is crucial.