Help! My tub isn't draining.

It’s not clogged. The problem is, the little lever that turns the valve that lets the tub fill or drain isn’t working. It’s stuck on “fill”. I can always just get a plug once I get it fixed, but I need to get the valve open.

Any help is appreciated. I don’t want to have to replace the tub or continue bailing it out after every shower.

  1. Insert a small screwdriver between the plug and the drarinhole and try prying up the plug manually.
  2. Tub plugs are often held in place with a single phillips head screw located in the center of the plug. Unscrew it and take the plug out.

If this is one of the ones that has the lever that is on the overflow cover, you can pull the whole valve out by taking off the overflow cover and threading the valve up through the overflow piping. It should be held in by a series of little rods. It may be broken because the lever is broken inside, or it may be trapped full of hair.

I had the same problem about a year ago. I finally had to resort to removing the plate over the tab and pulling the entire mechanism out. Into the trash it went. It’s fairly easy to do; all you need is a screwdriver. If you still want to have a flip-tab drain, most hardware stores sell the mechanism replacement.

According to the ads I’m seeing, Tentacle Monster, there’s a UK plumbing company that wants your business.




Just goes to show how smart (not!) computers are.

Or, to look at it a different way, it’s incredible how many different parameters the human brain processes without our even realizing it.

True, but that’s an entire trip waste overflow assembly, which means taking apart things in the wall or ceiling below the tub to install. Replacement fill/drain/overflow tub plates are available is that’s what’s broken, just find one with the same spacing and position of holes for mounting. If one of the brass threaded rods or another part in the adjustable linkage is broken, a replacement can be had from a plumbing supply outlet-forget the big box stores.

Until you can get the correct part, to make the tub drain, remove the plate, and if it’s attached, gently draw out the stopper lift linkage. If the linkage is broken, you can go after it with a coat hanger-form a 1/2" hook on the end and feed it into the overflow hole. About 16" down you should find the hollow stopper and be able to hook it to lift back out of the overflow pipe. Good luck.

Thanks to all who replied. The linkage was broken about a quarter inch from the inside of the lever. Fortunately, I was able to reach in with my fingers and pull out the whole thing in one piece. Everything drains just fine now.