How to Install a New Bathtub Water Stopper

If you’re tired of dealing with a bathtub water stopper that just doesn’t hold water, it’s a good time to replace it with a new tub stopper. If your tub stopper is old, corroded or just dingy looking it’s easy to replace with a brand new stopper that will upgrade the look of your whole tub. Older style bathtubs may even have something like a rubber stopper on a chain, upgrading to a built-in tub stopper provides more convenience and will modernize the look of your tub.

The first step in replacing or installing a new tub water stopper is to identify the type of stopper you currently have. This is important to know the best way to remove it, which is quite simple when you have the right information.

The Most Common Types of Bathtub Water Stoppers

You should be able to easily identify your type of bathtub stopper just by looking at it. If you don’t see a tub stopper in the drain but you see a lever protruding from the overflow plate, you have a trip-lever type of tub stopper. You may see a lever and have a pop-up stopper that moves when you move the lever. We’ll cover the best way to remove all types of tub stoppers and the easiest tub stopper to install for a replacement.

The most common tub water stoppers are:

Foot Actuated (Toe-Touch)

The toe touch tub stopper is spring-loaded and opens or closes by touching with your toe. This is convenient for many although the spring may get worn out and need to be replaced with frequent use and age.

Push Pull

The push pull tub stopper opens and closes simply by pulling up on a knob or pushing it down. This type of tub stopper is easy to operate, easy to remove and has a long lasting product life span.

Lift and Turn

The lift and turn style of tub stopper is also easy to operate by turning the knob clockwise and pulling up to open the drain or turning counter-clockwise to close it. The lift and turn tub stopper is similar in appearance to the push pull stopper, with a knob on top, although they operate differently.

Trip Lever Tub Stopper

If your stopper is activated by the trip lever in the overflow plate, you have either a plunger style or pop-up style of tub stopper. The plunger style is evident by the missing stopper in the drain, all you will see is a drain cover but no stopper. This is because the stopper moves up and down by the lever, in the overflow pipe and stops the water up right at the base of the overflow drain.

The pop-up style will have a stopper in the drain that moves up or down with the lever. The lever is attached to a linking arm system that connects to the stopper. The trip lever type of stopper can be trickier to maintain but is not too difficult for a DIY job. If you’re having trouble with your trip lever bathtub water stopper you may consider replacing it with a push pull type of tub stopper.

Once you know which type of tub stopper you have, you can prepare to remove it and replace it. Removing your tub stopper is easy with some simple directions. shows you with video instruction the easiest way to remove the most common types of bathtub stoppers.

How to Remove Your Bathtub Water Stopper

After identifying the type of water stopper you have, it’s easy to remove it in most cases with just a screwdriver. Most tub stoppers will come out with one of two simple removal options:

1) Tub Stopper Removal:

  • Put the stopper in the closed position
  • Hold the stopper base and turn the knob counter clockwise

You should be able to pull the stopper out of the drain. If it’s too difficult to turn you may need to use a pair of pliers to turn the knob while holding the base.

2) Removal if Stopper Does not Come right out of the drain:

  • Look for a set screw under the stopper top
  • Loosen but do not remove this screw
  • You should now be able to pull out the stopper
  • Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the stem

3) If you have a trip lever tub water stopper, you’ll need to remove the overflow plate by removing the screws holding the plate in place. You’ll then start to pull the linkage out through the opening. A pop-up stopper will require pulling the linkage through the opening and removing the stopper from the drain opening.

Once you’ve removed your tub stopper, it’s time to install a new bathtub water stopper. We suggest a modern, push pull version which is easy to install and will last a long time.

Install New Bathtub Stopper

The SimpliQuick® Tub Fix push pull stopper by Watco is one of the easiest tub stoppers to install and provides many benefits along with a 5-year limited warranty. With a name like Watco, you know it’s high quality and built to last. shows you the best way to install this new stopper and options even if you have broken or missing crossbars. With the SimpliQuick® Tub Fix Solution, you don’t have to worry about removing your tub drain, or strainer body as it’s also called. This push pull stopper installs right over your existing drain with either a reversible post or an installation method just for drains with broken crossbars. offers the easiest and quickest tub stopper solution and a matching overflow plate to upgrade your whole tub in minutes. We are dedicated to your total satisfaction with online video instruction and exceptional customer support. Contact us with any questions and to learn the best way to replace your bathtub water stopper.