How to Replace a Pop up Bathtub Drain

Every bathtub eventually requires some repairs or upgrades with new fixtures, such as replacing the bathtub drain, stopper and overflow plate. For some reason, replacing a pop up bathtub drain stopper seems to intimidate many people. It is easy to replace a pop up tub stopper in a matter of minutes as long as you know what to do.

You only need a few simple tools and the right instruction to quickly and easily replace a pop up tub drain stopper. Bathtub stoppers can be simple like a push pull, a lift and turn or foot actuated type, or they may be a bit more complex like a plunger or pop up bathtub stopper which are controlled through the overflow faceplate. A pop up tub drain stopper looks very similar to a bathroom sink pop-up and moves when the lever moves.

The lever in the overflow plate is connected to a rod linking system in the overflow drain pipe that moves a rocker arm connected to the pop-up stopper. There is a spring on the end of the connecting rod that operates the stopper. A pop up bathtub drain stopper is challenging to clean because the connecting rod linkage must be removed through the overflow plate while the stopper and rocker arm must be removed through the bathtub drain opening.

This is a complex type of bathtub stopper which is more likely to collect debris and hair. Because it is complicated to clean, most people do not remove it unless it becomes so corroded that it stops working correctly. By the time you realize that your pop up bathtub stopper is no longer holding water, rather than try to take it out and figure out what’s wrong it might be easier to just replace it.

How to Remove a Pop up Bathtub Drain Stopper

The first thing you should do is to grab a rag or some towels, a bucket and a screwdriver. Remove any visible screws that you see on the overflow plate and simply lift it up and rotate either left or right. Some overflow plates are labeled to show you which way to rotate to leave the stopper in the right position. Simply lift it up and out of the tub and lay the plate with linkage system on a towel or in your bucket to keep the grimy mess off of your bathtub.

After you remove the linkage through the overflow plate you should be able to pull up on the stopper as you wiggle it out of the drain body. You may need to wiggle horizontally to remove the stopper and the rocker arm. Now you can remove the bathtub drain if you need to, or simply install a new bathtub stopper.

There are high quality bathtub stoppers available that you can install even over a drain with broken crossbars. In most cases, it is not necessary to remove your bathtub drain basket if you know where to look for the right type of replacement bathtub stopper. The SimpliQuick® Tub Fix is the easiest way to replace a pop up bathtub drain stopper, without removing your existing drain.

Replacing a Pop Up Stopper with a Push Pull Stopper

The SimpliQuick® Tub Fix is a quick and easy solution to replacing a pop up stopper with a high quality, reliable push pull stopper that installs in minutes. Even if your bathtub drain has broken crossbars, this innovative product comes with a silicone adhesive installation method. Simply place the new stopper, with a mesh grid drain cover included, over your existing drain and allow to dry.

If you would rather screw your new stopper into place in your existing drain crossbars, a 3/8-in or 5/16-in reversible composite pin is included. For more information, check out some free tub repair videos where you can see first-hand how to remove bathtub stoppers and quickly install the SimpliQuick® Tub Fix solution in three simple steps. is your one-stop for bathtub drain stopper replacement solutions with high quality Watco products, knowledgeable and helpful customer service.

This innovative push pull stopper is an excellent replacement to a pop up bathtub drain stopper and comes with a five year limited warranty. You can also replace that dingy, old overflow plate since you no longer need to operate a lever through the tub overflow drain. Choose the SimpliQuick® Trim Kit and get a matching overflow plate in the finish of your choice.

Replacing your tub overflow plate at the same time will give a brand-new look to your entire bathtub and is very easy to do it yourself. Watco’s Innovator Snap-On overflow plate installs in minutes and provides a complete, polished look to your tub. is dedicated to helping you solve your bathtub stopper repair problems. We offer quality products, instructional videos and knowledgeable customer service. Contact us with any questions and to learn more about replacing a pop up bathtub drain stopper.