How To Remove A Broken Drain Stopper?

A broken drain stopper can prevent your drain your sink and cause you much trouble while handling it. It might look simple, but a broken drain stopper is one of the most troublesome and irritating problems you’ll face in your bathroom. Finding your bathroom sink stopper stuck adds to the misery of finding clogged particles inside the drain and makes it more difficult.

In such cases, removing the broken drain stopper and replacing it is the only solution you’ll be left with and a few techniques can help you throughout the entire process. With our guide, you can get your work done without the assistance of a plumber.

Criteria To Remove A Drain Stopper On Your Own

There are actual drain stopper removers in a plumber’s kit to remove the broken drain stoppers, so it is almost like an easy job for them.

But when you want to fix things at home, you cannot rely on what’s inside a plumber’s kit. You have to figure out how to remove drain stoppers without the kit. Considering the type of drain stopper your tub has, some basic methods can help you to remove and replace it. These are:

  • Keep in mind what kind of drain stopper your tub has.
  • Arrange the instruments to remove your stopper based on your drain’s structure.

Which Category Does Your Drain Stopper Fall In?

Removing a Trip-Lever Tub Drain Stopper

While there are lots of varieties of drain stoppers, they perform the same function with little or more advantages compared to one another.

Triple Lever Mechanism

A triple lever drain stopper contains an internal plunger that, when down, forces the stopper to be in an open position and when up, forces it to be in a closed position.


These stoppers do not have an internal plunger but contain a knob that regulates the opening and closing of the stopper by twisting up and down, a center set screw for installation, and a cap that is more like a cover on the top.


This stopper also has a knob that regulates the opening and closing of the stopper by pushing and pulling, a center set screw, and a cap. It is a lot easier to operate since it has no complex property of twisting.


The toe-lift has a screw that requires pushing or pulling with your toe and a spring mechanized body which might require replacing a few times in a year. It is more convenient than the others listed above.

Instruments Required:

  • Liquid wrench
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver (flathead preferred)
  • Drain Wrench
  • Knife
  • Plumber’s putty

Removing A Drain Stopper

Don’t know how to remove drain stoppers? Read through the steps below and find out.

Removing A Triple Lever Drain Stopper

A clip is located at the site which holds the cover plate to the plunger. Removing this clip eventually helps pull the plunger up slowly and spraying some liquid wrench over the drain pipe loosens up the plunger so it can get out freely.

In case it’s still stuck, use pliers to get the rod out by pulling in a straight manner and apply a forceful pull to get it out.

Removing Lift-and-turn Drain Stopper

Use a screwdriver to remove the set screw below the cap of the stopper and pull the stopper out. If it’s still stuck, apply a little more pressure to pull it out.

Removing a toe-touch drain stopper

Unscrew and lift the top cap of the stopper in a counterclockwise direction and once it’s removed pull the stopper out using pliers. In that case, a flathead screwdriver is more convenient for use.

Remove A Push-and-pull Stopper

A push and pull stopper consists of a knob on the top of the stopper. Unscrew the knob turning it counterclockwise using a flathead screwdriver and pull the knob out.

The Advantage Of Other Stoppers Over Triple Lever Stoppers

Other stoppers like lift-and-turn, push-and-pull, toe-touch stoppers are quite convenient to use as they contain knobs and caps over the stoppers. This allows them to be pulled out easily whereas in triple lever mechanisms, an additional plunger is present, and pulling out the plunger is a challenging task.

Among them, a push-and-pull stopper is more convenient than lift-and-turn models, since the latter ones move up and down and the perfect area is difficult to be located. In a push-and-pull stopper, there are no complications involved.

Points To Consider While Removing A Drain Stopper

Down below are some of the points that you should consider while removing the drain stopper.

  • A flathead screwdriver is convenient to use since they turn slotted screws and are thus more functionally active in push-and-pull and toe-touch stoppers.
  • Spray some vinegar and baking soda onto the drain hole where dirt and hair may get accumulated and block the hole. It may interfere with pulling out the drain stopper and push the stopper to get stuck in a more complex manner.
  • When installing a new drain, a plumber’s putty must be used to seal around the drains by rolling into a long slender shape to wrap comfortably and tighten the drain basket deeper using a wrench and finally screw it to the drain hole by inserting the plunger. In this case, a flathead screwdriver will work best.
  • Excess putty may tend to stick to the drain basket and cause it to clog the hole again, so it should be wiped off as soon as possible. A knife can be used to scrape this off rapidly.
  • Take care so that the drain has been sealed properly and make sure there are no leaks. To check the leakage, a cellophane tape can be used to test by placing it on the wall of the bathtub. If the tape is above the water, it will indicate draining of water.
  • While working with a triple lever drain stopper, the plunger should be appropriately pulled out. If the plunger gets stuck, it will create more difficulty in pulling it out.
  • Sanitize the drain hole properly once a month to avoid bacteria and mold accumulation.
  • Use a drain snake or bend the hooked wire to unclog the drains so that the stopper does not get stuck inside.
  • Use push-and-pull stoppers for your convenience as they have no complex mechanism like the triple lever and do not have any difficulty regarding plungers.


Drain stoppers can be a troublesome job to be removed and replaced since they require continuous monitoring throughout the day. But if you can figure everything out, then your work will be far more comfortable than expected.

It will save you the trouble of calling plumbers for such jobs and let you do it all by yourself. If taken proper care of, you can protect your drains from getting clogged and remove or replace the stoppers regularly. It will not only help you save some expense but help you learn how to keep your tub all tidy and managed.

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