How To Fix Bathtub Drain Kit Problems

In this blog post, you’ll read:The most common problems of tub waste drain kits are leakages, clogging, sticky lever and stopper, and others. Some of these issues arrive after a period of use. But most of these problems causes because of the user’s unawareness. However, you can still fix the drain kit problems even if it has gone worst.

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A bathtub drain kit is an assembly of parts that facilitate the drainage of water from a bathtub. It generally includes various components to make the system functional, secure, and sometimes even decorative. The kit typically features a drain assembly, overflow cover, gaskets, and screws. Some kits also offer specialized functionalities like a built-in stopper mechanism, which allows you to fill the bathtub for a soak or empty it after use with a simple turn or push of a lever.


  • Drain Flange: The visible part of the drain that sits at the bottom of the tub.
  • Drain Stopper: You can plug or unplug the drain to fill or empty the bathtub. These come in various types, like lift-and-turn, toe-touch, and push-and-pull.
  • Overflow Plate: Located below the faucet, it ensures that water doesn’t spill over the edges of the tub by redirecting excess water back into the drainpipe.
  • Gaskets or Washers: These create a water-tight seal to prevent leaks.
  • Pipes and Fittings: These connect the drain to your home’s plumbing system. They include elbows, traps, and couplings.
  • Screws and Connectors: These are used to fasten the various components securely.

Types of Drain Kits:

  1. Lift-and-Turn: A straightforward mechanism that requires lifting and turning the stopper.
  2. Push-and-Pull: Similar to lift-and-turn but requires pushing down or pulling up to open or close the drain.
  3. Toe-Touch: Open and close by pressing down with your toe.
  4. Trip Lever: Features a lever on the overflow plate to control the stopper.
  5. Pop-Up: Includes a mechanism that uses a lever to pop the stopper up and down.

Why Choose a Quality Bathtub Drain Kit?

  • Durability: High-quality materials like brass or stainless steel ensure longevity.
  • Ease of Installation: A complete kit means you don’t have to buy parts separately, saving time and avoiding compatibility issues.
  • Improved Functionality: Some kits offer quick drainage, easy-to-use stopper mechanisms, and even anti-clog features.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Comes in various finishes like chrome, brushed nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze to match your bathroom décor.

By investing in a high-quality bathtub drain kit, you’re not only ensuring functional efficiency but also enhancing the overall bathroom experience. It’s a seemingly small component that plays a crucial role in your bathroom’s utility and style.

Common Problems Of Tub Drain Kit

The most common problems of tub waste drain kits are leakages, clogging, sticky lever and stopper, and others. Some of these issues arrive after a period of use. But most of these problems are caused because of the user’s unawareness. However, you can still fix the drain kit problems even if it has gotten worse.

To fix the bath waste drain kit problems, you’ll need at least some basic knowledge of its functions. There is nothing to worry about, and we have your back. You can read our guide about bathtub drain functions if you are a novice. Then, you start making things right.

How To Fix Bathtub Drain Problems

As you already know, different types of tub drain kit problems arise depending on the uses. So, here are the solutions according to the particular issues:

Fix The Stubborn Stopper

The stopper becomes stubborn due to chemical build-ups or internal inconsistencies. Most of the time, a good cleanup helps a lot; otherwise, replacing is mandatory.

You have to extract the stopper from the drain kit to repair it. But sometimes, it’s quite challenging to remove it from the mechanism. In this circumstance, you can follow this stopper-removing guide to get help. After removing the stopper, submerge it into a chemical removal solution. Then, clean it properly using a bristle brush. Moreover, you can apply grease or something similar to the stopper to make it more flexible.

Above all, if the stopper mechanism is still working well, reinstall it and give it a try. If it works well, leave it; otherwise, replace it.

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Fix Drain Kit Leakage Problem

A tub waste drain kit can leak from two places: from the faceplate and below the tub (from the main drain). Here’s how you can stop these leakages:

Leakage From Faceplate

The faceplate leaks due to a damaged washer or if there is no washer. So, you have to install a rubber washer behind the faceplate or make a replacement to stop the leaks.

First, loosen the faceplate screws using a screwdriver and unlock them from the tub. Then remove the old washer (if any) and place the new washer behind it. Here, make sure that the thick part of the washer stays below. After that, attach the faceplate again using the loosened screws. Tighten the screws as much as you can to make a perfect seal.

Leakage Below The Tub

Poor installation is the only cause of this issue. Maybe the installer did not seal the main drain properly while installing. That’s why it’s leaking below the tub. You’ll need some putty or silicone gel to fix this.

Firstly, remove the stopper from the main drain. Secondly, use a drain removal tool to undo the spins of the main drain basket and remove it from the tub. Then, clean the tub drain entrance. Next, apply some plumber’s putty or silicone gel around the drain hole. After that, attach the drain basket there and make the spins tight enough. Finally, clean the putty leftover from there and reattach the stopper.

Fix Slow Draining Or Clogged Bathtub Drain

A bathtub starts draining slowly if its kit is clogged inside. The reason behind clogging can be anything like hair and dirt entries, chemical build-ups, soap leftovers, and more. There are two ways to unclog a tub waste drain: the natural solution and the manual process (plumber’s snake).

Natural Solution

In this natural way of unclogging the tub drain, you’ll need a cup of baking soda and white vinegar. Pour baking soda into the central drain opening to clear the drain. Then, pour a cup of white vinegar and leave it for five minutes. After that, run the hot water faucet for two minutes.

This process is effective when the drain has issues with the soap or chemical build-ups. In case of hair and dirt clogging, follow the manual method below.

Manual Unclogging Process (Plumber’s Snake)

The plumber’s snake is a drain-cleaning tool. It’s a wire with a bent tip. You can quickly grab it from any plumbing store. Or you can make your own by bending the tip of a stiff wire.

First, remove the stopper from the main drain to clean the drain. Then, unscrew the faceplate and pull all its components out. Make sure nothing falls inside the drain while doing it. Now insert the bent side of the snake into the main drain and push it till it hits the end. Next, twist it there 2/3 times to properly grab all the hairs and dirt. Finally, pull the snake out and clean it.

Repeat these actions until the drain is free of debris. Also, do the same thing from the overflow side for better cleaning.

[Note: The wrong position of the plunger can be a reason for slow drainage. So, check that the plunger is in the correct position (outlet of the main drain pipe). If not, adjust the rod connection to perfect it.]

Fix The Bathtub Sticky Trip Lever

trip lever bathtub overflow inside structure
Trip lever bathtub overflow inside a structure

The trip lever of a bathtub drain kit sometimes acts sticky. This is an indication that it needs cleanup. Here’s how:

Firstly, unscrew the faceplate screws using a screwdriver. Meanwhile, hold and prevent the screws from falling into the drain. After that, carefully pull and remove it along with all the elements (rod, plunger). Then, extract the features and clean them off to remove all the debris.

Next, reattach the elements with the lever and adjust the plunger for a perfect seal position. Also, apply some grease on the joints, especially on the faceplate trip lever. Lastly, reinstall the mechanism inside the overflow by inserting it and screwing up the screws.

So, these are the common bathtub drain kit problems and their solution. Hopefully, you can now quickly repair or fix any tub drain issues. If you need further help, don’t forget to contact the experts. Good Luck.

bathtub drain kit with overflow
bathtub drain kit with overflow

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