How to Remove the Different Types of Drain Stoppers?

In this blog post, you’ll read:Drain stoppers are used in bathrooms and sinks to plug the drain. It keeps the flow of water, soap, and other substances. These new tools replace conventional plugs prone to tearing and distortion. These are even lost if not affixed to the sink or tub. Thus, drain stoppers have shown some improvement in recent years. They continue to have certain drawbacks that need consumer monitoring and solutions. This post will describe how to remove the different types of drain stoppers.

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Drain stoppers are used in bathrooms and sinks to plug the drain. It keeps the flow of water, soap, and other substances. These new tools replace conventional plugs prone to tearing and distortion. These are even lost if not affixed to the sink or tub. Thus, drain stoppers have shown some improvement in recent years. They continue to have certain drawbacks that need consumer monitoring and solutions. This post will describe how to remove the different types of drain stoppers.

Are Drain Stoppers Removable? 

Yes, you can remove drain stoppers. Depending on the type of stopper, you need to use different methods. For example, an adjustable wrench or channel lock pliers are used to turn off a drain plug. The compression ring was quickly taken off by pulling it out.

How to Identify Which Drain Stopper You Have?

Most tubs don’t have a trip lever. Instead, they have a Flip-It, Push Pull, Toe Touch, or Lift-and-Turn style stopper. There is no trip lever on these stoppers. So, they are usually easy to remove or replace because the trip lever doesn’t need to be removed. Read the following details to help you find out what kind of drain stopper you have.

Basin waste drains
Basin waste drains
  • Flip-It: 

When you flip this stopper from side to side, it will either open or close.

  • Push-Pull:

It has a knob in the middle that you must push down to close and pull up to open.

  • Lift & Turn: 

It looks a lot like the Push-Pull style. However, you must lift and turn the stopper in different directions to open and close it.

  • Toe Touch:

 You can push the stopper open or closed with your toe.

  • Pop-Up: 

The overflow of this style can have either a trip lever or a turn style. It moves an internal push rod against a rocker arm connected to the stopper to raise or lower it. Pop-ups have a stopper in the tub drain that can be seen and can’t be hidden by a filter.

  • Trip Lever:

This style can also be operated with a trip handle or a turn-style tool. A stopper inside the pipe stops the flow of water. Activating the overflow plate by pulling a handle or rotating the plate moves the plunger up or down. Most Trip Lever and Turn-style assemblies don’t have a stopper that can be seen in the tub drain. They only have some strainer to conceal the drains.

How to Remove the Different Kinds of Drain Stoppers?

required tools to remove drain stopper
Required tools to remove the drain stopper

                                   Figure 2 Required tools to remove drain stopper

Lift-and-turn, trip-lever, toe-touch, flip-it, push-and-pull, and pop-up are the drain stoppers types. Even though many models can be removed similarly, however, it’s best to learn how to remove the drain stoppers. Through this, you don’t damage the drain stopper or the plumbing around it.

How to Remove a Flip-It Drain Stopper?

Flip-it drain stoppers are a kind of stopper that employs a flip lever to expand or compress a gasket that lies within the drain. The gasket contracts when the switch lever opens, allowing water to flow into the drain. However, it expands when the lever is closed, ensuring the drain is filled and a seal is formed in the tub or sink. These drain stoppers are held at the device’s base by an O-ring, making them simple to remove.

Step#1: Open and Remove the Drain Stopper 

No instruments are required to install this simple drain stopper. To remove the drain, turn the lever and grasp the flip-it drain stopper lever firmly. Twist and pull the whole assembly upward and away from the drain.

Step#2: Inspect, Clean, or Replace

Remove any debris accumulated in the drain or on the stopper, including hair, detergent residue, toothpaste, and grime. Check the stopper for signs of excessive wear and damage. Inspect the gasket and O-ring for signs of tearing, irregular shape, or cracking. Additionally, check the drain stopper for corrosion, pieces, or breakages. If the flip-it drain stopper is in excellent condition, replace it. Moreover, if it is in good condition, reinstall it after cleaning the drain and stopper with a bathroom cleaning solution.

How to Remove/Eliminate a Lift and Turn Drain Stopper?

The cap of a lift-and-turn drain stopper has a small knob that you can use to open and close the stopper. You can close it by turning the knob down, and to open it, lift it and turn the knob in the other direction.

Tools needed: Set of Allen wrenches, Flat-head screwdriver


Hold the body of the stopper and slowly to the stopper knob until you can see a set screw on the knob. This will get the stopper in the “open” position, which means you can empty your tub. If the knob of your stopper doesn’t have a set screw that you can see, turn it clockwise until it comes off the strainer. Then go to Step 6.


The type of lift and turn stopper you have may be one of two types if the stopper knob doesn’t have a set screw that can be seen and doesn’t unscrew. On the post shaft, there will be a set screw under the handle. Lift the stopper while it is still in the “open” position. It needs to be turned until you see a small screw. This is the “set” screw; you can now move on to Step 3.

If you don’t see a set screw, your stopper may have a hole made right around it. The channel turns around a pin on the strainer to make the lift and turn movement occur. Lift the stopper and slowly turn it counterclockwise until the slot at the bottom of the channel lines up with the pin on the filter. This will let you pull the stopper up.


To remove the set screw, you’ll need either a tool or an Allen wrench. The screw doesn’t have to be completely removed; loosen it enough to remove the stopper.


Take the stopper off the post. The set screw on your stopper might not be able to come off the post. Loosen the set screw a bit more. Take out the set screw. If it doesn’t slide off the post, calcium water may have built up between the stopper and the post. The stopper should come off the post, so you might want to use a liquid wrench-type or put more pressure on it.


Take the cap off the post and then unscrew the post from the strainer.


Get rid of the stopper. If your stopper doesn’t have a set screw and won’t come off but keeps “spinning” instead of unscrewing, the post threads may be stripped. To try to unscrew the stopper from the strainer, you would have to apply upward pressure while doing so. If this doesn’t work, take the bath waste flange off the drain pipe.


It would be best if you used push-pull stoppers instead of lift-and-turn stoppers because they are easier to use. To open the stopper, all you have to do is pull it up. But with lift and turn stoppers, finding the right spot where the stopper will remain or go back down can be tricky.

How to Reattach the Lift and Turn the Drain Stopper?

It is critical to consider the technique employed to remove the drain stopper, as it is required to reinstall it. A flashlight, a screwdriver or drill, knobs, screws, and a wrench are needed. All lift-and-turn designs start with the stopper being reinserted into the pipe drain.

Step#1: Removable knob 

Grab any loose screws and insert them within the center of the knob. If the fastener is centered within the knob, omit this step. Pull the stopper-tightening screwdriver and rotate it in a clockwise direction. The handle should then be tightened by turning it clockwise.

Step#2: Screw-in base: 

Point your flashlight towards the downspout. Tighten the stopper’s fastener to the long, slender base utilizing a screwdriver.

Step#3: Twist style: 

To secure the stopper, grasp the wrench and rotate the base clockwise.

How to Remove the Push and Pull Drain Stopper?

A push-and-pull stopper looks like a lift-and-turn stopper, but you push it down to open or close it instead of twisting it. The stopper body is connected to the sink with a set screw that can be found under the stopper cap. The installation process is also the same. It’s easier to understand than the lift and turn, but removing it will remind you how to remove the lift and turn knob.

Step#1: Take the knob off the stopper base while the stopper is open.

knob removal
knob removal

                                                               Figure 3 Knob removal

Step#2: Press the block to see the center post.

stopper removal
stopper removal

                                                            Figure 4 Stopper removal

Step#3: Loosen the slotted screw inside the center post by turning it counterclockwise with pliers or a flat-head screwdriver in the middle.

Step#3: Take the plug off the drain.

3.3.1. How to Reattach It?

Step#1: Put the stopper back down the drain. To make the stopper base tighter, turn it clockwise.

Step#2:  Put the screw in the base in the middle. Don’t do this step if the screw is already in the base.

Step#3: Take a screwdriver and turn the screw clockwise to make it tighter.

Step#4: Grab the knob and put it on the central base. Then, turn the knob clockwise until it fits tightly.

How to Remove a Toe-Touch Drain Stopper?

A toe-touch drain stopper comprises an internal drain assembly and a toe-touch mechanism. It applies pressure to the drain stopper. A single press will seal the drain, while a push will unclog it. These circular drain stoppers feature a flat, engraved, or smooth surface bearing the word “push.”

Step#1: Open The Drain Stopper 

toe touch drain stopper
toe touch drain stopper

                                                     Figure 5 Toe touch drain stopper

To activate the toe-touch drain stopper, depress it if it is not in the open position. Attempting to remove the drain stopper while it is closed is unsuccessful, and doing so could result in significant damage to the drain lid.

Step#2: Twist the Drain Stopper Lid

twist the lid
Twist the lid

                                                                Figure 6 Twist the lid.

While the drain lid is open, firmly grasp it and rotate it counterclockwise to the right. Apply a slight vertical force to unscrew the cap to access the fastening screw.

Step#3: Unscrew the Fastening Screw

unscrew the fastening screw
Unscrew the fastening screw

                                                    Figure 7 Unscrew the Fastening Screw

Remove the drain stopper by unscrewing the securing screw from the drain crossbar using a screwdriver or a pair of pliers.

Step#3: Replace, Inspect, or Clean

Inspecting the drain stopper for damage, such as a fractured lid, corroded fastening bolt, or deformed plug, is now possible. If the drain stopper is in excellent condition, it should be replaced. Otherwise, use a lavatory cleaning solution to remove hair, filth, grime, and other particles from the drain and the stopper. Remove hair, detergent residue, and other debris that can cause a clog from the drain, and start reinstalling the drain stopper. 

How to Reattach It?

Step#3: The toe touch stopper should be inserted into the drain. Turn the stopper in a clockwise direction.

Step#3: Insert a screwdriver into the opening in the object’s center. There should already be a fastener inside. Screw it into the opening if it is not already there.

Step#3: To secure the fastener, rotate it clockwise.

Step#3:  Insert the cover and rotate it clockwise.

How to Remove Pop-up Drain Stopper

The opening for the drainage portion of a pop-up stopper resembles that of a pop-up bathroom sink stopper. It operates at the same level as the trip-lever stopper on the overflow plate. The connecting rod linkage in the overflow drain pipe rotates a rocker arm connected to the pop-up stopper in response to the lever’s motion. A spring at the bottom end of the connecting rod exerts pressure on the rocker’s arm to engage the stopper. The pop-up drain blockage can be eliminated in a variety of ways. You must try all of them, including the lift and turn, to determine which works best with your stopper.

Note: Before attempting any technique, ensure the pop-up stopper is in the open/lift position.

Step#1: Squeeze each side of the drain stopper to grasp it. Raise the drain stopper until it is detached. While pulling, move it back and forth if it does not come out.

Step#3: To unscrew the lid by twisting it clockwise 

Then, disassemble the base underneath utilizing a screwdriver. After that, raise the entire object to remove the obstruction.

Step#3: Pull the lever to close the drain and press it down to open it. To remove the stopper, detach the pivot rod arm attached to the sink drain pipe while under the sink. A plier or wrench is required to assist in twisting the limb off. Remove the stem, including the round connector affixed to it. After that, go to the sink and unscrew the stopper.

How To Reattach It?

Step#3: Insert the drain stopper into the sink.

Step#3: Screw the pivot rod arm connected to the sink drain into the opening beneath the sink. Ensure that every component (such as the round plug) remains in its original state; otherwise, it could face problems with operation.

Step#3: Tighten the screw to the sink drain using pliers or a screwdriver. 

Bath drain stopper
Bath drain stopper

How to Remove Trip Lever Drain Stopper?

One type of stopper has a lever on the overflow plate at the front of the tub. This is the trip-lever stopper. This type doesn’t have a pop-up cap that can be seen in the drain opening. Instead, it has a filter. Even though it’s not too expensive, it can be hard to set up and keep up.

It would be best to separate the lever above the bathtub from the hole below it to remove it. This works a lot like lever pop-up stoppers in bathroom sinks.

Step#1: Focus on the round handle with two holes on each side and a switch in the center. There are screws in both of the holes. Use a flat-head screwdriver to take one off.

Step#2: Take out the other screw while holding on to the cover of the lever and any loose parts that might be there.

Step#3: Take the top off of the hole below it. Hold everything in place while slowly moving and pulling up on the lever, arm connection, and cylinder base.   

How to Reattach It?

  • Put the cylinder down into the hole for the overflow.
  • Lower the arm linkage
  • Place the lid of the trip switch on top of the overflow hole.
  • Line up the handle with the holes in the screwdriver.
  • Put one screw in each hole.
  • Use a screwdriver to make the screws tighter.

How to Clean the Drain Stopper?

The next step is to learn how to clean a dirty drain stopper. You already know how to take them off in the sink and bathroom. Fortunately, most drain stoppers can be cleaned in the same way. 

Keep nuts and other small, loose materials out of danger’s way. You can clean the stopper with things you already have at home. At least one of these should be used:

  • Pick up the trash by hand.
  • Rinse the dirt off with water from the faucet.
  • Scrub the drain stopper using a toothbrush, baking soda, or dish soap liquid. Then, use water to rinse off the gunk.
  • Place the drain stopper in a bowl with a cup of white vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, and vinegar. Let it soak for 30 minutes. Then, use a toothbrush to clean what’s inside. Clean off the gunk with water.

After that, use a piece of cloth or paper towel to dry the stopper. Clean the clogged lines with a new cup of vinegar and baking soda while the drain pipe opens. If you run out, use a cup of salt instead of vinegar. If you see junk, you should use tools to eliminate it. You can also use a drain snake, a coat hanger, or a plunger.

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