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Removing or replacing your bath? Simply need access to implement a repair or replace a corroded component? Just pulling out some gunk or getting something like a hand-auger down there? There are plenty of reasons why you might be looking into how to remove a bath drain – and we have the solution!

But first, a caution: according to local Queensland jurisdictions as well as the Australian Plumbing Code, you may need a licensed plumber for your bathtub drain removal. But if you’re only getting the drain flange out – otherwise referred to as the stopper, body or basket – it should be no sweat to get it out without interfering with any of the plumbing proper.

Removing tub drain stopper – 6 ways

The good news is that all you should need are screwdrivers and pliers – because if you need anything else, that’s a great sign that it’s time to stop mucking about and just call your trusted Gold Coast plumber. But there’s also some bad news about learning how to remove the bathtub drain – there are at least 6 different types of bath drain stoppers, and each needs to be removed in different ways.

It’s not all bad, though – because we’ve got all the answers!

1. Lift and turn

If you can see a small threaded knob, you’re probably dealing with a lift-and-turn bathtub stopper. And as the name implies, it’s pretty simple to use. To get it out, turn the knob in the usual anti-clockwise direction whilst pulling up, and then keep turning until it completely unscrews. You then need to unscrew the revealed bolt to get the entire component out.

2. Push and pull

This one is pretty self-explanatory too! ‘Push and pull’ stoppers even look a lot like ‘lift and turn’ – the upper knob is usually just a bit bigger. How to get a tub drain out if it’s a push and pull stopper, however, is even easier – just pull the knob so the drain is open, and then unscrew it. You’ll now see the main bolt, which is also screwed out. The stopper should now just lift out.

3. Toe-touch

Does your drain stopper say ‘push’ on it? Even if it doesn’t feature that word, these drain stoppers are designed to be easily pushed with your toe. To remove it, push the stopper to put the drain in the open position, and then start twisting it in an anti-clockwise direction. That’s how to get to the fastening screw.

4. Flip-it

If your stopper operates with a lever, that could be a flip-it stopper. All that keeps it in is a simple O-ring, so it’s just a matter of grabbing the lever, twisting and then pulling the whole assembly out.

5. Trip-lever

Another lever-operated drain stopper, however, is the trip-lever design – and it’s harder to get out than a flip-it stopper because it’s more complex. If you want to give it a try, loosen the screws – which hold the grate to the bath. That will reveal the assembly, which can usually be lifted out – but make sure the complex parts are not dislodged as you’re doing it or it can be a nightmare to replace.

6. Pop-up

This is another complex drain stopper design, this time involving a spring for the open-close mechanism. To get it out, flip the assembly to the ‘open’ position and then try to pull it up and out with your pliers. Just don’t rush or pull too hard or the delicate assembly will fall apart.

Bathtub drain removal – The professional way

Is that drain stopper out? Bravo! If not, or you need to go beyond the stopper itself to work on the bathroom drain plumbing itself, you’re going to need a great local bathroom plumber for that – and the friendly team at Gold Coast Plumbing Experts would love to help. From a simple leak to a full bathroom renovation, all of our bathroom plumbing services include same-day service, fully-guaranteed workmanship and upfront pricing. So get in touch with Gold Coast Plumbing Experts today!