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Is something wrong with your bathtub drain? If you pull that plug or open that stopper, and you’re having trouble getting the water to drain as per usual, it may be necessary to learn how to remove the bathtub drain to get started on clearing the gunk that has backed it up. The good news is that Queensland’s strict plumbing regulations mean that doing something as simple as removing the stopper from your own tub is something that you can do for yourself rather than needing to call a licensed plumber.

But the bad news is that it can be quite tricky – mainly because there are quite a few different basic drain stopper types! These include:

  • Toe-touch
  • Pop-up
  • Push-pull
  • Lift & turn
  • Flip-it
  • Trip lever.

How to unscrew tub drain stopper of any type

Yep: that’s a lot of different drain stoppers – and therefore a lot of different precise instructions when all you want to know is how to take out a bathtub drain – stat! Sure, you could try to figure out precisely what stopper type you have and then look up the precise instructions, or you could learn how to take out a bathtub drain by using our more generic advice:

1. Open the drain

This is bathtub drain removal – the easy way! But no matter what type your tub has, that bathtub drain won’t unscrew at all, no matter what you do, if it’s in the closed position. So, however it’s done, open it up just like you’re letting the bath water out.

2. Does it simply turn out?

This may be a how to get a tub drain out guide, but it’s actually possible that you won’t need to do any actual unscrewing here – at all! If you turn the stopper by hand anti-clockwise, does it simply lift out? If so, you’re done.

3. Does it have a top cap?

If your drain has a top cap or removable knob, it will need to go first before you remove the drain from the tub. It probably just unscrews out from a base cylinder that is threaded directly into the familiar drain cross-bar.

4. Unscrew anti-clockwise

How to remove drain from bathtub? Here’s the keyword you’re looking for: anti-clockwise. Don’t ever forget, that unscrewing is usually done in the anti-clockwise direction – and don’t stop unscrewing until the entire unit comes out.

5. Got a screwdriver?

If you can’t do that unscrewing by hand, a flathead screwdriver is the tool you’ll need. It’s also possible that you won’t need a screwdriver at all, so if you’re going to try to do it by hand, consider using a rag.

6. Beyond the top cap

If you’ve got the upper part of the stopper off, it’s time to move on to the next part of your drain stopper. This may require a screwdriver, or it could just lift off. Make sure you do that lifting carefully, so any stopper assembly remains intact.

7. See any more screws?

If you’ve done some unscrewing already but the stopper assembly isn’t coming out, do you see any other screws? If so, unscrew that one too – remembering to do it counter-clockwise. For some stopper types, you may need an Allen key.

8. Are the threads stripped?

If you’re trying to unscrew the stopper but suspect the thread is stripped, this is definitely a problem – and you may need to call a bathroom plumber to ask them how to take out a tub drain in this condition, or get them to do it for you with their specialist knowledge & tools. However, it’s also possible that some upwards pressure while you’re unscrewing could do the trick.

Need help getting that tub drain out?

With a bit of luck, you’ve learned exactly how to remove that bath drain – and now you can start to figure out how to clean, repair or replace it, or start unclogging that bath drain.

Need some professional help? As you can imagine, here at Brisbane Plumbing & Drainage, bath drains are just one of our many drain-related specialities – and we’d love to help you out all over the local region and beyond. We respond to plumbing emergencies 24/7, we protect your bank balance with our fixed & upfront pricing policy, and we back up our workmanship with a 100% lifetime guarantee.

How do you remove a bathtub drain? The easiest way is to give Brisbane Plumbing & Drainage a call right now – we’ll be right there!