Can't Remove Tub Drain

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  #1  
Old 11-21-05, 10:58 AM
chickenstar
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Can't Remove Tub Drain

I have what I assume is a "roller ball" tub drain in my bathtub (lift to drain, push down to seal). The tub is clogged and I need to remove it.
There is not a screw underneath the stopper and I have twisted this thing counter-clockwise until I am purple. It has not moved at all.
Am I missing something here?
Please help, this is driving me crazy.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-21-05, 03:56 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,615
Try to access the trap from the overflow plate. The obstruction is probably in the trap not in the run that goes horozontal under the tub. If this is a replacement drain it could be epoxied on There could also be a set screw holding it on. you can see it when the drain is in the up position

Was the tub refinished?

See here.

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...RepTubDrn.html
 
  #3  
Old 11-21-05, 10:08 PM
chickenstar
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Tub doesn't appear to be refinished. I just bought this place a few months ago.
I found the Lowe's site you linked to before I posted here ... heh. I thought I had the problem solved.
There is no screw underneath it. It has all the characteristics of the "roller ball," but will not/doesn't unscrew.
I cleared a tub upstairs recently simply by removing the drain screen and removing a ton of hair (which I suspect is the culprit here). Luckily, it was a "plunger-type" with the visible screw on top.
This is driving me insane. It HAS to come off somehow .

Help ... someone?
 
  #4  
Old 11-22-05, 07:28 AM
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What are you using to try to unscrew it? Some of them are pretty tough.

I would suggest maybe posting in the plumbing and piping forum
 
  #5  
Old 11-22-05, 04:34 PM
chickenstar
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I'm just trying to get the plug/stopper out of it and simply using my hand to turn it.
 
  #6  
Old 12-29-05, 07:14 PM
chickenstar
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After a month, I have finally fixed this problem. I am posting this in case someone has a similar problem.
As stated before, the stopper is a "roller ball." Normally, these simply screw off to expose the catch in the bottom of the drain. Some models have a screw underneath the plug sealer. Mine had one extra feature. The actual knob that is used to pull the tub drain open unscrews from the stopper stem.
In order to get this open, I used a set of needle-nosed pliers to grab ahold of the stem underneath the stopper. I then used adjustable pliars to unscrew the "knob" from the stem.
Sounds simple enough, but nowhere on the internet did I find a "roller ball" stopper that was put together in this manner (i.e. the extra screw-off knob).
Thanks to all that attempted to help.
By the way, I am replacing this with a traditional trip lever model.
 
  #7  
Old 01-14-07, 12:12 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
I also had a clogged 'roller ball' bathtub drain, and I was finally able to clear it after reading chickenstar's tip.

The solution was to hold the drain stopper from turning with a 9/16" open end wrench around the flats on the stem under the stopper. I could then unscrew the cap from the top of the stopper with a pair of pliers. This exposed the hex head on top of the stopper shaft so I could unscrew the shaft from the drain.

It turns out there was a ton of hair caught around the drain fitting. It would have been impossible to clear this hair without first unscrewing the stopper.

Thanks so much for the tip chickenstar.
 
  #8  
Old 01-21-07, 04:53 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
Smile RE: Removing 2 prong bath tub drain plug

I had a drain plug that used to small tabs for extraction. The dumbell bathtub drain puller was too big on one end and too small on the other. I also tried the basket holding tool but it was too small as well. Three hardware stores later, I determine that this is a mythical tool that I had to stop searching for, so I did.

As a new homeowner, first time, I want to do everything the way you are supposed to and save the shortcuts for later, the right tool for the job kind of thing. That is the objective, but not necessarily the reality. So, without further ado, the extraction of a two prong tub drain....

Tools:
6" 150mm Crescent wrench (cheap is good, $1.99 at Wal-Mart)
10" 250mm Crescent wrench (for the turning of the plug)
1 Pesky 2 prong drain plug

Insert 6" Crescent into drain, adjustment side up, leaving yourself room to make a 1/4 turn of the drain. This will save you some time. Next, align and tighten the larger 10" crescent wrench to the smaller wrench about an inch or two above the head or the hole. Realign the smaller wrench (big wrench still attached to little wrench) with the two tabs and test lightly to see if you turn the plug without slipping off of the tabs. Finally, using the space you left for turning, the 10" wrench, and some light elbow grease, turn the wrenches counter clockwise. You should apply pressure gradually to make sure you do not snap the crescents or damage the tabs inside the drain. If all goes well, your drain plug should be turning. If not, you might try something to loosen any rusty or otherwise stuck spots.

Here is a short slideshow of the what and how for this. If you can't see it, sorry. It is just for illustration purposes and I cannot post HTML in here or images directly. Copy and paste this link into your browser and it will take you to Photobucket.com where I have the slideshow.

Good luck.

http://s133.photobucket.com/albums/q65/BrandyWB/Public/?action=view&current=1169382278.pbw
 

Last edited by dillonjs; 01-21-07 at 05:13 AM.
  #9  
Old 06-09-08, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2
stem

Ok i used the 9/16 to hold on underneath the stopper thing to get the knob/cap off. There is a stem that i cannot remove for the life of me. Am i too weak? Previous posts indicate a hex shape. I do not know if its stripped but mine is round and pliers cannot get a good grip
 
  #10  
Old 06-10-08, 06:03 AM
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You trying to change out the whole part that goes through the drain hole in the bathtub? Why are yo trying to remove the stem? What is your objective?
 
  #11  
Old 06-18-08, 06:18 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3
PLease HELP

I have a similar situation. I've gotten the knob off the stopper, but there is no set screw or slot or hex nut inside under where the knob came off, so I cannot get the stopper off, thus I'm unable to clean the hair in the drain. Any further suggestions? This is driving me nuts. I went to a pluming store and they told me it has to have one of these to unscrew it from the base.
 
  #12  
Old 08-07-08, 03:42 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1
finally got the drain plug out

My drain plug did not have a screw underneath the nob, did not have a set screw underneath, and did not have a hex shape under it so i could grip it with a wrench. I have a jacuzzi whirlpool tub and i ,had to put a rag over the top of the drain so i didn't ruin the finish, then with it in the down position grab it with pliers and turn it counter clockwise the shaft went down about 2 inches and had a screwed end. It was screwed into the cross section of the drain where all the hair was trapped.
 
  #13  
Old 08-07-08, 06:30 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 977
I never have to take mine apart--I plug the overflow with a wet rag & use a plunger--works every time--I also run hot water twice a week for 2 minutes to help flush crud down drain
...............
 
  #14  
Old 08-07-08, 07:48 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Us Plumber push the stopper to the closed position and un-screw it by hand..

Then again, I'm in Texas, maybe the stoppers are different here.
 
  #15  
Old 09-04-08, 06:04 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2
Yo CanMan, that would work great if the nipple on top had a left-hand thread. Mine does not.
 
  #16  
Old 09-07-08, 09:50 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2
Plumbers have specialized tub-drain removers and pop-up plug wrenches for this purpose, but you can make your own drain remover with a pair of slip-joint pliers and a beefy screwdriver. Slide the pliers' handles down the drain, past the X-shaped metal arms or crosshairs inside, then put a screwdriver between the handles and use it like a lever to unscrew the drain. At first you'll need a bit of muscle to break the putty's grip, but once you do, the drain usually comes out easily. If the crosshairs are broken or missing, you'll need a tool called a drain key, which can be tightened against the inside of the drain. You should be able to find one through a plumbing supply house or plumbingworld.com.
 
  #17  
Old 07-05-09, 03:08 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: TN
Posts: 1
Red face Thank you!

Originally Posted by chickenstar View Post
After a month, I have finally fixed this problem. I am posting this in case someone has a similar problem.
As stated before, the stopper is a "roller ball." Normally, these simply screw off to expose the catch in the bottom of the drain. Some models have a screw underneath the plug sealer. Mine had one extra feature. The actual knob that is used to pull the tub drain open unscrews from the stopper stem.
In order to get this open, I used a set of needle-nosed pliers to grab ahold of the stem underneath the stopper. I then used adjustable pliars to unscrew the "knob" from the stem.
Sounds simple enough, but nowhere on the internet did I find a "roller ball" stopper that was put together in this manner (i.e. the extra screw-off knob).
Thanks to all that attempted to help.
By the way, I am replacing this with a traditional trip lever model.
Thanks for this! I've never attempted to remove a bathtub drain and needed to clean it out. I did it with your instructions 1st time!
 
  #18  
Old 07-14-09, 04:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Mine was different

Mine was similar, but different from any I've read about here - small screw off knob at the top, but underneath was a 1/4" socket receptacle (at least that's what it looked like). I grabbed a socket handle, pushed it in, and unscrewed the spindle/bolt holding down the main stopper. Came out in a flash.

Clues here definitely helped me figure out how to best this challenge - thanks to all who contributed, and I hope my experience helps someone else down the line.

Beer 4U2
 
  #19  
Old 11-17-09, 08:07 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Fizzy

Chickenstar, you're a rock star! Just moved into a 3rd floor apartment & was about to take a sledge hammer to the stopper! I just joined to let you know you're instructions are beyond perfect - ETERNALLY GRATEFUL!!!
Originally Posted by chickenstar View Post
After a month, I have finally fixed this problem. I am posting this in case someone has a similar problem.
As stated before, the stopper is a "roller ball." Normally, these simply screw off to expose the catch in the bottom of the drain. Some models have a screw underneath the plug sealer. Mine had one extra feature. The actual knob that is used to pull the tub drain open unscrews from the stopper stem.
In order to get this open, I used a set of needle-nosed pliers to grab ahold of the stem underneath the stopper. I then used adjustable pliars to unscrew the "knob" from the stem.
Sounds simple enough, but nowhere on the internet did I find a "roller ball" stopper that was put together in this manner (i.e. the extra screw-off knob).
Thanks to all that attempted to help.
By the way, I am replacing this with a traditional trip lever model.
 
  #20  
Old 02-21-10, 03:23 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 4
Square head under roller ball

When I removed the ball from the stopper, the stopper had a square head shaft, so I used a thin flat head screw driver that fit inside and unscrewed the stopper from drain. Hair and conditioner were clogging the drain. All fixed now, thanks, these are the only postings that know this drain plug situation.

Originally Posted by ToolMeister View Post
I also had a clogged 'roller ball' bathtub drain, and I was finally able to clear it after reading chickenstar's tip.

The solution was to hold the drain stopper from turning with a 9/16" open end wrench around the flats on the stem under the stopper. I could then unscrew the cap from the top of the stopper with a pair of pliers. This exposed the hex head on top of the stopper shaft so I could unscrew the shaft from the drain.

It turns out there was a ton of hair caught around the drain fitting. It would have been impossible to clear this hair without first unscrewing the stopper.

Thanks so much for the tip chickenstar.
 
  #21  
Old 03-28-10, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1
Talking Chickenstar you rock!

Thanks for the information Chickenstar! I have been trying and trying off and on for a few weeks now to get our tub plug out and this did it for me! I was able to clean out all the hair and residue and added in some drain cleaner for good measure. No more showering in a lake!

Thanks again!!! Beer 4U2
 
  #22  
Old 04-17-10, 07:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Why didn't I think of that?!!!

Of COURSE! Grab the post from underneath the cap...its soooo simple I am kicking myself for not thinking of it! I was about ready to grab the lid/cap while turning the knob...so I am glad I checked here first.

I took a set of pics so that others can see what probs we're having and to help others. Those who mentioned that their posts were not a hex or screw-driven or anything, I empathize and think that maybe using some good pliers will still work. No promises however.

When I got my knob off, there was a post that looked like it would unscrew with a flathead screwdriver...but it wouldn't budge...or more precisely, the slot was too shallow for a flathead to be effective at all.






I pushed downward on the cap/lid to fully expose the post.





And then I relied upon a tongue-and-groove set of pliers to crank it counter clockwise, and it unscrewed beautifully...but I did have to grip the pliers REALLY tight. But once I had the grip, I really didn't have to crank that hard to unscrew.





From there, I took a coat hanger and got as much hair out as possible (lots), then plunged since it was still slower than it should be. These repairs were done AFTER I had used liquid plumber gel yesterday. So I am sure that the gel also helped clear out some of the mess if only a little. Good luck to you all, and thank you to those who posted and helped me!
 
  #23  
Old 05-13-10, 08:39 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by CanCleaner View Post
Us Plumber push the stopper to the closed position and un-screw it by hand..

Then again, I'm in Texas, maybe the stoppers are different here.
Hey Canman, you may be in Texas, but your advice worked beautifully up here in Minnesota. I spent at least an hour trying to get that drain stopper off of there before I found your post. Boy, did I feel silly when it took only 5 minutes to take it off, clean it out, and screw it back on your way!

Thanks
 
  #24  
Old 12-05-10, 01:08 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: canada
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CanCleaner - you rock! Thanks for your post: it's so so much appreciated.

Vancouver, Canada
 
  #25  
Old 05-25-11, 08:42 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 1
thanks!!

Thank you, chickenstar and cancleaner! Such a simple solution to an annoying problem!! And let me just add, I about lost my lunch when I laid eyes on what was stopping up my tub drain ... not hair, since I never wash my hair in the tub, but something that I can only call "soap fossils." Has anyone ever seen that? They were basically small rock-like formations of old soap scum and skin cells, I'm guessing. Disgusting. But so glad it's gone and my tub is draining properly!!
 
  #26  
Old 07-09-11, 11:07 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1
used a flathead screwdriver and voila!

I had the same problem as originally described on this thread. I was going crazy trying to twist off my drain cover and it just wouldn't budge!

My drain is the type that twists/pushes down to seal and up to drain. A small knob on top of the cover screwed off easily, leaving the flange around a round stem with a square shaped center. I don't own many tools (as a mid 20s single female homeowner, I've been buying tools only as I come to need them) but was finally able to use a larger flathead screwdriver to remove the stem and flange on the drain. I'm sure this isn't the proper way to do it, but was much better than buying or renting a drain key or having to hire a plumber!

From there I used a wire coat hanger to remove the clog. The amount of hair I got out was disgusting to say the least.

Thanks for all the guidance!
 
  #27  
Old 07-10-12, 06:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1
Thank you, chickenstar and cancleaner! Such a simple solution to an annoying problem!!

It took me only one minute to fix the problem after watching following videos:

Bathtub Lift and Turn Stopper Clean How-To - YouTube

How to remove a lift-and-turn stopper in your bathtub. - YouTube (I didn't remove the screw; I just follow the first video)

How To Properly Remove A Lift And Turn Bathtub Stopper - YouTube!

FIY clean the bathtub drain - YouTube
 
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