How to Clean and Repair a Tub Plunger Drain

What You'll Need
Soap and water
Baking soda
Drain Snake

A tub plunger drain uses a plunger which moves up and down inside the pipe and controls water flow away from the bathtub. If you have one of these types of plunger drains in your home, then you may know that it is very difficult to clean and maintain due to the fact that there is no easy way to get access to it. If your plug begins to leak or you find that it is not moving up and down so easily, then you will need to do a quick repair on your tub's plunger drain.

Step 1 - Remove the Plunger Drain

In order to repair or clean the tub plunger drain, you will have to remove it from the tub. In order to do this, use your screwdriver to take out the screws from the cover plate which holds it into the tub. Once all of the screws have been taken out, either pull the cover plate off with your fingers or pry it off using the tip of the screwdriver. The plunger and connection should come out as you pull away the cover plate. You may find that the plunger is loose, so pull it out gently, taking care not to rip the plunger off of its connection.

Step 2 - Clean the Drain

As you intend to clean the plunger, it is also a good idea to clean the drain itself. You can do this using a drain snake to remove any unwanted blockages in the pipes or you can simply pour down a standard household drain cleaner, which you can buy from any grocery store. Remember to rinse out the drain before you put the plunger back into place, as this will help it to stay clean.

Step 3 - Clean the Plunger

Place the plunger in a bowl of soapy water and remove as much grime as possible. You can run the plunger and stopper under a tap or you can simply use a scrubbing brush. If you wish to, you can use a solution of vinegar and baking soda. Mix the two items together, and flush it through the plunger. Rinse the metal free of the mixture once you have finished cleaning it.

Step 4 - Lubricate and Replace

It is vital to keep your plunger properly lubricated, so rub a little bit of engine grease along the shaft of the plunger and also along the arm that attaches it to the drain. You should then put the plunger drain back down into the hole, pushing the stopper down until it is in the closed position. When this is done, screw the cover plate back into position, and then run a little bit of water through the system to ensure that it is clean and bright for when you next want to use the tub.