How to Clean and Repair a Tub Pop-up Drain

What You'll Need
Needle Nosed Pliers
Drain Snake
Cleaning Solution

Cleaning a tub pop up drain is not the most appealing of jobs, but is occasionally necessary to keep the water draining from the tub. Hair, soap, and other debris tends to build up in and around the drain, which will result in a slow draining tub and can result in a completely clogged drain. Not only does it make the tub continuously dirty, but can make it a safety hazard. A clogged drain is one of the most common reasons homeowners call a plumber. However, it is a task that can be done by most, with only a few tools. It doesn't take long to clean it, but it should be approached with the right plan of attack and the right tools. Here you will find the information needed to clean a pop up drain and the overflow.

Step 1 - Remove Drain Plug

Many drain plugs can be removed by simply unscrewing them. However, an equal number will need to be removed by disengaging the linkage of the overflow valve. If your plug does not unscrew, or you do not have a drain plug at all, you will need to remove the faceplate of the overflow valve.

Step 2 - Remove Overflow

The overflow face plate is generally secured with a single screw. Unscrew it, and gently wiggle the face plate to remove it. This may be all it takes to disengage the linkage. You should see the linkage that is connected to the drain. Once the face plate is removed, and the linkage is disengaged, you should be able to manipulate the linkage to get the drain plug off.

Step 3 - Soak Parts

You can soak all the metal parts in a cleaning solution to clean them of buildup and debris while you work on the drain. Place them in a plastic container filled with the cleaning solution of your choice. Baking soda works well to break up the buildup and residue that frequently builds up on these parts.

Step 4 - Clean the Drain

Many times, there is an additional trap underneath the drain plug that traps hair and debris right at the top of the drain. Use a pair of needle nosed pliers to grasp any visible clogs and pull them out of the drain. Get as much of the debris that you can using the pliers. Run some water into the tub and watch the rate at which it drains. If it is still slow or doesn't drain at all, you will need to use the drain snake.

Step 5 - Snake the Drain

Insert the drain snake into the bath tub drain. Turn it clockwise so that it gets worked into the clog and grips it to pull it out. Withdraw the snake, bringing any clogs with it. You may need to do this several times. Occasionally run water to check the drain function. Once the drain is clear, reassemble the drain plug and overflow valve in the reverse order that they were taken apart.