How to Install a Tub Drain Lever

What You'll Need
Screwdriver (check assembly for type)
Trip level assembly
Needle nose pliers
Towel or paper

Your tub drain has a switch on the front which controls the opening and closing of the drain, allowing water to fill the tub or to drain away.  This is the tub drain lever. This assembly can become misaligned over time and cause problems with proper drainage.  It is an easy item remove and installing a tub drain lever is a simple task needing only a few tools.  You access it from the tub side so there is no need to have to be in the pipes.

Step 1 – Prepare the Work Area

It is a good idea to cover the drain with some newspaper or a towel so that if you drop a screw there is no chance of it going down the drain.

Step 2 - Unscrew and Remove Existing Lever Assembly

Remove the two screws that are holding the plate in place and set them aside. Moving the cover plate back and forth at first as it may be stuck, slowly lift it out. Attached to the cover plate is the linkage and at the bottom is the plug. This system not only regulates the flow of water out of the tub into the drain (stopping it up to fill the tub) but it is part of the overflow drain. Remove this assembly completely and discard.

Step 3 – Assemble

According to manufacturer’s instructions, assemble your new drain lever.

Step 4 – Insert the Lever

You are now ready to reinsert the lever. Since this lever is part of the overflow system, protecting the tub from overflowing in the event to the faucet being left on while the drain is closed, be careful that you seat it correctly. Feed the unit back in the opening the way you took it out.  Feel around as you lower it and be sure it is fit back in property. You will be able to feel whether the plug has seated correctly as you move it.  Once in place, screw the two screws back into the metal place and tighten down firmly but do not over-tighten. 

Step 5 – Check for Leaks

Your last step is to check for leaks. You need to be sure that the plug is seated properly and tight enough for the drain to adequately hold water. Fill the tub with water and watch it. If any water flows down the drain, you need to adjust it. If there is no water loss, you have completed the job.

Step 6 – Adjust Leaks

If you find that some water is escaping the plug, you need to adjust it. Remove the plate as before and pull the system carefully out. Loosen the nuts on either side of the plug. Making small adjustments and checking a few times is preferred to making a big adjustment at once. The plug will be able to go lower in the drain each time you loosen the nut so just do a turn or two each time. Once there is no leakage of water, your lever is properly installed.