How to Replace a Bathtub Drain Lever

What You'll Need

The drain lever in your tub makes it possible to hold water for your bath. A problem in the drain lever will yield defective water holding capacity. Most bathtub drains are controlled by a drain lever; this lever controls the opening and closing of the drain. When a drain lever is not functioning well, water in your tub will constantly drip out and you will need to constantly replace the leaking water.

If you are about to replace your bathtub drain lever, here are useful steps to follow.

Step 1: Secure the Working Area

Place a towel under the working area or just where you can cover the hole leading to the drain. This will prevent small screws from dropping down the hole.

Step 2: Determine your Drain Type

Determine which type of drain you have because there are several different types of drains. For instance, you might have the stopper style that has a trip lever. This one type also has variations, one that pops up and one that is a plunger. Considering two types of drain lever, there are also different ways on how to replace them.

If you own a drain lever with a plunger, all you need to do to replace it is to unscrew the faceplate and pull the whole thing out.

If you own a drain lever with a pop up style, you first need to adjust the lever making sure that the stopper is at the highest possible spot so that you will be able to remove the stopper.

Step 3: Remove the Strainer

In removing the strainer, there are 2 scenarios that you might encounter. First, you might see crossbars when you look in your drain. If this is the case, you can use your pliers to move the drain by twisting it counterclockwise and then unscrew it.

On the other hand, if you don’t see the cross bars, you need a tool which will fit into the flange of the drain so that you will be able to spread and tighten it against the drain. Twist the flange counterclockwise and then pull it back.

Step 4: Replace the Old Drain

After removing the old drain, read the manufacturer’s instructions in assembling your new drain.  Place the new drain lever in place but do not secure it at once. Just set aside the removed parts.

Step 5: Test the New Drain

With the removed parts secured in one side, fill up the tub with water to know if the drain lever is in its perfect position where water will not sip out. If the plug lets water down, adjust the plug system by loosening the nut on each side. This will lengthen the entire system so that the plug can side lower until the drain. Do not over adjust, it is better to slowly adjust than to over adjust to protect you new drain lever.

If everything is functioning well, you can now replace the part you removed in the beginning. You only need to do the steps backwards to put back the pieces together. It is wise to keep the towel in place as you do this.