The broken linkage chain was removed from our tub a couple of years ago. All has been good until now the plunger has fallen shut and the water drains v e r y, v e r y s l o w l y. any suggestions how to get it unstuck? I don't even need it to be there are all, so if it can be remove that is just as well.
Typically these aren't chains at all, but a rod in two pieces. See link provided by Getterdun. If you can grab that lower piece, you can pull it up and completely remove the stopper, by removing the overflow cover.
I've done this on several tubs over the years, and simply used a rubber stopper in the tub when needed. Newer tubs typically don't use this lever and rod, but have a decorative stopper at the drain itself, harking back to the old rubber stopper on a chain idea, but, of course, costing more, and looking somewhat nicer.