I have a trip lever bathtub drain that won’t drain. The problem seems to be the trip lever assembly. I detached the assembly. Most videos or instructions online show a “plunger” end to the assembly, but mine is a brass spring. The tub floor drain is simply a small open drain without a stopper. I assume that the spring should attach to some mechanism the opens and closes the drain. But, I don’t know what the spring attaches to exactly. Any thoughts?

ADDENDUM: For clarity, there is no stopper on the tub floor drain. There never has been. But, yes, there is a spring at the end of the trip lever.

ADDENDUM2: Can’t see much of anything with a mirror. My drain doesn’t match any design I see online, so I’m not quite sure what I’m working with. Again, the floor drain has no stopper and has no grate. It never has. But the trip lever is a spring end.


1 Answer 1


Here is a site that explains the way trip mechanisms work. If you have removed the spring and the stopper, the only thing left in there is the arm that raises the stopper. It sounds to me like you have some sort of blockage other than the trip mechanism causing the sluggish drain.

If everything else is draining well in the bathroom the clog is probably bathtub related and not further down the drain. Try using a really good drain opener like Crystal Heat to make sure the drain is clear near the tub.

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  • Thanks. There is no stopper, and there is no rocker arm that I can tell. I don’t feel comfortable using a chemical on the pipes. Snake won’t budge, seems to hit something metal whether I go from overflow or from the floor drain. I bought a flat plastic 2’ flexible cheap snake from Home Depot. Same deal. Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 23:26
  • Careful when using drain cleaner. It can break pipes. I've repaired many drains thanks to this stuff. It can even crack toilet bowls.
    – plumbum
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 13:04
  • I have been in the hospitality industry for over 10 years and use this on a regular basis without any issue whatsoever. Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 13:06
  • Is there a way to look under the tub?
    – bobflux
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 11:30

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