We have an older home with a parallel bar tub drain plug that is internal to the P trap. Similar to that of a Bathroom sink. Lift the lever up, to bring the plug inside the p-trap to position to plug the tub.

Works fine one day, now it wont budge, stuck open.

I have removed the t screws on the lever plate and the linkage in sight appears fine. Inside the P trap not much to see, but there is no blockage.

We only have one tub in the house and this makes kid baths go fast. Plugging the drain with a washcloth to slow it down. Still drains in about 10 minutes.

What now? Am i stuck?

1 Answer 1


There may just be a bit of gravel or something wedged in the mechanism. Water will drain, but the mechanism doesn't work. Ensure the area is fully clear. If the linkage has failed outside of the drain, it may require removal of finish material either below or behind the tub drain to access and repair/replace the mechanism. If you're lucky, there's a removable panel somewhere.

It may be easier remove the current stopper and use an old fashioned rubber plug. If the current stopper isn't easily removed, and it's of a low enough profile, a 'universal' stopper may work. It's just a flat piece of rubber that seals against the tub floor. This will also work if there's some sort of fixed strainer preventing the use a conventional plug.

  • This is why we bless the architects and builders who put a partial or knee wall with an access panel at the business end of tubs.
    – bib
    Aug 11, 2012 at 18:41

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