I am sure this is just due to age and wear and tear on the drain, but I do not know where to start. My drain slowly drains, but if I hold the "knob" down it will drain at regular speed.

What should be my steps to replace parts in order for the drain to drain regular speed all the time?

I pulled out the "knob" all the way out and the spring appears to be in tact as well as all connections. When out of the wall, I can lift the "knob" up and down with no issue and the "weight" (or whatever you'd call it at the bottom) moves freely. Surprisingly, there wasn't even that much hair or gunk built up on anything.

See this image, does someone notice anything off?
Shower Knob

2 Answers 2


I assume you mean the "knob" is the drain open/closed lever located on the wall of the tub,.just above the drain, right?

If so, your most likely problem is that the drain mechanism is out of alignment. There is an "overflow drain" that runs down from behind the drain lever that you are holding, connects to the main tub drain, and continues out to whereever.

Inside that downward drain is a metal arm that connects to the tub drain open/close lever (the "knob"). When you move the drain lever up or down, it causes that metal arm to move up or down in opposition (It's like a seesaw, when this end goes up, the back end goes down.)

The metal arm is attached to a metal plug that will block the main tub drain, or release it.

You can unscrew the face plate behind the drain lever and pull out the face plate with the lever, the metal arm, and the plug. Once you have them out, you can almost certainly adjust the arm, changing the position of the plug up or down. That lets you set the position exactly right.

It may be that your drain lever doesn't stay put any more. If so, you will need a new set- these things come in packages from your local home center. According to my smartphone app with the orange icon, they sell for $20 USD upwards, depending on color and style.

  • 2
    Also possible that the drain plug attached to the mechanism has a build-up of hair, etc, and simply needs to be removed (it will look rather disgisting if this is the case, be warned) and cleaned, then replaced.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 9, 2019 at 3:07
  • @Ecnerwal That's the kind of "DIY secret" that you leave for the newbie to discover themselves. :-) :-) :-)
    – aghast
    May 9, 2019 at 3:20
  • @AustinHastings - yes the open/closed lever is what I was referencing when I said "knob" - It is middle of night for me, I will investigate in the morning, but thank you kindly for this insight! May 9, 2019 at 4:37
  • 2
    It could also be as simple as the spring behind the tub drain lever is worn out and needs replacing. The spring is what holds the lever down (and the linkage and plug all the way up behind the plate). The fact that manually holding it down allows proper drainage perhaps supports this... May 9, 2019 at 4:38
  • @JimmyFix-it- the spring appears in-tact. See my edit with the image. May 9, 2019 at 15:31

I had a very similar problem and I replaced the spring as @jimmy-fix-it suggested and it fixed my problem. In my case, the knob felt loose and when you opened it, it settled a bit causing the slow draining.

  • Can you purchase just the spring from a box store or will I need to get the entire kit? May 9, 2019 at 16:46
  • If you can find a plumbing store, you can get a replacement spring but the big home improvement stores only carry the whole assembly.
    – tk421
    May 9, 2019 at 17:04
  • I don’t have a plumbing store local to me. What is the “technical” term for the part in looking for? Drain repair kit and shower drain repair kit return results that are not relevant. May 9, 2019 at 18:15
  • bathtub drain lever is what I would use to search for. Something like this might work: homedepot.com/p/…
    – tk421
    May 9, 2019 at 19:07
  • actually loosening the washer and pushing things up has it draining properly, but now the ding dang cold valve stem is dripping water when it's turned on. I just replaced the shower diverter/valve stem (whatever the technical term for that would be) on this shower, and to save time down the road, I think I'm just going to replace both the hot and cold valve stems right now to avoid having to replace the hot one later. May 9, 2019 at 19:10

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