The coating on this popup toggle bathtub drain is damaged, exposing the plastic inside and I guess there's some oxidized metal there. It works fine though, so could I clean it up and re-coat it somehow without too much work? Or is it just simpler and/or more cost-effective to get a brand new replacement?

popup bathtub drain with damaged coating

  • 1
    You might want to use <your favorite search engine> to search for pop up tub drain stopper. I've generally found them readily available at low prices in the USA.
    – HABO
    Jun 9 at 21:10
  • Hm yea good idea lol I think I might have found something on Home Depot that is the same thing even… homedepot.ca/product/moen-pop-up-tub-drain-stopper-1-4inch/… (looks similar at least) — I always figured finding a replacement would be pretty easy but was curious if there was a worthwhile fix instead.
    – shim
    Jun 9 at 21:21

3 Answers 3


The answer depends on how much work you want to do. In reality it probably isn't worth the time to try to recoat it. however if you wish to do that there are epoxy paints that may be suitable. Time is needed to clean and sand the oxidation off and prep for the paint.

I would unscrew the pop up. Buy a new drain. clean the base left in the tub and screw in the new pop up.

There, an almost like new drain.

  • Thank you for a detailed answer! Really, buy a whole new drain?
    – shim
    Jun 9 at 20:10
  • 1
    you may find the popup part alone with the correct threads on the bottom. Most of the time the popup only comes with a complete drain assembly. Still not that expensive.
    – RMDman
    Jun 9 at 20:14

You could just sand the place where the chrome plating is missing and repaint. You could just dab some paint on without sanding. Plenty of people would just tolerate it as it is.

As another answer states you might be able to unscrew the pop-up by hand to take to a plumbing supply and get another that would work. The tub would be usable as a shower without a pop-up in place, but it opens the drain so that something could fall in and be lost or block the drain.

The entire drain in the wet area could be replaced, but this is not easy unless you are experienced. There are videos showing how this is done.

It can be done entirely from the user (wet) side of the tub without access to the underside of the tub. The parts of the drain below are kept. You have to unscrew the old drain to see what is the thread pitch because there are two different thread pitches used (coarse and fine). The new drain must have the same diameter and thread pitch as the drain under the tub because that is going to stay. You can determine the diameter of the drain with the drain in place, but not the thread pitch. Experts here may know that one or the other of the thread pitches is more commonly used.

It appears that the tub is rusting around the drain hole. When you have the drain out you should carefully sand or grind away the rust down to bare metal and use the proper paint before you install a new drain. There may also be rust on the underside of the hole and you will have to inspect that with a dental mirror to see how much rust is there.


source: chatgpt 3

A pop-up tub drain stopper is a common type of drain stopper used in bathtubs. It is designed to be operated by a lever or knob located on the [overflow plate] on the side of the bathtub. When the lever or knob is turned, a linkage attached to the pop-up stopper is raised or lowered, causing the stopper to open or close.

To remove a pop-up tub drain stopper for cleaning or replacement, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the overflow plate on the side of the bathtub. This is the plate with the lever or knob that operates the stopper.

  2. Unscrew the screws that hold the overflow plate in place. Be careful not to drop the screws down the drain.

  3. Pull the overflow plate and lever or knob out of the bathtub wall. The linkage attached to the pop-up stopper should come out with it.

  4. Remove the pop-up stopper from the linkage by unscrewing or unclipping it.

  5. Clean or replace the pop-up stopper as needed.

  6. Reattach the pop-up stopper to the linkage and reinstall the overflow plate and lever or knob.

  7. Test the pop-up stopper to make sure it opens and closes properly.

If you're not comfortable with doing this yourself, it's best to hire a professional plumber to do the job for you.

  • 2
    The type of drain stopper the OP has shown in their post is not of the type your detailed process addresses. It is a well detailed answer, but not for this type of drain stopper.
    – RMDman
    Jun 9 at 22:36
  • 1
    I believe this type of stopper is simply pressed down and it latches and seals. Pressed again it pops up and opens the drain. There is an overflow but no lever or linkage operating a hidden stopper. Jun 10 at 0:27
  • 1
    That would explain why it has "push" embossed on it.
    – Jasen
    Jun 10 at 8:58
  • This looks almost certainly like ChatGPT to me. As do this person's other two answers.
    – shim
    Jun 12 at 14:54
  • Harat, it's not helpful just to copy and paste ChatGPT answers everywhere, especially when they're straight up incorrect.
    – shim
    Jun 13 at 16:24

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