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My bathtub plunger/stopper is attached to the chain but won't budge. It is stuck inside the drain blocking the flow of water. I tried hot water with dish soap as well as vinegar and baking soda. Should I try CLR? If so, how would I know where to put it and how much since I cannot see the stuck plunger? I can jiggle the chain a little but the plunger/weight won't budge. Maybe I should try putting dish soap down the opening for the lever (instead of the drain) followed by hot water?

  • When did it last work ? Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 5:40
  • I opened the drain to clean out the hair a couple of days ago. It was draining but a little slow. So I tried using a plunger, and that made it worse. I think the weight got pulled down and blocked the opening. Then I tried hot water/dish soap and baking soda/vinegar. That was when I opened the lever and realized the weight was stuck.
    – Cami
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 5:46
  • The water goes down after a while now. I tried jiggling the chain, so maybe it loosened it up a little. Took a quick shower and there were a few inches of water in the tub. But by the time I got dry, it suddenly was gone.
    – Cami
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 5:48
  • Have you tried grabbing onto the chain with a pair of pliers and pulling with 5 pounds or so of force? I wouldn't go nuts pulling on it, but I would give it a good steady pull.
    – popham
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 6:45
  • Thanks for the suggestion, Popham. I just tried that. Still won't budge.
    – Cami
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


Putting in hot water is just going to make the bit that is stuck, expand (probably more than the pipe as it would have less mass). And I doubt if soap is going to do anything.

I would try several sessions of CLR, maybe even vinegar.

  • Thanks, Rohit. I'm afraid to use CLR until I know where to put it. It might just be a big waste and not even hit the stuck plunger/weight.
    – Cami
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 5:51
  • It's late so I'll work on it tomorrow. Thanks for your thoughts.
    – Cami
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 5:52
  • You would pour the CLR down the overflow tube. It would land on the internal stopper. Since water is now draining, the internal stopper must be jammed in an intermediate position, partially open. With the drain cover unscrewed and loose if you would free the stopper, it could conceivably drop down and get jammed again in the closed position. Also if you apply too much force on the chain it could break and then the drain would be stopped up again and have to be replaced. Put the drain cover back on and use a flat rubber disc stopper when you need to fill the tub. Commented Jan 27 at 9:30

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