I have somehow broken the bathtub trip lever and it is detached from the inside.

How easy is it to fix it? I am worried that whatever (chain, rod) that is behind the bathtub might be falling down to the abyss. How easy is it to recover those?

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  • @Tester101 yes, the stopper worked before it was broken. Jul 31, 2014 at 16:20
  • @Tester101 nothing visible, I think it's the first one in your example. is that going to be easier then? Jul 31, 2014 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


Remove the two screw on the trip lever cover, and have a look inside. Since you have a plunger style, the linkage bars have likely dropped down out of view. You'll have to reach down the hole, and pull the assembly back up.

  • Straighten out a wire hanger; or some excess solid strand electrical wire, and put a small hook in one end.
  • Go fishing.
  • Try to hook the plunger assembly, and pull it back up out of the hole.

For reference, this is about what the drain looks like.

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There should be a ridge at the bottom of the overflow pipe, to prevent the stopper from falling down the drain. So the stopper and linkages should be somewhere in the overflow pipe.

I've heard of people using a shop-vac to stuck the plunger out, but I've never tried it myself.

Good luck.

  • Thank you. I opened the plate -- luckily for me the linkage didn't fall down. I was able to easily pull it out. However your anatomy was extremely helpful. Jul 31, 2014 at 22:11

The shopvac idea worked for me but you have to get some of the deposits out otherwise the vac will not be enough to pull it out.

  1. Pour some Drano down the overflow pipe and let it sit for a while.
  2. Take a round brush approx. the diameter of the pipe and clean out the pipe. A little bit of liquid wrench also helps
  3. Attach a hose that will fit down the pipe to the shopvac and slowly pull the plunger up.

Patience is the name of the game for this task.


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