We have a bathtub that has a push pull drain stopper, and I need to clean out some gunk. The problem is that I can't get the stopper out of the drain. I (finally) got the top knob removed, and I read that there could be a screw to loosen. Unfortunately, there is no screw, and when I raise and lower the stopper, whatever the stopper is attached to also raises and lowers. The stopper raises only enough to barely slip a pair of needle-nose pliers underneath the stopper and feel the shaft in the middle, so I can't see what's underneath.

It seems that most of the videos I can find are for lift-and-turn stoppers, and the videos for a push-pull stopper have a screw to loosen under the knob. Any suggestions?

The hole has a diameter of approx. 1/4", and the depth from the top edge of the stopper to the center is about 3/8".

stuck stopper

  • The best solution might be to spin the entire assembly out and replace it. You can buy just that portion of the drain system. Thread the new one in with a few wraps of teflon tape and be happy.
    – isherwood
    Dec 29, 2015 at 15:39
  • Sad to say but I can't get any kind of tool down to remove the drain basket.
    – unkfrank
    Dec 30, 2015 at 1:00

1 Answer 1


I had a drain in my tub very much like yours, never found a way to remove the stopper. So I can't answer that portion of your question.

However, to remove the gunk/hair that continually clogged the drain, I found the plastic drain sticks to work really well. I just snaked one around for a few minutes, pulling up some really nasty clumps of hair and other detritus.

The "good news" is that now that the tub is 20 years old, the mechanism rusted out and I can finally remove the stopper.

  • Thanks for the reminder... I had seen those drain sticks while I was out looking for help, but forgot to get some. Sounds like my best bet for the time being
    – unkfrank
    Dec 30, 2015 at 1:04

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