Types Of Bathroom Drain Stoppers – Finding the Right Drain Plug

Since we were kids, we’ve seen bathtub drain stoppers when we’re taking a bath. We’ve toyed with them with our tiny hands and feet, but we never thought of asking what they’re for beyond keeping the water in the tub. Did you know that there are more than a few types of bathroom drain stoppers available? 

There are also a number of things you’d want to consider before you go ahead buying one. They come in different sizes, and if the drain stopper doesn’t match the tub drain, it won’t work at all. You won’t be able to enjoy that bath you’ve been waiting to take all day. Finding the right plug is important for other reasons, too. For instance, some models are easier to clean. 

Let’s take a look at the various drain stoppers for your bathroom needs.

Different Types Of Bathroom Drain Stoppers

Lift-and-Turn 

The lift-and-turn stopper can easily be identified by the small knob found on its cap. This knob lets you open and close the stopper easily using a twisting motion. If you lift the knob and turn in one direction, it will open up. If you turn it the other way, it closes down.

It’s also super easy to install this type of drain plug. Just screw the center set screw into the drain crossbar’s threaded center. Take care not to screw it on too tightly, as this can leave it stuck in that position.

It’s also easy to maintain. It is designed for minimal care. Just pull the plug every now and then to get rid of the debris from the drain, wipe, and rinse.

LiftTurn Bathtub Drain Trim Kit With 2 Hole Face Plate, Polished Brass

Push-and-Pull

This type of drain stopper is similar to the overall look of the lift-and-turn stopper. This is also installed in the same manner, using a set screw to install the body with the drain.

The main difference between the two lies in how you operate them. For this type, you have to push and pull it to open and close the drain. This simple design is not just easy to use, but also easy to clean.

Eastman 35255 Durable Brass Push/Pull Drain Stopper with Rubber Seal, Chrome Finish
Eastman 35255 Durable Brass Push/Pull Drain Stopper (Image: Amazon)

Toe-Touch

This model has some similarities with the push-and-pull drain plug. It is installed similarly to the first two types we’ve mentioned, with the addition of a spring in its design.

Using this drain stopper is very easy. Push down the stopper using your toes to open and close the drain. It is also quite effortless to clean and maintain. One downside, however, is that the spring is bound to wear out over time, so you’ll need to replace it eventually.

Toe Touch Bathtub Drain Stopper With 3/8" & 5/16" Fittings, Antique Brass

Flip-It

Even without tools, you can install this type of drain stopper in either corner or regular bathtubs. Install the stopper into the drain. It is equipped with rings that keep it steady in place and ensure an excellent seal. To operate it, you only need to move the toggle lever sideways to open or close the drain.

Bathtub Drain Stopper Chrome Brass Ball Flip Top

Trip Lever

This model is one of the types of drain stoppers that use levers on their overflow plate, right in front of the tub. Instead of a visible pop-up drain stopper, though, you get a strainer in the drain opening. One big difference of this type compared to the others mentioned here is the difficulty of cleaning and maintenance. To clean this stopper, you’ll need to take it out of the overflow tube and plate.

Not everyone is a fan of levers, and if you are one of them, you can go with the alternative variant. This uses a twist cover on the overflow plate instead. You only have to rotate its twist cover to open or close the plunger.

Trip Lever Bathtub Drain Trim Kit, Polished Brass

Pop-Up

The pop-up drain stopper can be confusing for first-timers, since it resembles part of a traditional bathroom sink’s pop-up drain, design-wise. Even with the way they are operated, you can find similarities. It also uses an overflow plate and lever. This is commonly used in lavatory sinks than it is for bathtubs.

By lifting this lever, you move the attached rod in the overflow drainpipe, which rotates the rocker arm attached to the pop-up drain stopper. The rod houses’ rear end has a spring that allows the rocker arm to control the stopper.

This particular design is quite efficient at trapping dirt. But then, you’ll need to take out the parts of the drain stopper when it’s time to clean it and remove the dirt. The process of removing the components via overflow pipe and drain can be quite complicated.

1 5/8" Bathroom Vessel Basin Sink Pop Up Chrome Drain Overflow and Free Tray

Removing Flip-Lever Drain Stoppers

As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of steps required to handle flip lever stoppers. This is mainly due to their design, which is fixed to a linkage arm that has to be removed at the same time from the opening. Follow these steps:

  • Turn the dial to the open position.
  • Carefully remove the stopper from the opening. Wiggle it to remove the entire arm linkage through the same opening.
  • Wipe the dirt and grime from the stopper and rocker arm. If there is lime buildup, you can use commercial cleaners or vinegar.
  • Restore the stopper’s shine by using commercial chrome polish. Alternatively, you can create a simple homemade mixture of vinegar and lemon, which will work just as well. After polishing, fix the rocker arm gently into the drain until all parts fit correctly.
  • To check if everything works properly, move the lever.

Removing Push-Pull Drain Stoppers

Push-pull models look similar to toe-touch stoppers, but these do not have springs. To remove them, follow these steps:

  • Twist the knob in a counter-clockwise motion to open the stopper and remove it. Use either your hands or pairs of pliers if it’s filled with grime.
  • With counter-clockwise movements, unscrew the mounting post. Doing this movement also helps remove the stopper from the drain fitting. Now, use a brush to remove any dirt or grime on the drain opening.
  • Use a household cleaning product to remove dirt further. You can also use a chrome polish or a vinegar-and-lemon mixture right after to restore the stopper’s shine.
  • Put the stopper back into the bottom drain fitting by threading the mounting post of the stopper. Reconnect the knurled knob at the top of the stopper.
  • Attach the mounting post at the bottom drain fitting. Return the knob to the stopper’s surface.
  • Open and close to check if everything is in place and working right.

More of a visual learner? Check out this video tutorial instead!


 Conclusion

Drain stoppers are essential items in the bathroom. They not only allow you to enjoy baths, they also prevent having messy floors. Choosing the appropriate model for your tub’s drain opening is very important. We hope this guide has been helpful! 

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