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Bathtub Drain Stopper Types

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There are quite a few different bathtub drain stopper types. They are all designed to keep water in the tub but another thing that many stoppers do is make it difficult to clean debris out of the tub drain. Since it’s a good idea to occasionally clean out any hair and debris that has collected in drain it is helpful to know what type of bathtub drain stopper you have.

Lift and Turn

Lift and turn tub stopper
Photo © Aaron Stickley
A lift a turn drain stopper is closed by turning the knob on the top of the stopper until it goes down and is opened by lifting and turning the knob in the opposite direction. This type of stopper is installed by screwing a center set screw into the threaded center of the drain cross bar. Removing a lift and turn stopper can be a little tricky if it was overtightened when first installed or if it hasn’t been removed in some time.

Push and Pull

Push pull tub stopper
Photo © Aaron Stickley
A push and pull stopper is very similar to a lift and turn stopper in design and look but it is pushed down to close and pulled up to open instead of having to turn the stopper. Installation is also similar with a set screw threading into the drain cross bar.

Trip Lever

Bathtub trip lever stopper
Photo © Aaron Stickley
This type of tub stopper uses a plunger in the tub overflow pipe to plug the drain pipe and stop water from draining. The tub drain usually has just a strainer to stop large objects from going down the drain. There is a trip lever on the tub overflow plate on the side of the bathtub that moves the plunger. Lifting the trip lever lets the plunger move down into the drain and pushing the lever down opens the drain by lifting the plunger. This type of tub stopper is installed through the tub overflow.

Toe Touch

Toe touch tub stopper
Photo © Aaron Stickley
A toe touch stopper (a.k.a. toe tap or foot actuated) is installed by threading it into the threaded center of the drain cross bar. Tools are usually not required to install or remove a toe touch stopper. To close or open the stopper you just push it down.

Flip-It

A flip-it tub stopper is an easily installed, no tool required stopper. A toggle lever on the top of the stopper is moved from side to side to close and open the stopper. To install this type of stopper you just push it into the drain and the built in o rings hold it in place and make a watertight seal.

Pop-Up

The drain part of this type of tub stopper looks very much like a bathroom sink pop-up. The stopper is opened and closed by using a lever on the overflow faceplate. When the lever moves the linkage mechanism in the overflow drain pipe moves also. There is a spring at the end of the linkage that puts pressure on a rocker arm in the drain pipe which then moves the pop up down or up.
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