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How to Unclog a Bathtub Using the Trip Lever

A trip lever is a fairly easy tool to use when a bathtub drain is clogged. Use these step-by-step instructions to get the drain unclogged.

More in Plumbing

  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Remove the Screws

Remove the two screws that fasten the trip lever to the tub. The trip lever is the lever that makes the tub drain go up and down.

remove screws that fasten trip lever to tub

Step 2: Remove the Trip, and Look for Debris

Once the screws are removed, yank up on the trip lever and the whole mechanism will come out.

Look for hair or debris that can be removed. Now that the trip lever has been removed, a hand snake can be used.

Step 3: Block the Hole, and Begin Plunging

Before plunging, use a wet rag to block the hole in the overflow plate where the trip lever is (Image 1).

Next, put a few inches of water into the tub, then hold the rag in place and start plunging (Image 2).

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