Tub drain plunger jammed! Helpful ideas?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by TSPORT, Dec 6, 2008.


    TSPORT New Member

    May 1, 2005
    Philly,PA suburbs
    Hi all. Pastor at my church said tub drain clogged. Went over today to try to clear. I tried to remove the trip lever assembly so I could get a snake in there. The trim plate & lever assembly come off just fine and the linkage is all still hooked up but the plunger is stuck fast in the drain pipe in the closed position preventing the tub from draining. I cannot even get a wiggle out of it. Tried prying up on the clevis area at the top of the linkage and also tried poking a coat hanger through the tub drain towards the plunger as well as looping a strong wire (coat hangar) around the linkage so I could get better leverage pulling straight up. All to no avail, still no movement at all. Anybody have a clue what went wrong here or ideas to help me free up and remove the plunger from the drain? The tub is original circa about 1962-63. No access panel to the back of the tub or underneath. Do we need to remove & replace the entire tub drain or is there hope? The drain and plunger appear to be standard issue brass, nothing unusual. On the advice of someone else who did not look at it first, the pastor poured bleach in the botton of the tub to clear the clog. It's been sitting in the drain for a few weeks now. Could this have caused a reaction w/ the plunger in the drain siezing it in place? I think the problem all along was just the plunger stuck closed but I could be wrong. It certainly is the problem now. Looking forward to your helpful replies. Sorry, no pictures...........TSPORT:confused:
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Pour some white vinegar in there. Repeat several times over a day. You could also use CLR or LimeAway.
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  4. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Jun 12, 2006
    I've had this situation many times in older apartment buildings I worked at. Most times, you can free up the plunger with a propane torch. If that fails, you'll have to remove the part of the drain where the plunger is stuck and replace it.
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