DIY Bathtub Lever Repair

in Build-It3 months ago

Hi fellow DIY'rs,

Today I've got a topic I found was hard to describe: bathroom tub levers! It's also a contest entry, check inside for details!


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So if you're like me, there are things that amaze you that we totally take for granted and not understand a thing about until it breaks! This was for me, the bathtub lever that plugs or unplugs the drain. Anyone that's got a modern tub, probably not a claw-foot tub but I can't be sure about that, has this type of hardware.

The tub lever is what raises and lowers a piece of metal down into the pipe to block it. It's actually a pretty cool and genius invention! What I didn't realize was this was the cause of our tub working sub-par for a long time. One day, the lever finally gave out!

So if you've got a working lever, the lever will easily stay in the down or up position and let water drain (down) or plug the drain (up). Ours would always plug but still let water through the drain and it was a bit annoying when you were trying to take a nice bath and the water would slowly drain but we couldn't figure out why. It was also very annoying to listen to for me lol. This (pictured below) is what the lever looked like when it was broken, stuck in the middle position. I threw the old one away before I got a picture of it but the lever was stuck in the middle. It wouldn't stay up or down, kind of halfway between so I knew it had to go. It was definitely the original lever when the place was built lol


So first thing, take off the two bolts. Pretty straight forward on that one. All I really needed was a screw driver to do this job so that was nice!


Once you have the bolts off and put aside somewhere safe and where you won't lose them, you can slowly pull the contraption out. This was really cool to see for me! I didn't know it had so many parts to it lol.


The device has multiple layers to it. There is the initial hook that connects to this middle piece. Below that is the threaded bolt that connects to the metal drum looking thing that blocks the drain.


So I apologize if you are a little squeamish. This was pretty gross to look at when I pulled it out. That's some old, gross hair from god knows who lol. The important part is that the little metal drum at the bottom of it was in good shape. It wasn't rusted or anything so it was probably brass or copper or something that lasts well in water. I cleaned it up as best I could without going overboard and connected it all back together but replaced the face plate with the broken lever.


This was a very inexpensive but fun thing to fix in our house. I did it with my son not being home unfortunately so he wasn't there to help me so that was a little sad, he loves helping! I wasn't sure what to expect though so I didn't want to wait for him to get home with my wife before doing it. I think anyone who calls a plumber because their tub won't stay plugged would be in for a 75-100 dollar bill for something as simple as this. I'm glad that it was a simple 10$ part at the store and we were good to go!

This is my entry for the build-it contest for the week! You can find the link to the post here if you'd like to enter! There's some awesome stuff up for grabs!

One of the important criteria is that you need to have at least 50 BUILD token staked. Got that covered!


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