What is a Bathtub Stopper? The Different Types of Bathtub Stoppers in 2020
Bathtub stoppers are an excellent way to manage the water in your bathtub and ensure a long and enjoyable bathing session. Today we will be discussing the various types of bathtub stoppers and hopefully pick the right one for your bathtub.
What is a bathtub stopper?
A bathtub stopper is a small device that effectively plugs the drain in your bathtub. Other names for it are drain stopper or stopper for short. The reason for this is to fill your bathtub with water so that you can bathe, then simply remove the stopper to drain out all the dirty water afterwards.
What are common materials for bathtub stoppers
Bathtub stoppers come in three primary materials:
Types of Bathtub Stoppers
Bathtub stoppers come in six primary variants. These variants determine how they operate and how effective they are at stopping water flow and their durability over an extended period of time, so choose the stopper that is most appropriate for your bathroom.
1. Lift and Turn
A lift turn stopper is easily identified by a small knob on the cap of the drain stopper. The purpose of this knob is to allow you to easily twist the stopper open and closed, for example, if you twist it in one direction, it will be open, whereas if you twist it in the other direction, it will be closed. Installation of these stoppers is quite simple, screw the center setscrew into the threaded center of the drain crossbar.
Make sure to not overtighten the screw as it will be a bit more difficult when removing this stopper. The main benefit of this stopper is that it is simple-easy to install, easy to maintain and easy to replace should something go wrong. There really isn’t any negative to it, except maybe that it is very simple in design.
2. Push and Pull
A push and pull stopper is almost identical in appearance as a lift and turn stopper, even sharing the same installation method. To install a push and pull stopper, tighten the setscrew to fix the stopper body with the drain crossbar. However, instead of the stopper being opened by a lift and turn motion, it requires a push down to stop water from flowing and a pull to open it up again. As described before, the biggest advantage of these two stoppers is that they are incredibly easy to install, easy to maintain and easy to replace.
3. Pop Up
Quite similar to the stopper in your sink, this stopper functions much the same way. A lever operates a connecting rod that is tied to an overflow plate. When the lever is lifted, the overflow plate is either lifted or lowered, allowing water to pass through. The largest negative to this style of stopper is that both the plate and the connecting arm can easily attract dirt and must be individually removed in order to be cleaned. Other than that, the advantage is that it requires much less force to operate than both lift and turn and push and pull drain systems.
4. Touch Toe
A touch toe stopper is a stopper that is similar to a lift and turn, providing a spring-loaded stopper that is screwed to your drain’s crossbar. To open and close this stopper, simply push down on it with your toe and it will open and close. Like other lift and turn or push and pull stoppers, a touch-toe is also easy to maintain and clean. It will require replacing the spring from time to time, but that’s about the only drawback to this design.
5. Flip It
A flip-it stopper is a stopper that does not need any tools to be installed. It is a stopper that is sealed above your drain and features a toggle lever above or to the side of the stopper. The built in O-rings hold it in place and create a watertight seal when the lever is toggled, otherwise you can simply flip it to allow water through. The advantage of this stopper is that it is the easiest of all stoppers to install and use. There really isn’t any disadvantage to a flip-it stopper as they are also easy to clean and maintain as well.
6. Trip lever
Similar to a pop-up, a trip lever functions much the same way. A trip lever is essentially a plunger that is connected to the lever, stopping your tub’s drain pipe. When the trip lever is down, the plunger is lifted and the drain is open, allowing water to flow through. If you wish to clean a trip lever, you must remove the lever plate as it is connected to the rest of the components. The advantage of this stopper is that it is easy to use and requires much less force or strength compared to a lift or pull stopper. The disadvantage is that it is trickier to clean and maintain.
Are there alternatives to these common types?
The six drain stoppers mentioned above are the most common types, with very few choices otherwise. In general, many of these stoppers are very similar, only differing in how they seal water out. Their general shape and longevity is almost identical, so it’s simply their water sealing method that you are choosing.
Where to purchase bathtub stoppers?
As with most bathroom appliances, there is a wide variety of storefronts to choose from. Many bathtub stoppers are offered through online vendors such as Amazon, but for those who need something immediate, there are quite a few choices available.
- Home Depot
- Any local Hardware store
Bathtub stoppers are incredibly easy to install and greatly improve your bathing experience. So consider adding one to your bathtub today.