Bathtub Won’t Hold Water-Quick And Easy Fix

People want deep relaxation after an exhausting day and they love to go for a shower in the bathtub. 

You can feel relaxed only when your bathtub is working properly. However, the situation might get worse at times. Sometimes you may have to encounter unexpected problems like the bathtub not holding water.

Bathtub won’t hold water is one of the most common and disturbing problems in the shower. And it can make you lose your mode.

There are several reasons which are responsible for this. Mostly, it happens due to a damaged drain stopper/plug. For this reason, the bathtub stopper won’t stay up, and the water will drain out.

Fixing a leaking bathtub is not so difficult. You can fix it all by yourself without any plumbing experience. For this, you have to identify the problem, examine the drain plug, and fix it following the correct process. 

In this article, we will describe to you the right guideline for fixing this issue. Additionally, we will provide some short answers to related questions as a bonus. Let’s dive deeper. 

Why Bathtub Won’t Hold Water: 6 Major Reasons Bathtub Won't Hold Water

Before fixing this problem, you need to understand what causes this. Knowing the reasons helps you to fix the problem properly. Here are several likely causes why your bathtub doesn’t hold water:

  • Faulty Drain Stopper:  A damaged bathtub drain stopper might be the main culprit. If your bathtub drain plug gets separated from the trip lever, it cannot hold water as it should.
  • Clogged Drain Pipes/Stopper: Pipes used for a long time, are prone to get clogged by hair and grease. Since the clog forms up, the water is forced to flow through alternate routes. Even a bathtub drain stopper gets clogged and doesn’t work properly in this occurrence.
  • Faulty Overflow Tube: Overflow drain assembly/Tube is a safety tool for directing overloaded water back into the drainpipes, preventing it from overflowing over the bathtub’s edge. For a loosely fitted overflow tube, water will flow out of the tub and drench the floor.
  • Faulty linkage: Linkage moves the drain plug up and down. For a properly working drain stopper, you need to ensure the linkage is connected. The spring and plug may be detached from the linkage assembly. You can reconnect it using a magnetic tool. The linkage may also get twisted or faulty.
  • Rust or Corrosion: As time goes, old water pipes decay. It hampers the water flow from outside and inside. Corroded and rusted pipes may cause leakage in the water system, producing an alternative exit for the water expected for the bathtub.
  • Changing Temperature: This can cause metal pipelines to contract and expand. If the changing temperature affects your bathtub pipelines, water could be draining rather than coming in the tub.

Bathtub Won’t Hold Water: Fixing Bathtub StopperBathtub Won’t Hold Water Fixing Bathtub Stopper

Once you detect that your bathtub is not holding water and you have to take the essential steps to repair it. Fortunately, you need less than an hour to fix your stopper. After fixing this quickly you don’t have to worry about wasting your precious water anymore. Before starting the process, you have to get some required tools.

Tools you Need: 

After arranging the tools, follow the following steps: 

  • Remove Cover Plate: To repair the faulty drain stopper, you have to take out the entire plug body from inside the drain. If any screws are carrying a cover plate on the drain stopper, remove the screws to lift the plate. After removing the plate, go to the next step.
  • Pull the lever: Draw the lever toward you and keep it raised straight toward the roof to reach the linkage. You have to reveal the linkage to work on it for solving the issue. After completing this, go to step 5.
  • Reconnect the Spring: Now, you need to restore the spring in the stopper to re-connect it firmly to the bathtub drain linkage. The spring or the plug will move to the ending of the linkage.
    With the help of a magnetic tool, you can pull up the spring/plug. You can also use a magnet instead of
    a magnetic pickup tool.
  • Check for Faults & Fix Them: This is one of the most important steps to follow while fixing. Take a close look at the lineage, and ensure that all connections are secure. The linkage must hang straight. If it is tangled, straight it by pushing or pulling the rods.
  • Replace U-shaped pin: Another common issue is the U-shaped pin at the head of the linkage. It joins the linkage with the handle. If it is broken/fallen off, you have to replace it.
  • Adjust the length of the linkage: If your drain stopper carries a spring, you need to adjust the length of the linkage. It is a very easy and uncomplicated task. Simply reduce the spring, by tweaking the nut with pliers. If your plug is weighted, reduce it to modify the length.
  • Replace the setup and refill your bath: Once the spring is re-connected and all connections are secured, spray the lubricant. Now you are ready to feed the entire setup back in the hole. Carefully replace the full drain stopper set up, replace the cover plate in the place. Turn on the faucet, fill the tub and check if the tub holds water. If the water is leaking again, repeat the earlier method. You’ll have to refix until it works accurately.

We hope your bathtub will hold water after following each of the above steps correctly.

You might be interested to read also our another comprehensive article of: Bathtub Drain Shoe Leak

How to Keep Water in A Bathtub If the Stopper Doesn’t WorkHow to Keep Water in A Bathtub If the Stopper Doesn’t Work

Some people don’t have enough time to repair the faulty drain plug. 

So they often want some temporary solutions like how to keep water in the bathtub without the stopper. Here are the solutions that you can follow–

  • Plumbers putty: If your stopper is leaking, applying a plumbing putty may work effectively. Purchase a good-quality plumbing putty. You can find them in the local plumbing store. Seal the drain using the putty. Take two parts of the putty on your hand and give it a roll shape to cover the stopper. Now seal the leakage zone in a round shape using the putty. It will stop water from draining out through the drain stopper. But, you can’t expect enough longevity from it.
  • Washcloth in a Bag: A flat washcloth in a plastic bag can also be used for covering leakage. At first, take a plastic bag, keep a washcloth inside the bag. Then remove air by squeezing to make it airproof. Then, lift the cover plate of the drain and place the plastic bag. Keep the bag straight in the hole of the drain to prevent water from leaking. Again, this is not a permanent solution.
  • The lid of Jam Jar: Get a small lid from any jam jar. You can use the lid temporarily to cover the drain if your water drains out from the bathtub. Put the lid on the drain hole upside down and turn on the shower faucet. Keep pushing the lid on the drain hole with a thumb while the water is filling the bathtub. After filling the bathtub, water will make pressure on the lid. And the lid will prevent water from leaking. But, a small leakage can still happen. But you will be able to take at least a shower using this method.

None of them is a permanent solution. For longevity, you have to fix your broken drain stopper. You either can get this done by calling in a plumber. Or, you can do this all by yourself following the above-mentioned steps.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to repair a leaky bathtub water drain if your bathtub doesn’t hold water. So, inspect your bathtub drain stopper and follow the tutorial described above to fix it. By following this easy guideline, anyone can seal the bathtub drain stopper leakage without any plumbing experience. It also saves you from plumbing costs. Because you can perform the whole process all on your own. As we discussed in the later segment, if you are facing an emergency and need a fast solution, you can follow stopper sealing methods. But, those methods will not work as well as repairing the drain stopper.

Learn more about how to replace or adjust a bathtub trip level or stopper. In this video you will learn step-by-step on how to replace a bathtub trip lever or bath tub stopper.

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