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Why Won’t My Bathtub Hold Water?

May 14, 2021
Why Won’t My Bathtub Hold Water?

A relaxing bath is the perfect way to unwind after a long day of work, but there is a lot that can go wrong. A common scene is the one where the water won’t hold in the bathtub. Unless you want to waste tens of gallons of hot water, you are going to want that bathtub to seal shut. Luckily, this frustrating problem is one that is easy to fix. Your friends at Neighborhood Plumbing have plenty of experience resolving this problem and our plumbers are ready to come help. Still, we put this article together for those residents and homeowners who want to give a self-repair a shot. Call Neighborhood Plumbing if you would like to hire one of our qualified plumbers.

Common Sources of the Problem

It can be that your tub itself is leaking. You are very likely to detect that this is the issue, however. If water is flooding your bathroom floors or you notice signs of a leakage on your walls and ceiling, then call a plumber as soon as possible to get this fixed.
In most cases, though, your bathtub is not holding water because the drain stopper is faulty. Usually the problem is that the drain stopper is disconnected from the plug or spring that connects it with the linkage. 

Fixing the Drain Stopper

You only need about an hour to fix the drain stopper. Start by removing the drain stopper cover plate. Next, pull the lever and lift straight up to uncover the linkage. All connections should be secure, and the linkage should hang straight and not be tangled. If disconnected, retrieve the plug or spring and reconnect it to the end of your linkage. You can use a magnetic tool to retrieve the plug or spring.
Another common problem with the drain stopper is a missing pin at the top of the linkage that connects it with the handle. You will have to replace it if the U-shaped pin has fallen out. Once properly adjusted, feed the mechanism back into place and put the cover back on the plate. See if the lever works.

Temporary Solutions

If the prior fix does not work and you just have to get that bath out of the way, then consider some of these quick fixes until you have time to call a nearby plumber.
A coffee pod like a Keurig pod or a 15 mL medicine cup is usually the perfect size to block the bathtub’s drain. If the cup is a little small, then wrap a few rubber bands around it to thicken it and improve the seal. You can also grab a plastic bag or zip lock bag and toss a wet washcloth or small sponge into it. Squeeze the bag to let out as much air as possible, secure it shut, and stuff the bag snugly into the drain hole.
If none of these solutions work, then head out to your local hardware store to buy a drain plug. Remember to get the measurements of your drain hole so you buy the right size.

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