How To Block A Bathtub Drain Without A Plug? [DIY Bathtub Stopper]

block a bathtub drain without a plugAfter coming back home from work, you would want to unwind yourself in a hot bathtub.

But you don’t have a working plug or stopper. If you are wondering how to block a bathtub drain without a plug, you are in luck.

Fortunately, many ways are using which you can prevent the water from draining from your bathtub. These methods range from using a universal stopper to DIY fixes and others.

You can also make use of different types of drain stoppers including flip-it, toe-touch, pop-up, trip lever, and push-and-pull. But I would prefer some quick household fixes.

In case, you don’t have a spare stopper in the house, you can try out DIY solutions such as using a lid, plastic bag, or even an empty coffee pod. I can guarantee, these temporary solutions work the best.

Since most of you are not used to fixing bathtub drains, I have laid down a detailed guide for your help.

In this guide, I will tell you how to block a bathtub drain without a plug and everything related to it. If you were looking for such a solution, you should better give this article a read.

How to stop the bathtub from draining?

There feels nothing more heavenly than soaking yourself in a hot tub of water. But what do you do when the bathtub doesn’t hold water? I can tell you for a fact that your bathtub plug is to be blamed.

In my experience, water drains faster from a bathtub when it has a faulty stopper. If you are wondering how to stop bathtub from draining, I have just the solution for you.

If your bathtub cannot hold water, follow these steps to fix it:

  1. The first thing you do is check the drain plug lever on the bathtub. To fix it, you need to pull out the entire thing from the drain. For this, you need to unscrew the screws holding the plate on the stopper. You need to remove the plate to move onto the next step.
  2. Now pull the stopper lever and keep it that way to access the linage. To solve the issue, you will have to work on the linage.
  3. Next, retrieve the stopper spring and reconnect it to the bathtub drain linkage. Make sure that the drain plug or stopper goes to the end of the linkage. I would suggest you use a magnetic tool to pull out the spring. You can also use a simple magnet or even a string to get it done.
  4. This is a crucial step of the process. In this step, you need to find out the issue and fix it. Take a look at the linage and you will see two rods connected at an angle.
  5. You should also inspect the other connections to make sure that they are fine. When the linkage is tangled, your bathtub fails to hold water. In this case, you need to straighten it by pulling or pushing the rods.
  6. The drain stopper also has a U-shaped pin that connects the linkage with the handle. You need to make sure that it fits perfectly.
  7. If your drain stopper comes with a spring, you need to adjust the linkage accordingly.
  8. Now reconnect the spring and all the other connections. After that apply some lubricant and put the entire setup in the hole. Once you are done, check if water remains in the tub or not. This should be able to fix your issue.

I believe, knowing how to stop bathtub from draining is more beneficial than calling a plumber. This helps you save a lot of money.

How to close the bathtub drain without a stopper?

It can be frustrating when you are trying to have a good dip in your tub, but the stopper won’t work. In such situations, I use temporary fixes until I can repair or replace the old one.

If you are wondering how to close a bathtub drain without a stopper, I have some excellent ideas for you guys. Here is how to keep water in the bathtub without a stopper:

  1. Use plumber’s putty fix

Instead of just wondering, how to unclog a bathtub drain without removing a stopper, use some plumber’s putty and you will be good to go. This may be a temporary solution, but it is very effective.

It works the best when your bathtub stopper doesn’t fit properly. All you have to do is roll some putty and apply it around the drain and then put in the plug. Once you get the right stopper, you can remove the putty.

  1. Get a jar lid of the size of your drain

close the bathtub drain without a stopperAnother way to hold water in your bathtub is to use a jar or plastic lid. Make sure that the lid is as big as the drain hole.

All you have to do is place the lid upside down in the drain hole and then press it down as you start filling your tub.

The water weight and the suction from inside the drain will keep the lid in its place and thus, stop the water from escaping.

  1. Use a washcloth stuffed plastic bag

This is yet another effective method you can use. Take a washcloth and stuff it inside a plastic bag. Make sure you squeeze out all the air from the bag and then seal it with a rubber band.

Now put the stuffed plastic bag in the drain hole. Hold it down until the water puts enough pressure for the bag to stay down.

For all of you wondering how to keep water in the bathtub without a stopper, you already know what to do.

How to stop bathtub overflow drain?

In this section, I will tell you how to stop bathtub overflow drain.

By overflow drains, we refer to a sewer that prevents that stops the bathtub from overflowing. This is mainly important for short height people.

Overflowing drain not only makes it comfortable for you to take a bath, but it also leaves ugly stains in your tub.

If you are wondering how to stop bathtub overflow drain, I have just the right solution for you.

Take a picture of your overflow drain and show it in a local plumbing shop. Once they see the picture, they will get you a proper seal with tightening screws. This will prevent the drain to overflow.

Another solution would be to use a plastic bag. Wrap the plastic bag a few times and then put it in the overflow drain. I can guarantee that this works because I have done it too.

DIY Bathtub Stopper

How to block a bathtub drain without a plug? This is a very common question I come across. Today, I am going to answer that once and for all.

I have described some of the best DIY bathtub stopper ideas below. If you have a faulty stopper, follow these methods as temporary solutions.

  • Use an empty coffee pod

DIY Bathtub StopperYes, no kidding! You can use an empty coffee pod as an effective DIY bathtub stopper. Take a 15 ml cup and use it to block the drain.

All you have to do is place the cup firmly in the drain hole and start filling the tub with water.

If the cup is too small, wrap a rope or few rubber bands around it.


  • Get a toilet plunger

toilet plungerAnother great DIY bath drain cover idea is to use a toilet plunger. You can use it as a makeshift plug for your bathtub drain.

First, clean the rubber end using some soap water and then put it over the drain. Now press it down to seal the drain hole.

For a comfortable experience, I would suggest you remove the wooden handle.


Tape the bathtub drain

tape bathtub drainYou can also use waterproof duct tape as an effective DIY bath drain cover. Cut a piece of duct tape and cover the drain hold with it.

To make the seal strong, create a double layer on top of the hole. This can withstand the water pressure for a long time.

Press the tape down to make sure it is binding to the tub. Make sure that your tub is dry when putting the tape on top of the hole.

Temporary Bath Plug

temporary bath plugA temporary bath plug is needed when your stopper doesn’t work. In some cases, the stopper won’t fit properly which lets the water drain faster.

Also, if you have a faulty plug, you should use a temporary bath plug until you get a new stopper.

A makeshift bathtub stopper is a savior in times of need. Let’s say you want to take a bath in your tub.

For this, you need your stopper to work properly. If it doesn’t, then a makeshift bathtub stopper can save you for the day.

If you are wondering how to block a bathtub drain without a plug, I have some helpful ideas for you.

  • Use a small plastic cup

One of the best ways to stop water from draining is to use a small plastic cup. You can use any small coffee cup or used pod in your house. These items can be effectively used to stop a bathtub drain.

You need to place the bottom of the cup in the drain and check whether it can hold the water. If it is loose, you can use a few rubber bands to tighten it.


How do you remove a foot lock drain stopper from a bathtub?

Make sure the surface of the tub is dry. Set the foot lock stopper in the open position. Now holding the cap of the stopper firmly turn it counterclockwise. This will unscrew the cap and finally, it will come off.

What causes a bathtub to not drain?

One of the most common reasons for a clogged bathtub is hair. When you take a shower, your hair slithers down the drain and gets stuck to the sides of the piping.

Over time, it gets attached to other materials that go down the drain and thus, resulting in a clog.

How do you remove a pop-up bathtub plug?

You need to first unscrew the knob on the top of the drain plug and check if there is a set-screw underneath. If yes, then use a hex key or a screwdriver to unscrew it.

Next rotate the stopper counterclockwise until it pulls free from its position. Now you can remove the mounting post with the help of pliers.

 How do you pop a stuck plug?

To get a stuck plug out, you need to apply penetrating oil on it and let it soak for several hours. After that take a small hammer and tap counterclockwise to loosen the plug. This is an effective way to pop a stuck plug.


Bathtub stoppers have a mind of their own. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. If you have a faulty bathtub stopper that won’t hold water, you can try the temporary fixes I suggested in the article.

By now you know how to block a bathtub drain without a plug and therefore, you should be good to go.

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