Bathtub will not hold water

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The prospect of taking a warm, soothing bath after a hard day at work is appealing to many people. However, you may observe a strange phenomenon upon filling the tub: the water drains slowly and never rises above a certain level. In some cases, the problem can be due to the bathtub drain stopper not being adjusted properly. However, your bathtub doesn’t hold water in other scenarios because something more complex is wrong with your plumbing.

You may have trouble holding water in your bathtub for several reasons. The most common explanation is that you leak somewhere in your plumbing system. If you are experiencing any of these problems, you should contact a residential plumber for a more thorough inspection. Plumbing professionals will identify the cause of bathtub drain leakage and present appropriate solutions.

It is sometimes frustrating when the bathtub drain does not function, but it is rather simple to resolve. Having an understanding of the root cause enables you to make the required repairs. The following are six reasons why your bathtub doesn’t hold water properly:


The bathtub drain stopper does not work

You might be suffering from a broken bathtub drain stopper if your bathtub won’t hold water. Drain assemblies for bathtubs can seem quite mysterious at first glance. However, over the bottom of the tub is a lever that controls when the tub will hold water as needed in addition to draining the tub when not in use; it also makes the tub water-tight.

An issue with the bathtub drain stopper can usually be explained because it has disengaged from the spring or plug that attaches it to the linkage. By doing so, the stopper stops holding water as it should since its connection to the trip lever is broken. Adjusting a bathtub drain stopper that is faulty is a relatively simple process. However, you may need to replace your bathtub drain if your adjustments don’t solve the problem.


The bathtub is clogged, so it doesn’t hold water.

It is common for old pipes to collect hair and grease. In the event of a clog, the pressure of the water changes. As a result, water is forced to find alternative escape routes. Despite a bathtub drain stopper, water might not remain in the tub for very long, at least not enough to allow one to complete the bath.

You may sometimes encounter a clog that doesn’t seem to wish to dissolve. Maybe something more stubborn, such as a shampoo cap or a razor cover, fell down the drain. Additionally, the bathtub drain stopper can be clogged. A local plumber should be contacted if any issues arise related to the stopper. Clogs can be prevented by inspecting them regularly.


The overflow tube in the bathtub is faulty.

The overflow drain assembly (also called the overflow tube) is sometimes to blame for the inability of your bathtub to hold water. An overfilled tub will have a safety feature that directs overflow water into drainpipes, preventing it from spilling over the edge. However, a loose-fitting can cause water to spill out of the tub and possibly damage the floor below it.

If you regularly bathe at a higher water level, the overflow tube could be the source of the problem. You can fix it by tightening the overflow tube or by getting a replacement gasket.


The bathtub has a faulty linkage.

The linkage of the drain stopper that moves it up and down might also be the source of the problem. First, verify that the linkage is connected correctly and functioning. You can do this by pulling the lever and lifting it until you can see the linkage fully. Magnetic tools can be used to reconnect a spring and plug disconnected from a linkage assembly.

Additionally, the linkage may tangle or bend. The pin located at the top should be secure, and it should be hanging straight down. In the case of a broken or missing U-shaped pin, replace it immediately. To ensure that this is functioning as it should, make sure that the linkage length is adjusted as needed.


The bathtub doesn’t hold water because of corrosion or rust.

The condition of old water pipes deteriorates with time. From the outside and the inside, their ability to facilitate the flow of water has been compromised. If your pipes corrode or rust, they may leak, allowing the water involved in your bathtub to escape that system.

Pipes can deteriorate due to a variety of factors. Depending on the pH level, your pipes and drains will corrode faster or slower. When a water’s pH is less than 7, it is considered acidic. When the pH of water is low, it contains more dissolved solids such as lead, calcium, and copper. If acidic water flows through your metal pipes, it absorbs minerals and chemicals from the pipe walls, eventually thins them.


A change in temperature caused problems with your bathtub’s water supply.

Pipes can contract and expand as a result of temperature changes. Since they are usually made of metal, this is the case. In this way, the connections and seals loosen, allowing alternate drainage routes to form. For example, water could escape instead of arriving in your bathtub if the pipes connecting it are affected by the temperature.

Take the steps below, and you’ll be back on your way to relaxation in no time.

1. Identify the source of the problem

If your tub doesn’t hold water, the problem is likely your bathtub drain stopper. Fortunately, this can usually be fixed within an hour – so you’ll be back enjoying a serene bubble bath in no time! However, it is necessary to remove the drain stopper cover plate before fixing the drain stopper.

2. Lift the linkage to reveal it

The drain stopper can be moved up and down with the linkage. It is crucial to check the linkage regularly to ensure it is connected properly and functioning correctly. Pull the lever and raise the linkage straight up as much as possible until you can see it.

3. Repair your connection

If you have a magnetic tool (available at most hardware stores), locate and reconnect the plug and spring.

4. Check for tangles

The linkage can become bent or tangled. Verify that the linkage is hanging straight down and that the pin at the top of the linkage is in place. The U-shaped pin should be replaced if it breaks or is missing. Make sure everything is in line and place before adjusting the linkage to allow it to function.

5. Replace your bathtub’s mechanisms and refill it

Replace the drain stopper cover plate and insert the mechanism into the overflow tube. Make sure the linkage has been appropriately adjusted by checking the level. (If it doesn’t work, repeat steps 1 through 4 again!)

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