The little plug or disc that drains the bathwater from the bottom of the tub can become a big nuisance. When your Moen bathtub drain stopper doesn't get a good seal or refuses to stay completely closed throughout the relaxing bath time and water gurgles down the drain, it needs to be adjusted or replaced.
Tips to Working on Stoppers
It can be a messy job. Beneath the bathtub drain stopper, you're more than likely to find globs of hair glued together with soap scum and debris. Put clean cloths around the bottom of the tub to collect damp debris that you retrieve from the drain. This also protects the finish of the bathtub. A pair of work gloves can help you get a good grip on slippery parts of the Moen bathtub drain stopper.
Once the stopper and inserts are removed, have a small plastic cup or clean cloth to set them on so they don't get lost.
Identify the Stopper Type
Moen creates a few different types of bathtub drain stoppers. Before replacing the bathtub stopper, you'll need to figure out which one is installed in your tub.
A toe-touch stopper is fairly common and opens and closes with just a push of your toe. A push-pull stopper has a knob that is pushed down to close the drain and pulled up to drain the water from the bathtub. A lift-and-turn type often looks like a push-and-pull but requires the stopper to be lifted and turned to open and close the drain. The Moen Push-N-Lock drain assembly has a knob that opens and closes the drain. Below the knob is an insert with a screw.
Remove a Toe-Touch Stopper
The toe-touch stopper can be removed with minimal effort and a flathead screwdriver. Put the stopper to the drain or open position and turn the top of the stopper counterclockwise. Push down or hold the shaft cylinder below the top if it is not moving. Remove the stopper and use the screwdriver to remove the shaft cylinder counterclockwise.
Push-Pull or Lift-and-Turn
The good thing about this type of stopper is that it can be in either the open or closed position when you remove it. Take off the knob and hold down the body of the stopper. Unscrew the knob counterclockwise while holding down the body. If the stopper is stubborn, wrap an old rag around the stopper and use pliers to remove the knob.
Remove the brass insert post in the middle of the stopper with a flathead screwdriver, turning counterclockwise. Lift the stopper from the strainer. The plunger style has an internal plunger that raises or lowers the plunger when the lever or turning plate is tripped.
Remove Moen Push-N-Lock
A Moen Push-N-Lock bathtub drain stopper is a little more complicated. With the stopper in the open position, unscrew the pull knob counterclockwise. Unscrew the brass insert that is securing the stopper with a flathead screwdriver.
Once the brass insert is removed, clean all of the parts thoroughly. Use a snake designed for tub drains to remove any gunk that has gathered to a depth of 6 inches down the drain.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.