5 Reasons Bathtub Draining When Plugged [Fixed Now]

Your bathtub is draining even when it is plugged in because of the damaged casket, drain stopper issue, water pressure variations, and even ventilation or installation issues. But, most of the reasons lie in either the gasket or drain stopper.

The good news is that I have faced this particular issue various times and fixed it. Most of the time, fixing the drain stopper or replacing the gasket does the job. I will show you how you can do that here. Let’s dive into it!

Issues You Might Face While Bathtub Draining When Plugged

Reasons Your Bathtub Draining When Plugged

Yes, I understand the primary issue here, which is your bathtub is draining even when it’s plugged. But that’s not all the issues you’ll face in this case. 

Sometimes, when draining the tub, you might hear strange gurgling or bubbling noises constantly. It’s like your drain is trying to communicate with you, which can be annoying.

Even sometimes, water from the bathtub might actually start backing up into other fixtures in your bathroom, like the sink or toilet. And your bathtub might exhibit strange behavior, where the water level rises and falls while you’re taking a bath, and it can lead to bathtub injuries, too!

Here is something I faced a lot. If you find yourself frequently dealing with clogs in your bathtub drain, it could be a sign of an underlying problem, like a buildup of debris or a structural issue.

In some cases, water drainage issues can also affect the temperature of your bath. If the water drains fast, it can mix with cold water, making your bath less enjoyable.

Besides, there are some issues you might not even realize without an expert. Now, let’s see the reasons your bathtub is draining even when it is plugged in.

Reasons Your Bathtub Draining When Plugged

There could be multiple reasons behind your bathtub draining issues even when it is plugged in. I will briefly go through all of them so that you have a better understanding.

Reason #1: Damaged Gasket 

In my experience, this is the most common issue I have seen behind the issue. The gasket is a rubber or silicone ring that helps create a watertight seal when you plug the drain. Over time, the gasket can degrade, crack, or become misaligned, preventing it from sealing the drain effectively.

Reason #2: Clogged Overflow Drain

Many bathtubs have an overflow drain located just below the rim, just like mine. If this overflow drain is clogged with debris, it can create a path for water to escape even when the stopper is in place.

Reason #3: Faulty Drain Stopper Issues

It is no wonder that it might happen. One of the most common reasons for this issue is a faulty or worn-out drain stopper. If the stopper doesn’t create a tight seal over the drain, water can still seep through, causing the bathtub to drain slowly or not hold water at all.

Sometimes, the stopper might not be installed correctly. It could be too loose or not appropriately aligned with the drain, allowing water to escape.

That’s not all! The mechanism that operates the drain stopper can become worn out or damaged over time, leading to difficulties in fully sealing the drain.

Reason #4: Water Pressure Variations

In some cases, fluctuations in water pressure can affect the effectiveness of the drain stopper. If the pressure is too high, it may force water past the stopper. If it’s too low, the stopper may not stay in place.

Reason #5: Ventilation Problems or Installation Issues

You won’t believe me how even minor things can make you suffer and cause issues in other places. Proper ventilation in your plumbing system is essential for creating the right pressure balance. If your plumbing vents are blocked or damaged, it can affect how the stopper functions.

Occasionally, the design or installation of the bathtub’s drainage system may not be optimal. Poorly designed drains can struggle to maintain a seal even with a functioning stopper.

Of course, that’s not all the reasons that need to be checked. But there are ways to fix these.

How Do I Stop My Bathtub from Draining When Plugged?

Bathtub Draining When Plugged

Before you jump into fixing the issue, there are some pre-steps you must take. You need to make sure the drain area is clean and free from debris, hair, or soap scum. Use a pair of tweezers or a wire hanger to remove any visible clogs. 

After that;

Way #1: Fix issues with Drain Stopper

Examine the drain stopper to ensure it’s not damaged or worn. Look for cracks or signs of wear and tear. If it’s in poor condition, you may need to replace it with a new one.

And, sometimes, Depending on the type of drain stopper your bathtub has, there may be different ways to adjust it. 

  • Push-and-Pull Stopper: If your drain stopper operates with a push-and-pull mechanism, make sure it’s properly aligned and moves freely. Adjust it to the closed position by pushing it down firmly into the drain.
  • Twist-and-Turn Stopper: For twist-and-turn stoppers, twist the stopper clockwise until it’s in the fully closed position.
  • Lever-Operated Stopper: If you have a lever-operated stopper, ensure the lever is down, which should keep the stopper in the closed position.

Way #2: Fix Gasket Issues

The gasket, which is a rubber or silicone ring around the stopper, should be in good condition. If it’s damaged or worn, it may not create a proper seal. You must replace it to get rid of the problem.

Once you’ve adjusted the stopper and confirmed the gasket is intact, fill the bathtub with water to test if it holds water without draining. The water level should remain constant.

While the tub is filled with water, keep an eye on the drain area and the overflow drain for any signs of water leakage. If you notice any leaks, it indicates that the seal needs to be watertight.

That’s all the DIY methods you can do. If these don’t fix the issue, or if you suspect an issue with the drain mechanism itself, it’s a good idea to seek assistance from a professional plumber.

Wrap Up

That’s all the information I can offer to you in this case. Hopefully, replacing the gasket or fixing any issue related to the drain stopper will solve the problem because that’s what happens most of the time.

If not, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help. Have a good day!

Leave a Comment