Can’t Get Bathtub Drain to Seal – How to Fix Problems

Some equipment in water pipe systems, especially bathtub drain, tends to leak out over time. Can’t get bathtub drain to seal can cause a lot of damage to your bathroom. 

There are many solutions for leaking you can use at home, such as install a rubber seal, use putty, use caulk, or replace the bathtub drain stopper. This article will show you some detailed reasons and solutions when your bathtub is leaking. 

Can’t get bathtub drain to seal – What’s causing it?

The rubber seal becomes cracked or worn

When you use the bathtub stopper for a long time, the rubber seal will lead to worn or cracked. If this occurs, the rubber seal cannot seal the water in the bathtub, and the water drains out.

The bathtub stopper does not work

The bathtub stoppers usually do a great job for many years. However, over time, it may not seal or become clogged or may not function as well as before. It becomes blocked by soap, dead skin cells, hair, and other bath products.  

Can’t get bathtub drain to seal – Solutions

Installing a rubber seal


Installing a rubber seal is one of the best methods to prevent water leaks. It fills the space between the surfaces to prevent leakage from the water pipe systems.


Step 1: Buy a new rubber seal. You can buy it at any hardware store. 

Step 2: Remove the screws and pull the bathtub stopper out

Step 3: Install a new rubber seal and ensure the thick side is at the bottom.

Step 4: Use silicone caulk to lubricate the seal and install it into the position around the spillway’s mouth.

Step 5: Tighten the screws

Step 6: Check again before using it.

Using Plumber’s Putty


Plumber’s Putty is a cheap material used for sealing around the drains, faucets, and other plumbing parts. It creates a tight sealing between the wall of the tub’s drain and its surface.


Step 1: Use your finger, get a little of Plumber’s Putty out of the tub.

Step 2: Roll it back and forth between your palms to create a continuous rope. The rope must be slightly larger than the space you need to fill, and it has the length you need.

Step 3: Put the plumber’s putty into the place that you want to seal. 

Step 4: Put the rope slightly into the site.

Step 5: Tighten down the rope, and remove the leftover putty.

Using Caulk


In case you cannot access the lower part of the bathtub drain, using a caulk is the best choice for you. It creates a waterproof seal to prevent leakage.


Step 1: Choose the right caulk. In this case, silicone caulk is suitable for you because it is designed to be applied in wet conditions such as bathtubs.

Step 2: Remove the old caulk and clean the surface. You can remove the caulk by a retractable razor blade scraper. Then, clean the surfaces with alcohol or a rag.

Step 3: Tape off the surfaces to seal these edges so caulk cannot seep beneath it. 

Step 4: Open your caulk and puncture the inner seal. Use equal force to press it along the length of the joint.

Step 5: Use a light force from end to end to smooth the caulk joint. Repeat the process several times

Step 6: Remove the tape, which is in step 3.

Replacing the bathtub drain stopper

Step 1 – Open the old bathtub drain stopper

Step 2 – Clean the old bathtub drain stopper

If the bathtub drain stopper is still usable, you can clean it by using a brush or a bathroom cleaner. In case the bathtub drain stopper is too old, you must replace it with another one.

Step 3 – Replace new bathtub drain stopper

Step 4 – Check for leaks before using.

On the Whole

Can’t get bathtub drain to seal? Knowing how to fix those problems can help you in a pinch. You can pick up a seal, rubber stopper at a hardware store and fix them at home without our help. If you have any difficult problems, you can contact us. We will try our best to help you! 

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