Foot-activated bathtub stopper? ? ?

We have a fairly new, but out of warranty, bathtub that has one of those stoppers which are operated by the press of the foot.
Engaging the stopper is easy enough, but disengaging is all but impossible. We now have to manually pull the stopper up, then wedge a blade into it to keep it open while it drains.
We'd be quite happy to use an old-fashioned rubber stopper, but we don't know how to remove the foot-operated device.
Any suggestions welcome.
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Try unscrewing it. In fact just unscrewing it a little might correct the problem.
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I thought one of those foot operated stoppers would be cool, so I installed one when I replaced the tub. That turned out to be a very, very bad move.
I have 2 daughters and a wife, all with roughly shoulder length hair. Every few months I had to dismantle the drain to remove the large clump of hair that would get caught below the stopper. That involved unscrewing the chrome stopper, then using a tapered seat wrench to remove the basket underneath. Easily a half-hour job every time.
Less than a year after installing it, I tore it out and replaced it with a standard lever activated pop-up. Now the hair sits on top of the drain, instead of half-way down it.
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Current issue of Handyman magazine has an article including cutaway pictures showing how to service or remove and replace these valves.
Tom G.
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