Bath Tub Drain Removal

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Carob, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Carob

    Carob New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    Hello.

    I'm hoping someone might have an idea or two for me on this subject.

    I have two bath tubs that have drains that need to be replaced. The problem is that I can't get them out. They are in such bad shape that the crossmembers are all busted off that the tub drain removal tool is supposed to use to unscrew and remove.

    The suggestion that was given to me by Home Depot and Ace Hardware is to hammer a screwdriver (or something) into the side of the drain to use for leverage. I can't even manage to do that. (I can barely put a dent into it.) I thought about trying to drill a hole into the side of it but I'm scared to do that because I don't want to go through and damage the threads preventing putting a new one in.

    Does anyone have any advice on how I can get these drains out and still be able to screw in new one?

    Thanks very much!!!
  2. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    You could use a reciprocating saw with a bimetal blade. Stick the blade into the drain and cut a wedge out of the drain collar then pry it out. The trick here is to not cut the threads in the drain shoe which would present an entirely new set of problems. If you're not comfortable doing that you can also use a hacksaw blade instead of the recip. saw. It will take alot longer and you'll expend more energy, but sometimes "slow and steady wins the race".
  3. Carob

    Carob New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    If I were to do that and "pry" it out wouldn't that damage the threads that the new drain would need to screw onto?
  4. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    not if you cut a wedge out of the drain collar itself by sticking the blade into the drain AND keep the blade away from the female threads of the drain shoe.
  5. Carob

    Carob New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    Pardon my ignorance but I guess I'm confused.

    But what is the purpose of cutting the wedge? For being able to pull the drain straight out or for giving a lip of some sort to put a screwdriver against to bang on to hopefully loosen it up? If it's the latter, okay I can see that. If it's the former I don't get it because how would it lift out if the threads from both pieces are holding it in?
  6. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    you'd be cutting the wedge out of the drain collar where the threads are (vertical area that penetrates the bathtub drain hole). The purpose would be to loosen the male threads of the drain collar from the female threads of the drain shoe. After that, you should be able to get a screwdriver or chisel in there to pry the male threads out of the female threads of the drain shoe.
  7. Carob

    Carob New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    How bad is it if some of this metal falls down into the pipe? I would think it would be impossible to prevent all of the material from dropping when trying to saw with one hand and hold the piece with the other.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,903
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  9. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    True, Terry. True. See one, do one, teach one. lol
  10. I've always removed tub drains in this situation with a hacksaw blade, hammer and chisel (or flathead screwdriver), and a hair dryer.
    Use a glove or cloth to hold a hacksaw blade and cut a small V-notch in the top inner edge of the drain above the threads.
    Heat the drain with a hairdryer on "high heat" to soften the old plumber's putty under the drain lip.
    Use the chisel or screwdriver in the notch to tap the drain around counter-clockwise to unscrew it. Won't harm the threads.
    Works for me everytime.
    Good Luck!
    Mike
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,903
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Yeah, well, okay!

    That sounds pretty good too Mike!
    I can try that next time.

    If you still have the cross in the drain, you can use the standard tool.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  12. raygunclan

    raygunclan New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Florida
    now, i am a self (and husband) professed remodel moron, but what about that spray that is supposed to help loosen things up? i read in another thread about removing a shower arm (which i'll be darned if i can do!) that there is a spray (maybe like a heavy duty wd40) that you spray in to loosen the threads. would this work in this situation? i'm still at the shower arm, but i'm working my way down to the faucet handles, which are stuck too!, to the shower drain (please don't let me have this same problem, the only saw we have is a chain saw to remove all the trees we lost in the hurricanes last year, and i'm not sure this is what i will need to use!).
    would that spray be the ticket, and if so, would there be ANY excuse not to
    ALWAYS have a can of this on hand?
    sincerely,
    using metal nail file instead of allen wrench
    (c:
  13. Carob

    Carob New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    Well, after cutting the notch large enough to put the head of a screwdriver in I started to pound away. After several minutes of banging away it seemed to move about 1/16". At that point I realised that the collar was splitting rather badly and stopped. The split is along the top of the collar and goes for about 1 1/4" around it. Now I don't know what to do.
  14. Carob

    Carob New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    California
    [​IMG]
    Can anyone explain how the "dumbell wrench" is supposed to be used when there are no crossmembers of the old drain left for the tool to grab onto? Supposedly this dumbell wrench is for drains that just won't come out, but, the end that is supposed to be used for tubs (the smaller end from what I can tell) just slides right in and spins around.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2008
  15. Don

    Don New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    New York
    The use of a RotoZip with a small metal cutting wheel would give you the surgical precision to do this task even next to the human spine...but then..if you sent a picture , we may all know more about your situation..ain't that right fellas..Don
  16. A tub drain "dumbell" will only work when a tub drain has the crosspieces for it to grip.
    If using my method, you don't drive the chisel or screwdriver INTO the notch, you just catch the edge of the notch to CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY drive it around. It WILL work,if you do it right.
    Mike
  17. just beat the tar out of it.

    the only sure way to do this is to get a hammer, a very small cold chisel with a sharp mean little edje
    and a can of WD 40.


    by spraying down that lip is will loosen it up a tad. They you simply have to chisle and cut that lip all the way into the drain. you are making a cut through that brass flange or lip and it willl eventyally give , keep spraying the wd 40 into the gap if it doesent give, you just got to keep cutting into the drain.

    and of course you want to chisel in the direction (counter clock wise) to persuade the flange to come loose.

    the only real risk you take with any approach is chipping the tub near youir attack point. Try not to "dig down " into the metal underneath the tub....

    try not to hit the tub with your hammer on your back swing either. (thats bad)

    just get a small sharp chisel and keep it eating on the brass only.

    the WD 40 is optional. but it seems to at least morally help.

    good luck.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2005
  18. captwally

    captwally New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Tub Drain Removal revisited with questions

    I am a newly appointed maintenance supervisor for a large 30 year old apartment complex. I have lots of experience in lots of things but sometimes I come up with something I need a bit of help with, I admit. One of the things is removal of a bathtub drain when the strainer and bottom cross has been torn out. I can answer a lot of the people's previously posted problems. (I guess this is late compared to those postings, but I just joined) The answer is not beating the hell out of the drain fitting or sawing a notch or wedge and using a hammer and chisel. The answer is a nice large easy-out or left hand extractor. It will twist right out without damaging the tub or porcelain finish. My problem is that I cannot find one! Can anyone help with a supplier that sells #9 and larger extractors, more commonly known as "Easy-Outs"? My largest is a #9 and it easily can remove a broken 1" fitting, but nothing larger. I know larger ones are manufactured, even for removing fittings up to 4 inches. Any Ideas, guys?
  19. captwally

    captwally New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Oh and By The Way

    BTW, I am not interested in saving anything but the Tub. I have lousy access from the bedroom closet through a 12" x 12" hole. I will be replacing all the drain fittings, but removing the tub is not an option. I could theoretically leave the drain elbow in place, but I can't un-thread the tee that holds the tub stopper until that drain flange has been removed.
  20. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Captwally, if you can find one let me know. However, cutting a wedge out of the drain flange and prying it out isnt that difficult...for me anyway. Of course I've been removing old drain flanges this way for a long time and the old timer who showed me how, even longer.
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