Bath Tub Drain Removal

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

  1. Clayton

    Clayton Plumber

    Messages:
    124
    Give the rectorseal golden extractor a try...

    I picked one up about a month ago at a trade show and it works pretty nice. But, I've already had a couple drains it won't take apart and any easy-out wouldn't have helped either. So I was back doing it the way my dad taught me, with the 15 cent 6" hacksaw blade and my flat screwdriver, gets them out everytime.
    I also have an old Ridgid multi sized internal pipe wrench that fits alot of the drains and will take some of them apart also. The problem is, the threads can be so corroded or "fused" together that it doesn't matter whether you use an easy-out or anything that will try to unscrew the drain, It won't work because it will break the waste shoe off at the fine threads on the 90. Then it just spins in the tub unless you have a helper or someway of rigging a backup on the drain shoe under the tub. So even if you spend all that extra money on nice tools, they don't always work.
  2. captwally

    captwally New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Why do we do this for a living? Trying to unthread 30 year old things behind walls through a tiny opening, snaking roof vents, drains and pulling huge wads of hair out... Hmmm..... Shouldn't I be on a beach in the Caribbean?
  3. captwally

    captwally New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks, Clayton

    If we could be enhanced in some way, most people say they would want wings. Well, I'm already a pilot, but what I could really use is an extra elbow and an eyeball on the end of one of my fingers. I found a source for the Ridgid Internal wrench, and will try that (My Tenants can't wait either). It looks promising.
  4. Brainodo

    Brainodo New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    Thank You

    Hello,

    I am just a newbie here and wanted to say thanks. I had the same problem with the two bath tubs in my house. I was looking around on the internet and looking for a tool to remove the drains and saw this post and decided to get the hack saw and screw driver a shot and WHOOPPPEEE it worked like a charm on both drains. :D :D

    Thanks again you guys saved me some time and money.
    Terry
  5. michaelait

    michaelait New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I cut a wedge out of flange, and it worked

    Hi, new to this forum. Yes, I tried all the other ideas for removing flange, without success. I gave up and tried the hack saw, cut out wedge idea. It worked like a champ. I cut out an area the length of the flange and about 1/2 inch wide. Then I took hammer and chisel and the piece popped out. Then it was a matter of hammering carefully to pry loose the entire flange. It then began to un-thread. I am a happy camper.:) Thanks to you folks for the idea. Happy New Year (2008)!
  6. jimhls

    jimhls New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Jim H

    I used the saw blade to cut the notch in my drain then the tapping with a hammer and screwdriver and it worked.
    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. This site and you guys were a big help.

    Jim

  7. Herk

    Herk Plumber

    Messages:
    547
    Location:
    S.E. Idaho
    Well, now that it's done, I'll tell you how I do it. (Sorry, I didn't notice this sooner.)

    I use a Dremel tool with a carbide blade. (Wear goggles!) I cut a ring at the same level as the tub, below the flange of the strainer, and the top of it pops right out. Then, if I need to get the rest out of the strainer, I use a small screwdriver and hammer to pop the brass threads away from the shoe. This can be a problem if the tub drain isn't accessible, in case the old rubber joints get messed up. But usually, I'm replacing the entire drain so getting the strainer loose from the tub is all I'm interested in.
  8. shimp

    shimp New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Kentucky
    get a dremel tool, u'll be able to cut /grind as needed, even from inside the drain once u cut away the screen
  9. citm2000

    citm2000 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    South Carolina
    The dumbell tool was the first thing I tried -- the crossmember broke immediately. I bought an expensive tool called the drainkey, which expands upon turning in the direction that should loosen the drain, but it just turns freely, no matter how tight I try to make it.

    I attempted to cut a notch in it to use the screwdriver trick and it would seem that the THING IS MADE OF PLASTIC!!!!! :eek:

    It wasn't a layer of metal that had corroded -- it was some sort of metal flake/veneer that had begun to peel off. The drainkey just digs up the plastic inside the flange's pipe piece.

    The notch I cut in the flange fortunately doesn't go all the way through, but it was immediately apparent that I was cutting into plastic, not metal.

    I'm not sure how to proceed. If I cut off the flange from the rest -- what if I cannot get the remaining piece with the male threads out of the inside of the pipe?
  10. citm2000

    citm2000 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    South Carolina
    OK - it isn't actually made of plastic -- just some dull grey soft metal. I don't think it's old enough to be lead (house built in 1988). It has some flaky shiny veneer which is peeling off (the reason for replacing it in the first place.

    I cut a couple of notches and tried to hammer on it, but the screwdriver is actually driving into the metal instead of moving it. Any ideas?
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,608
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    IF the "cut a slot out and fold the drain towards the center", does not make sense to you, then you may have to have a plumber do it for you. If it is done wrong, you WILL be replacing the tub, or at least damage the surface, depending on the type of tub.
  12. citm2000

    citm2000 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I understand cutting the slot just fine -- I'm not sure about folding the drain towards the center.

    I don't care about damage to the surface of the tub -- it's going to be replaced in a few years. I just need it to hold water and not leak.

    I have cut the slot, but the screwdriver is digging into the metal, rather than breaking it loose and getting it to turn.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    Carefully cut it and then pound it towards the middle, peeling it away from the threads. If you make several cuts, you should be able to get a chunk out, then it should all come apart.
  14. citm2000

    citm2000 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Thanks for clearing that up. It's slow going so far, but I'm making some progress. I'm beginning to wonder if some kind of epoxy was used instead of plumber's putty.
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    RTV Silicone?

    A popular misapplication for the stuff.
  16. citm2000

    citm2000 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    South Carolina
    This thing continues to surprise and frustrate me. I did exactly as recommended, and cut out a few chunks, and, sure enough, the entire lip/flange broke free. I put my drain key in there and expected to be able to just back it out, but it would only turn through one or two degrees of arc before I met enough resistance that the drain key slipped.

    I cut several more, each time knocking the "petals" in towards the center, but it still won't break free. At this point, about half of the flange is missing (many of the petals broke off when I drove them into the center), and about half of it has been knocked away from the threads -- at least towards the top -- but it still won't budge. Even more surprising was what I found under the flange -- regular plumber's putty. I don't understand why this thing won't budge. Even if some of the putty got down into the threads (there was a tremendous amount of it under the flange -- over a quarter inch thick), you'd think that this would be moving by now. Any more ideas?
  17. citm2000

    citm2000 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Update -- well it didn't go well. It appears that the installer used plumbers putty (the old kind that hardens) not only to seal the flange, but also as pipe threading compound. On one side I used a mini hack-saw blade to cut all the way to the threads on the section down in the drain pipe. Even still, getting that one section seperated from the PVC was next to impossible, and each part that came off (it broke several times) had hardened plumbers putty in the threads.

    Eventually what happened is that the pipe separated from the bottom of the tub (what little was left of the flange broke off) and I had nothing to give it resistance when I was trying to pound free the other sections I had cut. I'm down to opening the wall in the bathroom (which is wallpapered -- figures) and the ceiling below (textured -- figures). I was hoping the drain assembly would be connected with threaded fixtures like a lavatory drain, but it is not. There is one PVC fitting right behind the overflow, and another right under the drain assembly, and they are cemented to regular PVC pipe which goes to a T-fitting which is also cemented. The t-fitting is cemented to PVC pipe which goes down to the cemented on trap.

    I have found single piece drain fittings that thread on like a lavatory drain that fit garden tubs. I am going to get one of those and glue on a fitting to the PVC above the trap that will let me connect it.

    Anyone have tips on making a good cut in PVC drain pipe that is running vertical above your head with tight clearances?
  18. murphy7312

    murphy7312 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    Like CITM2000 I also spent $40 on the expensive tool called the drainkey, and just as CITM2000 said it could not produce the force to remove the flange. I was putting incredible torque on and it just kept slipping.

    So, after 2 months of thinking, $40 for the expensive tool, and a lot of grief from my family, I tried the hacksaw and chisel method recommended here (I think first by Mike?) and had that thing out in 10 minutes.

    I understand the concept of the drainkey tool (which expands outward to grip the inside of the flange while twisting), but it somehow has simple forces working against each other. The v-notch and chisel method is pure simple machine force.

    Thanks all, one more technique down.
    J. Murphy


  19. pilot guy

    pilot guy New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    British Columbia
    easy as pie!!

    Hi all. I needed to replace the drain in the acrylic tub so I googled it and arrived here. After reading the thread I went upstairs and grabbed my wife's hair dryer. Stuck it on the drain for 5 minutes.

    I grabbed a hacksaw blade, and cut one vertical notch in the side of the drain. Using the flat screwdriver set against the notch, I tapped on the screwdriver with a hammer and succeeded in moving the drain slightly. I eventually made three other notches and got the drain out in about 5 minutes.

    Thanks for the info here.
  20. NEWBIE101

    NEWBIE101 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    Striped

    i tried to take the drain plug out with the dumb bell and it twisted a halve a turn and popped and is more to one side than the other and i think it may be striped any ideas. i just wanted to check before i tried the v method
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