Fixing a badly rusted drain pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by k9mlxj, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. k9mlxj

    k9mlxj New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    Hi,

    I have a badly rusted drain pipe under the shower (see pic).


    It is causing hair to be constantly trapped in the drain pipe.

    I wonder if there is anything I can do to remove the rust in the drain pipe so it won't trap hair.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    A lot of what you see is crud buildup. You might try carefully scraping at it with a screwdriver. But don't touch it unless you can accept the possibility that you will poke a hole in the pipe!
  3. k9mlxj

    k9mlxj New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    Guess I'm going to just clean it up the crud and get a Mesh Shower Stall Strainer (or something similar)... . Don't want to touch the old cast iron pipe... .

    BTW, another sticky thing to fix: the screws on the drain

    - one screw (top) the head is still there but it's pretty stuck (possibly due to rust). I tried using penetratrant, and then Vise Grip to hold on to the screw head and turned. Still could not turn it. Don't know if a screw extractor would help as the screw is so stuck.

    - one head (see bottom) is a brass screw. The head is broken.

    Shower Drain-close-up.jpg

    Any suggestions? Perhaps I need to drill thru' and recreate new thread?
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  4. k9mlxj

    k9mlxj New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    Whew! I finally got the top screw with the the head on out with a Vise Grip and make it a quarter turn at a time -- slowly (took over an hour this way).

    The only one left is the bottom brass screw--the head is gone.

    Would a screw extractor work, or the screw size is too small for any screw extractor?
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drill and tap it.
  6. k9mlxj

    k9mlxj New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    Thx--I'm going to get a snap-in shower strainer next afterward -- just less trouble than using the screw-in strainer in this spot (it's going to pick up rust from the cast iron pipe later even after I fix it...).
  7. k9mlxj

    k9mlxj New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    By the way, I see there're also those left-handed drill bits.

    I wonder if they work well, or just use a regular drill bit and then use the screw extractor is better to extract the damaged headless screw --thx.
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    The brass screw will drill through like butter. Use a drill bit that is a size smaller than the thread size and then run a properly sized tap through it to clean the brass out of the threads. Use brass or stainless replacement screws.
  9. k9mlxj

    k9mlxj New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    I broke the cast iron thing. :(

    Shower drain-broken.jpg Shower drain - broken piece.jpg

    The other broken piece fell into the drain pipe.

    I fixed the other side earlier so I can put screw into the other end. But this end is broken now.


    I wonder what I can do.

    Is there some kind of kit to replace the broken support so that for the strainer I can put a screw in that same spot on the cast iron pipe?

    Thx... .
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  10. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    At this point I think I would look for a snap-in strainer unless/until you are ready for a shower remodel.
  11. k9mlxj

    k9mlxj New Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    I screwed in too hard... (my mistake!)

    The 10 year old shower is in very good shape, looks nice/no leak, etc. So won't need to remodel until a good while later.


    As for the other end, it already has rust building up around that new stainless steel screw I just put in two days ago (I did pour in some drain cleaner the other day). This tells me the rust issue from the cast iron pipe might be an endless problem in any case and will cause the screws to stick again later even if I managed to make a new hole this time.


    So perhaps a snap-in strainer is a good choice regardless... .
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
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