Frozen screws in shower strainer

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by stephnej, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. stephnej

    stephnej New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Florida
    I have recently tiling the shower and I had to take the drain strainer off. however the screws were frozen so I drilled them out. now when I put the new screws and strainer back, the screw has a hole but no thread to hold the screw in place. any tricks to hold the screws in place? i tiled over the shower floor tile so there is no way that i can replace the drain. what to do?????
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    There should be enough metal there to retap to the next size. For example it the original screw was a 6-32 you could tap it out to an 8-32. Go to a hardware store a and get a little tap and the proper body drill size for it.
  3. stephnej

    stephnej New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Florida
    Jimbo, (or whom ever) just to be sure, do I need a 8-32 drill bit to drill a bigger hole for this type of screw? there is a hole now with out threads because I drilled out the original. not sure what you mean by taping it out. tap what out?
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Whoa, Nelly. Back the truck up!


    MY BAD for throwing this out without better explanation. 8-32 is the terminolgy for a # 8 screw size, 32 threads per inch. #8 is slightly larger than a #6. A tap is a metal tool, looks sort of like a long screw, has teeth on it which actually cut threads into the metal. You drill a hole in advance, then work the tap in using a back and forth motion.

    I used a hypothetical that if the original screw was a #6, then you probably have enough metal to tap it to take a #8.

    The proper drill size for a #8 screw is .1360 inches, also known as a #29 drill bit. For as #10 screw it is .1495 ( #25)


    Often at a hardware store you can find the tap and drill bit sold as a set, which is handy since the tap drill needs to be a very specific size and they do not correspond to any of the bits in a common set sized in 32nds or even 64ths, although yuu can get close enough for your situation where we are not talking about a critical strength issue.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,270
    Location:
    New England
    A tap is a device to cut screw threads in a hole. You need to start out with the proper sized hole, or the tap will bind up (too small) or there will be no bite for the screw (too big). You need to know what size hole you now have. Then, by checking what size hole you need for a particular tap, you can figure out what size drill you need for the particular tap and the eventual screw you are going to put in. Taps and screws are designated by their diameter and the number of threads per inch (at least in the USA). Most of the rest of the world uses diameter in metric sizes.

    Once you have the proper sized hole, you put some light oil in the hole to lubricate the tap, then, carefully getting the tap straight (note, get a tapered tap - they are much easier to get started straight) turn it about 1/2 turn clockwise, then back it off a little. Continue doing this until you get it deep enough . Backing it off a little with each downward excursion breaks the metal chips off from the cutting edge and helps prevent it from binding up. Note also, that if your hole does not go all the way through, or bottoms out, you may also need a second tap called a bottoming tap. This has threads the full diameter on the bottom edge rather than being tapered (to help start the process) of the tapered tap. You can only use a bottoming tap successfully to start the process if you have something like a drill press or lathe to keep it in alignment; that's why you need the tapered tap to start out the hole. If the hole goes all the way through, and you have enough room to run the tap down far enough to reach the full sized thread cutting surface, you will not need the bottoming tap. It's easier to do than to talk about! By the way, the corresponding part to make a screw is done by the tool called a die. the parts you need to do this are pretty cheap in the small sizes (a few bucks, usually). Just make sure the tap and the screw you buy are the same size! You'll probably want a stainless steel screw - definately something thatwill not corrode.
  6. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    Messages:
    131
    OR you could purchase some stainless steel sheet metal screws.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Geez, Bob, you take all the fun out of it! But I bet our homeowner appreciates that someone has a common sense solution!
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