Bathtub Problem.....Help!! Broken Screw!!!

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by mrmichaeljmoore, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    I was attempting to replace the bathtub stopper assembly....

    First I took off the the first screw off the faceplate. Then as I was taking off the second screw it snapped! Needless to say I got the faceplate off, but the broken screw is still in the hole....

    Now this is what I have left: Half of a rusty machine screw in the hole I need to use.

    Any suggestions?
    Drill out the screw with a sharp bit?

    I tried spinning the exposed part of the screw with a pair of vise grips, but it wouldn't budge. It's quite rusty in there as you can see....I put some WD40 on there, but still no help.

    I attached pictures to better explain the predicament.

    The two screws next to each other show what's left of the broken screw in the hole.


    I tried to attach pictures, but couldn't get it to work. So here are links to the web pages:
  2. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Jun 12, 2006
    Soak the remaining screw in PB Blaster (available at the autoparts store) Wait an hour or more, then use your vice-grips to unscrew it.

    If that doesn't work, you can try buying a screw extractor or just drilling it out.
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  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Nov 23, 2006
    disabled-retired industrial fabricator
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    ... then neither will a screw extractor. So if you end up drilling, first find a replacement screw or screws to match. Next, find the correct tap for the thread size of your new screw, such as 10-24 or whatever. After that, get a correct new drill bit for making a right-sized hole for that tap.

    You might have to use something like a ball-shaped cutter on the end of a Dremel to get rid of the broken stub and prepare for drilling, then carefully drill for the tap. Use some kind of oil to lubricate the tap when you begin tapping the hole, and do not use more than finger pressure to turn the tap. If the tap "sticks", back it off about a half-turn and go back in ... and before long you should have a threaded hole for your new screw(s).
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Nov 8, 2005
    Hansville, Washington
    You can also buy a left-handed drill bit to drill it out with. Sometimes, if the moon and planets are aligned just right and you hold your tongue just right, the screw will come out on its own while you're drilling. Be prepared to go to the next larger size screw, though, and use brass.

    It may not be as bad as it seems. It looks like only a few threads are corroded together. Also, try making it move in both directions after PB Blaster has had a day or so to seep in there -- if you can make it move at all, PBB can work a lot harder.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2007
  6. Backglass

    Backglass New Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    New York
    I can vouch for this stuff! I was talked into buying it once at the auto parts store, and boy am I glad they did. Puts liquid wrench to shame in my opinion.

    You spray it on, tap the fitting a few time to let it soak in, spray again a few minutes later, then give it a shot. I will bet it will come right out.
  7. taebaker

    taebaker New Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    State Trooper
    Austin, Texas
    Never tried the PB blaster but I would try that first if that doesn't work you might try heating the screw with a torch. I had success using this on a shower handle screw.
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