I can't remove the tub drain on my bathtub.

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by cdub2288, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. cdub2288

    cdub2288 New Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    I have an apartment that is about 40 years old with an old bathtub in it, that is made of either porcelain or ceramic. It is an ugly orange color, so I am repainting it White using a kit I purchashed at Home Depot. However, the bath fittings are all worn out, so I also need to replace them. The only thing I have not been able to accomplish so far is taking out the tub drain insert . I've already taken out the stopper that goes up and down, so there is just the metal insert in the tub left. The drain insert has no cross section like all the newer models, so I can't use pliers or the special cross section tool to take it out. Im not sure how to remove it. I tried using a small 10 inch faucet wrench from home depot to grip the top and bottom (The Wrench ) but i couldnt fit the wrench into the drain. Maybe i need to find a tool that can grip the inner sides of the drain insert? or find a wrench similar to the faucte wrench that can grip the bottom and top of the drain insert to turn it? The bottom of the current drain is exposed. I read an article where someone with a 40 year old drain just made a cut in the drain and pulled it out. If it comes down to that, is that a safe way? And also, are all tub drain spouts threaded? I'm not sure if the old designs are different. And would this possibly require going under or in the walls beside the tubs? Because this is an apartment and that would be quite difficult to do. I tried having the tub replaced, but even the plumber said it wasnt worth it and that he would have to knock down the ceiling below the unit to put in a new tub. Hopefully the same thing doesnt go for replacing a drain. The new tub drain i am using is the kind that you just turn to lock, so there is no need to connect it to the metal plate on the side of the tub that controlled the old stopped (im just covering it up with a blank plate). I just need to install the new drain in. Thanks


    "EDIT" I was searching online and found this tool by rigid. Does anyone know if this would work? It looks like it can grip the insides of the drain. BASICALLY, are all bathtub drains threaded? I dont want to remove this drain only to find out the tub isnt threaded and i will be totally screwed over.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2016
  2. Mike Swearingen

    Mike Swearingen New Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Independent Real Estate Broker
    On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
    Try this on the 40-year-old tub drain (should be threaded):
    1. Take a hacksaw blade and cut a small 1/4" V notch in the inside edge of the drain.
    2. Heat the drain with a hair dryer on high heat to soften the old plumber's putty under the drain lip.
    3. Put the end of a flathead screwdriver or small chisel in the V notch and tap the drain around counter-clockwise with a hammer to loosen it and turn it out.
    4. Clean off all of the old putty in the depression around the drain hole.
    5. Roll a roll of fresh plumber's putty in your hands about the size of a pencil and wrap it all around in the drain hole depression.
    6. Tighten the new drain down on the putty, being careful not to break the crosspieces. You can use a tool made for the purpose, or you can carefully use the handles of a pair of channel-locks with a screwdriver in the teeth for leverage to tighten the new drain in. Wipe away and save the excess putty.
    Good luck!
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  4. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    "BASICALLY, are all bathtub drains threaded? I dont want to remove this drain only to find out the tub isnt threaded and i will be totally screwed over."

    The tub itself is not threaded; it is just a hole.

    There is a drain below which has a fine thread. If you are successful and fortunate, you can unscrew the top piece from the lower piece.

    Plumbers skilled in the art can usually replace the gasket below through the hole in the tub.

    But there are risks. See the pictures at the link.


    I have found that the links usually get something chopped out of the middle so they don't work. You may need to use the one below and put your own http://www. in front of it.


    Note that the final repair required access to the back of the tub.
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