Tub drain removal for tub removal

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by FJK, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. FJK

    FJK New Member

    Jun 15, 2005
    2 questions
    Even though I did this before, I can't remember what I did.

    1st. Tub drain fitting removal. I have a cast fitting with a toe drain. The toe drain fits on a stem which has an integral cast bar across the bottom of the fitting. As a result, there are 2 180° slots in the bottom of the fitting, rather than 4 slots that a regular drain that a "dumb bell " tool would normally engage. I need something to engage those 2 slots to unscrew the drain fitting. Plier handles & an adjustable wrench are not geting the job done (too much flex).

    2nd. If the overflow & drain are disconnected from the tub only, can I manuver the tub out? Meaning, do I have to also disconnect the overflow from the drain piping? Everything is brass nuts & cast brass pipes... no leverage to brake loose the nut. I don't care to cut an access hole at this time.

    Thanks, FJK
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    There are several tools to remove that drain fitting, but you do not have them and I do not know where you could find them in your area. If you can find a piece of flat steel the right thickness and width, you can insert that into the slots and use that to unscrew it. You could also cut the strainer out using a hacksaw blade. This would not have to be as precise as usual since you are discarding the tub and do not have to worry about damaging it.
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  4. FJK

    FJK New Member

    Jun 15, 2005
    Well good news & some issues still to resolve. I got the tub drain fitting out by making my own tool. I took a 5" nipple of 1" iron pipe. Drilled a 1/4" perpendicular to the pipe, about 3/8" down from 1 end. I kept drilling through to the other side, so that I had two 1/4" holes 180° apart. Then I took an abrasive cut off wheel on an air die grinder & cut 2 slots from the end of the pipe to the sides of each hole, effectively getting 2 notches on the pipe 180° apart. Now the pipe had two tangs to engage the cross piece in the fitting. Using a pipe wrench on the 5" nipple, I could unscrew the fitting. It took me longer to type this than to make the tool.

    I also removed the overflow pipe to the drain elbow, after much fanagling & figuring out leverage points for the channel locks. I did this because it looks like I will have to tip the tub lengthwise, drain side down. I'll explain the reason in the "removing a cast iron tub" post.

    FJK... still on it!
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