How to remove bathtub drain?
Removing bathtub drain is a necessary task that you should do regularly even if your bath starts to drain slowly or to face some bathroom repairs. The reason for this is from stuffs that stay underneath your drain for a good amount of time such as rust, gunk, and others. The longer they attach to your bathtub drain, the harder you can take it out and clean properly.
This means you need to take action to avoid all the issues now! The article below includes the list of essential tools you will need, and it also shows you how to remove bathtub drain.
Tools You Will Need
- Plug wrench
- Needle-nose locking pliers
- Old towels
- Fresh plumber’s putty
How To Remove Bathtub Drain
- Remove The Stopper
The first step you need to do is to remove the stopper. There are many types of drain stoppers so that you can find a suitable way for what you’ve got.
Types of bathtub drain
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The simplest stopper to remove among those is toe-touch drain stopper. It is a device that activates with a push of your toe based on a spring-loaded operation. For this kind, you can push it down to close it, and then push it one more time to make it up again to open.
If you want to remove one, make sure it is in the open position, hold the shaft cylinder, and unscrew it counterclockwise. Then move to the shaft-cylinder. This part is threaded to the cross bar that is at the bottom of the drain. Try turning the shaft-cylinder of the stopper.
Unscrew the stopper counterclockwise
Regarding other types, you may need a screwdriver to remove it. Once it is unthreaded, lift and take out the complete stopper.
Pop-up stopper can easily be found in the freestanding bathtub. The drain part of this tub stopper is similar to a bathroom sink pop-up. Try lifting up and turn lightly the spring-loaded pop-up stopper to see if you can simply remove the cap this way. There is another type with a little knob on top. Using a flathead screwdriver is a good way to remove it.
Remove pop-up stopper
Another common bath drain stopper is the lift-and-turn stopper that is usually recognized by a small knob on the top of it. Only twisting the knob by hand, you can easily open and close the stopper.
The first thing to do is to it into the open position just like you are emptying your bathtub. Hold the stopper body, turn the knob, and then look for a set-screw. Your stoppers can either have a visible set-screw on the knob or not.
Turn the knob
If yours doesn’t, rotate the lift-and-turn stopper counterclockwise until it is completely removed from the strainer. You will need to ensure that the mounting post aligns with a channel on the trainer by twisting the stopper. Then move it off the mounting post. When all those steps are done, lift the stopper.
In case your stopper doesn’t lift off, it’s because the post threads could be stripped. You will need to exert pressure while unscrewing it. In the worse scenario when that maneuver doesn’t work, you can try unscrewing the drain flange from the pipe. In case the set-screw is present, unscrew the stopper with a wrench or small screwdriver.
Remove lift-and-turn stopper with a set-screw
Regarding other types of stopper such as the push-pull one, you may need some tools to do it, especially when your drain firmly sticks to the place because of initial over-tightening, rust and gunk over the time. There is usually a screw in each stopper. What you need to do is to lift the stopper up, then use a screwdriver and remove the screw.
The principle and process are the same for most common kind of bathtub, which includes whirlpool bathtubs, walk-in tubs, and others. You just need to know how your stopper is attached and then remove the essential parts.
There are lots of stoppers that haven’t been mentioned here such as flip-it tub stopper and trip lever stopper. However, we’re not going into details of the removal of every kind here. The principle is pretty similar for most stoppers so that you just need to work out what your kind of stopper is, and follow steps to access to the drain.
- Remove The Screen
Your bathtub may or may not have this. A screen can be a rubber plug or a metal disc that is attached to the bathtub drain assembly. It helps to retain water by preventing large objects from falling down to the drain.
Removing it is pretty simple. You can either use a fingernail or a screwdriver to remove it. Some models have a screw. If you’re having a stopper like that, unscrew it to lift the screen off.
- Remove The Drain
Now you’re ready to move onto the main step of the work. There are two choices that you can consider for this part.
The most recommended way is to use a drain wrench. It comes with two head sizes, which can fit comfortably over the drain’s cross. If you use a drain tool, there is less chance of accidentally damaging the cross. This tool is inexpensive as well, so it really worths buying, isn’t it?
The first thing you need to do is find the head that fits your drain. When the drain wrench is assembly in place, gentle turn it counterclockwise to unscrew the drain. In case you need more force as the drain is too stiff, insert a screwdriver in the hole in the drain tool and use it to turn. Then simply loosen it and continue turning until the drain totally comes out.
Use a drain wrench
The other choice is using a set needle-nose locking pliers. This set is undoubtedly the best substitute when you are lack of a plug wrench. This technique is not preferable as it has more chance of breaking off the cross. The pliers should be small enough to go through the cross.
To start, push the handles of pliers into the drain. Make sure you clamp onto the center hub of the cross. When the first pair is in place, use another pair of pliers to grasp it and rotate it counter-clockwise. Go slowly until the temperature reaches warmer to easily loosen the plumper’s putty. Keep turning until the drain comes free.
Use locking pliers
- Clean the seal
There is some kind of sealant that assembly attaches to the drain hole like plumber’s putty and caulk. Sometimes it’s really hard to remove as it has been there for a long time. What you need to do is to soften it up by heating. The simplest way is to use a hairdryer.
Remove plumber’s putty
You can use it to blow hot air into the drain, keep it for two to three minutes before taking it out. Rub it with a damp cleaning rag and gentle scrap with a screwdriver.
Don’t forget to replace the old putty with a fresh one before installing the new drain. If you ignore this step, you may face the problem of the bathtub drain leaking to the sections below.
Apply fresh putty
It’s an important for you to know how to remove bathtub drain. You need to do it on a regular basis to avoid draining issues. Though it isn’t as simple as reaching in and turning out the drain, you can easily DIY it with essential tools.
This will save you a good amount of money for a plumber service to do it for you. As long as you carefully follow the instruction for removing, you can manage it without causing any damage.