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Thread: Bath Tub Drain Removal

  1. #31
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drain

    IF the "cut a slot out and fold the drain towards the center", does not make sense to you, then you may have to have a plumber do it for you. If it is done wrong, you WILL be replacing the tub, or at least damage the surface, depending on the type of tub.

  2. #32
    DIY Junior Member citm2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    IF the "cut a slot out and fold the drain towards the center", does not make sense to you, then you may have to have a plumber do it for you. If it is done wrong, you WILL be replacing the tub, or at least damage the surface, depending on the type of tub.
    I understand cutting the slot just fine -- I'm not sure about folding the drain towards the center.

    I don't care about damage to the surface of the tub -- it's going to be replaced in a few years. I just need it to hold water and not leak.

    I have cut the slot, but the screwdriver is digging into the metal, rather than breaking it loose and getting it to turn.

  3. #33
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Carefully cut it and then pound it towards the middle, peeling it away from the threads. If you make several cuts, you should be able to get a chunk out, then it should all come apart.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #34
    DIY Junior Member citm2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Carefully cut it and then pound it towards the middle, peeling it away from the threads. If you make several cuts, you should be able to get a chunk out, then it should all come apart.
    Thanks for clearing that up. It's slow going so far, but I'm making some progress. I'm beginning to wonder if some kind of epoxy was used instead of plumber's putty.

  5. #35
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    RTV Silicone?

    A popular misapplication for the stuff.

  6. #36
    DIY Junior Member citm2000's Avatar
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    This thing continues to surprise and frustrate me. I did exactly as recommended, and cut out a few chunks, and, sure enough, the entire lip/flange broke free. I put my drain key in there and expected to be able to just back it out, but it would only turn through one or two degrees of arc before I met enough resistance that the drain key slipped.

    I cut several more, each time knocking the "petals" in towards the center, but it still won't break free. At this point, about half of the flange is missing (many of the petals broke off when I drove them into the center), and about half of it has been knocked away from the threads -- at least towards the top -- but it still won't budge. Even more surprising was what I found under the flange -- regular plumber's putty. I don't understand why this thing won't budge. Even if some of the putty got down into the threads (there was a tremendous amount of it under the flange -- over a quarter inch thick), you'd think that this would be moving by now. Any more ideas?

  7. #37
    DIY Junior Member citm2000's Avatar
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    Update -- well it didn't go well. It appears that the installer used plumbers putty (the old kind that hardens) not only to seal the flange, but also as pipe threading compound. On one side I used a mini hack-saw blade to cut all the way to the threads on the section down in the drain pipe. Even still, getting that one section seperated from the PVC was next to impossible, and each part that came off (it broke several times) had hardened plumbers putty in the threads.

    Eventually what happened is that the pipe separated from the bottom of the tub (what little was left of the flange broke off) and I had nothing to give it resistance when I was trying to pound free the other sections I had cut. I'm down to opening the wall in the bathroom (which is wallpapered -- figures) and the ceiling below (textured -- figures). I was hoping the drain assembly would be connected with threaded fixtures like a lavatory drain, but it is not. There is one PVC fitting right behind the overflow, and another right under the drain assembly, and they are cemented to regular PVC pipe which goes to a T-fitting which is also cemented. The t-fitting is cemented to PVC pipe which goes down to the cemented on trap.

    I have found single piece drain fittings that thread on like a lavatory drain that fit garden tubs. I am going to get one of those and glue on a fitting to the PVC above the trap that will let me connect it.

    Anyone have tips on making a good cut in PVC drain pipe that is running vertical above your head with tight clearances?

  8. #38
    DIY Junior Member murphy7312's Avatar
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    Like CITM2000 I also spent $40 on the expensive tool called the drainkey, and just as CITM2000 said it could not produce the force to remove the flange. I was putting incredible torque on and it just kept slipping.

    So, after 2 months of thinking, $40 for the expensive tool, and a lot of grief from my family, I tried the hacksaw and chisel method recommended here (I think first by Mike?) and had that thing out in 10 minutes.

    I understand the concept of the drainkey tool (which expands outward to grip the inside of the flange while twisting), but it somehow has simple forces working against each other. The v-notch and chisel method is pure simple machine force.

    Thanks all, one more technique down.
    J. Murphy


    Quote Originally Posted by citm2000 View Post
    The dumbell tool was the first thing I tried -- the crossmember broke immediately. I bought an expensive tool called the drainkey, which expands upon turning in the direction that should loosen the drain, but it just turns freely, no matter how tight I try to make it.

  9. #39
    DIY Junior Member pilot guy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up easy as pie!!

    Hi all. I needed to replace the drain in the acrylic tub so I googled it and arrived here. After reading the thread I went upstairs and grabbed my wife's hair dryer. Stuck it on the drain for 5 minutes.

    I grabbed a hacksaw blade, and cut one vertical notch in the side of the drain. Using the flat screwdriver set against the notch, I tapped on the screwdriver with a hammer and succeeded in moving the drain slightly. I eventually made three other notches and got the drain out in about 5 minutes.

    Thanks for the info here.

  10. #40
    DIY Junior Member NEWBIE101's Avatar
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    Default Striped

    i tried to take the drain plug out with the dumb bell and it twisted a halve a turn and popped and is more to one side than the other and i think it may be striped any ideas. i just wanted to check before i tried the v method

  11. #41
    DIY Junior Member ed31's Avatar
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    Default can someone tell me if this will work

    I am having the same problem. . except i think my drain wasnt made with the cross pieces. . instead it has a small ridge that is about 1/16th of an inch wide and the same deep. . on each side going from the top of the drain where the flange is to the bottom of the drain piece.. . .this looks like it would work. . .can someone tell me what they think. .



    The Drain Key™


    Expands with a crescent type wrench to unlock or install:

    Bathtub drains
    1-1/4" or 1-1/2" closet spuds
    Jr. basket strainers, Jr. Duo strainers
    Tray plug drains and duplex strainers

    Removes 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" trap (dirty arm) nipples.

    It's unique expanding design allows The Drain Key
    to internally grip in a 360° pattern.

    Name:  drain_key.jpg
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    Last edited by Terry; 04-13-2011 at 12:19 AM.

  12. #42
    DIY Junior Member morehelp's Avatar
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    I've got a nasty one with no crossbars. I have a surfing buddy who is a plumber and he said the Master Drain Extractor works best for him so I'm going to order it from their web site. There's also a youtube video showing how it works.

    Last edited by Terry; 04-13-2011 at 12:13 AM.

  13. #43
    DIY Junior Member martinlp's Avatar
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    Thumbs up this is a tool you all need

    Name:  PAS4500.jpg
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    No I don't work for this site but this what I use all the time I work in a very old apartment complex this happens to me all the time, I use to use the break a peace off method than hammer with flat screw driver counter clock wise all the time and it does work but can damage the tub depending on tub material.

    http://www.azpartsmaster.com/Product...__PAS4500.aspx
    Last edited by Terry; 04-13-2011 at 12:11 AM.

  14. #44
    DIY Junior Member optics's Avatar
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    what is a v notch? cutting top and inside the flange?

  15. #45
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; The suggestion that was given to me by Home Depot and Ace Hardware is to hammer a screwdriver (or something) into the side of the drain to use for leverage. I can't even manage to do that. (I can barely put a dent into it.) I thought about trying to drill a hole into the side of it but I'm scared to do that because I don't want to go through and damage the threads preventing putting a new one in.

    STOP!!! DO NOT get advice from Home Depot, Lowes, or Ace Hardware. All of the procedures you list in the above paragraph are definite ways to destroy the entire drain and then you will have to do some remodeling to install a new one. I would be reluctant to tell ANYONE how to remove that drain because doing it even slightly wrong will damage the tub or destroy the drain assembly. A good plumber could remove both drains in less than an hour. There are "expansion" devices to remove drains without the crossbars, ASSUMING it will unscrew without breaking the under tub piping.

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