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Thread: Fix rusted drain in tile shower

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  1. #1
    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
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    Default Fix rusted drain in tile shower

    Removing the hair trap caused the screws to break off like they were made of clay. Now I've got a hideously rusted (cast iron?) open drain set into the tile shower bottom, and no way to attach the hair trap. Is this a matter of choosing between (1) tearing out the shower and rebuilding the whole thing, or (2) sticking the hair trap down with caulk?


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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A drill, an EZout and some new (preferably) stainless steel screws, and you should be back in operation. You'd also probably want to use something like PBlaster to try to lubricate and maybe loosen up the screws, but if they are steel and old, they're likely pretty intimate with the CI drain! If there's anything sticking up, after letting it soak in PBlaster overnight, you might try using a Vice-Grip to unscrew them. You could also just drill them out and rethread the holes, but I'd try to get them out first.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim, I had sort of mentally skipped over that option. I guess it's worth a try, though I was imagining that with everything being so soft/rusted that it would be pretty difficult to drill out and extract such a skinny screw. Any good fall-back options in the event that I can't extract or drill out the old screws?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The cast iron is "hard" material, so you should be able to carefully drill and retap the threads.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
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    Well, no joy from PBlaster and vise grips ... only managed to shear off the 1/8" screw part that was protruding above the rust. So next step would be to drill out the screws, but the rust has taken away so much of the metal that there's only 1/16" of (heavily rusted) metal on the outside of the screw. Once I drill and rethread, it looks like it will just collapse. What would you do in this situation?

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Your drain cover is round...if you're going to drill and tap new holes, you can orient them anywhere around the circumference. Is there an area that is more intact?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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