(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Fix rusted drain in tile shower

  1. #1
    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA
    Posts
    36

    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?


  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,401

    Default

    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

  3. #3
    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    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?

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,633

    Default

    The cast iron is "hard" material, so you should be able to carefully drill and retap the threads.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #5
    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    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
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,401

    Default

    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

  7. #7
    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Not really. I guess it's difficult to see in the picture, but the cast iron was molded with two little bumps that protrude from the inner circumference, and that's where the screw holes were placed. These bumps are mostly rusted away, so there's no other place to put screw holes with the same distance between them. I guess there's a chance that I might be able to start drilling out the screws, and angle the hole away from the drain a bit so that it goes into more intact iron.
    Last edited by mc510; 09-03-2012 at 03:04 PM.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,401

    Default

    You want the screws to be vertical, or the head will stick up. What you have may be enough. Hard to say without being there.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Well, now that I've brushed off all of the flaky rust scale, it's very clear that drilling/tapping the screw holes is not going to work. There's just not enough metal left around where the hole is supposed to be; by the time I drill and tap it, it would just collapse. So I'm back where I started, which is fresh out of ideas (and ticked off at whoever thought that it was a good idea to put a rust-prone cast iron drain in a concrete/tile shower floor). Is there any other solution, short of tearing the tile and cement out?

    See that thin aluminum trim ring that's supposed to be affixed (with grout) to the top of the drain? Would I be able to replace that with a similar ring that includes some little threaded tabs into which I can screw the hair trap/cover? I'll go look around for such a product, but please point me in the right direction if you know of such a product (or have another suggestion).
    Last edited by mc510; 09-07-2012 at 12:17 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,633

    Default

    There is plenty of metal left as long as you only drill out the screw and tap it with the same size screw as in in it now, which you have to do anyway so the screw will fit the drain cover. And, those two bosses are the only place you can put the screws.
    Last edited by hj; 09-07-2012 at 03:09 PM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  11. #11
    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    The ol' drill 'n' tap didn't work; as I feared there was insufficient integrity in the rusted metal, and the inner surface just broke off. Anything else to try?


  12. #12
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,968
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    Perhaps you can set in a new strainer and grill. Maybe the new strainer can just loosely be fixed in place and attached with nothing more than silicone???

    Can you send me the outside diameter of the strainer needed and the inside measurement of the drain and I'll see if any of my strainers fit your drain. I have plenty lying around since often I do not need them installing my linear drains.

    JW


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  13. #13
    DIY Member mc510's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Thanks JW, that's very generous! The thin aluminum trim ring (looks to be stuck down with grout) has 3.5" outside diameter, and the removable screen portion is 3.25" in diameter. Are you thinking that I could just stick the screen part down with silicone? That was my original idea, and the screen that I have is sound enough that I can still use it. Or maybe you're describing a sort of retrofit assembly like what I was asking about in post #9 above?

  14. #14
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,968
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    I'm thinking at this point if you can get a new strainer positioned inside the rusted opening. You can use it's grill as a new top. Finding one that sits inside with pressure will leave it accessible for removing.

    I'll check my stock. Hang on.

    I have a Watts strainer and grill that measures 2 3/4" to 2 7/8" across the outer MPT threads. It would easily slide into a 3 1/4" opening. The top is only 4 1/8" wide and the strainer is the same with two screw locations. Perhaps you can use this inside your old drain and rig up a new top or modify the existing one.

    It's yours if you want it.

    JW


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,633

    Default

    Just drill the rest of the way through the metal and finish tapping it, then use longer brass or stainless steel screws.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

Similar Threads

  1. Please Help. Drain Installation for Tile Shower
    By emcconne in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-13-2011, 01:18 PM
  2. Question about Oakey shower drain for tile shower pan
    By diecastdawg in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-27-2010, 05:48 AM
  3. Tile shower drain problem
    By John07 in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-02-2008, 05:11 PM
  4. tile shower drain
    By Captflx in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-04-2007, 07:07 PM
  5. New tile shower drain plumbing
    By tmpaz1411 in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-21-2006, 09:37 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •