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Thread: 1950s tub drain mechanism fell apart with age...how to repair

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member steve1966's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Portland ORegon

    Default 1950s tub drain mechanism fell apart with age...how to repair

    Jade colored late 50s bathtub (possibly American Standard?) built into the wall. Drain mechanism lever broke at a weak point. I got a replacement face and lever but I can't get the cotterpin to connect (in order to put the cotterpin through, the plate would have to be attached it would seem. Which makes no sense.) I'm doubting that these were not meant to be fixable. But short of tearing the pipe that houses the mechanism apart (only access point is the basement below the tub), I can't see how to get at the thing. On the advice of a person who's been around these kinds of things, I tries pulling it up and out (he said often they're just hard to get to pull out) but I don't want to blow it apart by putting gorilla torque on it before I make sure. Or hedge at least.

    I've seen a generic breakaway diagram of the levered plug mechanism, so I have an idea how the weight hangs and so on, but I'm wondering if I'm missing some vital clue that possibly has to do with the model or something.

    It's duecedly difficult getting info on this topic that isn't pertinent only to brand new stuff.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    NOrmally, it is very simple. You remove the overflow/trip lever plate. Pull the mechanism OUT of the drain pipe. Connect it to the new plate with its cotter pin. Slide it back down the drain pipe. Insert the two bolts to secure the new plate. IF you have a problem with ANY of the above steps, then you need a plumber.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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