(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Bathtub drain flange "not removable?"

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Daniel Schwarz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    4

    Default Bathtub drain flange "not removable?"

    Hi,

    I live in an apartment - built in 1959 - with the original tub. All bathroom fixtures have been replaced except the tub drain flange. I'd like to replace it as it is corroded and nasty looking (the tub drain also has a slow leak.) I asked the building super about this and he said that the tub drain flanges are "not replaceable" except by going to the apartment below and breaking through their ceiling to expose the piping. I asked him if he's ever tried to change one out from above and he said "no". I'm slightly skeptical of this as it seems that most if not all drain flanges are removable, no?

    The tub has a drain open/close toggle. The crossbars inside the drain flange are rusty but intact.

    What's your advice on how to proceed? I have no intention of breaking through my neighbor's ceiling to do the changeout. I don't want to put my existing plumbing at risk. Worst case I could buy an oversized strainer, screw it down and leave it at that. But it'd be nice to fix tis the right way if I can do so economically.

    Any thoughts?

    Dan

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

    Default

    There's more than one type of strainer...some may just have a screw in the middle, but others may actually thread into the shoe below. They make a special tool to remove that type of strainer, but on one that has been in there for half a century, there's no guarantee it will come out without breaking something, either it, or something down below you can't see. Then, you may find that the threads on a new one may not fit the shoe below. ANy time you disturb plumbing fixtures that old, you risk something finally giving way. As a renter, you'd entail huge risks if you tried this yourself and then created a leak - BIG liability. You probably won't get the super to replace it unless it breaks.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Daniel Schwarz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Couple of pictures of the drain for your reference

    Name:  IMG_20131017_141613.jpg
Views: 155
Size:  32.4 KBName:  IMG_20131017_141630.jpg
Views: 157
Size:  22.0 KB

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Daniel Schwarz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the reply. Note that my original goal was not to replace the strainer (that comes out easily with one screw - I've removed it in the photos below). I wanted to replace the entire flange and I'm skeptical of the super's claims that it "can't be done." Point taken about the problems with disturbing old plumbing. I'm leaning towards simply replacing the strainer with a larger one that'll cover over the ugly drain flange entirely.

  5. #5
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Land of Cheese
    Posts
    3,146

    Default

    It will come out, but there is the possibility of damaging the tub shoe or the tub itself in the process. If the tub shoe gets damaged, then access for repair will be through the floor below.

    It's not yours. Why take a chance? If you were my tenant and you did anything to the plumbing, you would be looking for a new place to live.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,401

    Default

    There is likely also a gasket under the tub sealing the shoe to the tub...disturbing one over 50-years old, could just cause it to come apart, and regardless of how tight you might get a new flange in (if you can find a new one that fits!), it may never seal. The old brass stuff can be brittle or thin as the result of maybe using drain cleaners, making it more prone to break with any disturbance.

    The only time you really want to consider changing that is if you're going to replace the whole drain and overflow. Since it's working, I doubt you can talk the landlord/super or whatever to spend the money. You can try...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    California
    Posts
    315

    Default

    Do you have a lease/rental agreement with this super/manager/landlord? What does it say about "repair" and "replacements"?

    landlords are not quick to replace it if it ain't broken, for a good reason: it hurts the bottom line. The only time a landlord replaces something like this is when he/she feels that it will cost too much to replace the tenant.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member Daniel Schwarz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    Do you have a lease/rental agreement with this super/manager/landlord? What does it say about "repair" and "replacements"?

    landlords are not quick to replace it if it ain't broken, for a good reason: it hurts the bottom line. The only time a landlord replaces something like this is when he/she feels that it will cost too much to replace the tenant.
    I live in a NYC co-op, so essentially I own the place (it's something like a condo but the rules are different.) The super is under no obligation to replace things like this. I'd better not mess with it as the liability issues mentioned in this thread still apply.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,401

    Default

    Depending on the style tub, and where the room's walls are, you may be able to reach the drain from the end wall, if you make a hole. It's a pain, but so is working over your head from below. The difference is, it would all be in your living space. Now, depending on the floor structure, what else is in that wall (at least some water supply pipes), and how big the hole is in the floor, you still might have issues getting to everything you need.

    If you were going to do this, my suggestion would be to replace the entire tub drain (which typically comes with the overflow assembly and trim). Also note, in many places (I wouldn't be surprised if NYC was one of them), the only people that can touch plumbing (or electrical) in a multi-family dwelling is a licensed professional. If he does it, and it leaks, you'd be relying on his liability insurance (check he has some active before hiring!), not yours, and keep out of the issues with city hall that might arise.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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

    Default

    A "good plumber" could remove it without doing any damage, but I would not attempt to teach a homeowner how to do it using the Internet.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

Similar Threads

  1. Bathtub drain need "p" trap? Septic smell
    By Bebo800 in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-04-2013, 04:29 PM
  2. Slope requirement on 3" horizontal drain - 1/8" or 1/4" per foot? Drain design?
    By Kubota_Kid in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-07-2012, 11:47 AM
  3. Should I connect a 3" or 4" flange to 4-in drain pipe?
    By Fistor in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-25-2008, 06:28 AM
  4. Know of any 60x30" Bathtub with 15" rough-in for drain?
    By jcpcac in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-06-2006, 06:36 AM
  5. "Push button" bathtub drain
    By Beth in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-14-2005, 07:27 PM

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
  •