How to Safely Re-caulk Shower Drain?

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fahraynk

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Hello everyone,

I've noticed that the seal around my shower drain appears to be deteriorating and I'm considering re-caulking it. However, I have a couple of questions before I proceed.

Firstly, the material around the drain looks like silicon, but I'm not entirely sure. How can I differentiate between silicon and plumber's putty? Does it even matter?

Secondly, assuming it is silicon, is it safe for me to cut off the silicon I can reach, turn the drain counter-clockwise to break it free, remove the old material, apply new caulk, and then screw the drain back on clockwise? I want to make sure I'm not missing any crucial steps or overlooking any potential issues. I'm not even sure why the silicon would be there because when reading about drain installation/replacement I believe the advice is not to caulk the drain?

Any advice or insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help!

Edit: Updated with better picture

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Breplum

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I've never seen a drain like that.
Caulk on the visible surface is merely cosmetic under normal situations. Only silicone (maybe pure urethane) is appropriate in permanently wet conditions like a shower drain.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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In order for you to re-seal your shower drain, you must take it apart from the shower pan. There is NO other way to do it so that it will actually seal.

What you have now appears to be plumbers putty and it looks like its failing as you noticed. Why applying caulking/silicone to the outside surface won't work is because you're not clamping the sealant between the two surfaces and you would be applying it to a basically wet dirty surface.

Most likely you will need to have access from below, unless we can get a better photo of the actual drain from atop without the hair screen in place. Most drains have a tightening nut from below. I would replace it with a sioux chief jackrabbit drain which is made specifically for repair/replacement.
 

fahraynk

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In order for you to re-seal your shower drain, you must take it apart from the shower pan. There is NO other way to do it so that it will actually seal.

What you have now appears to be plumbers putty and it looks like its failing as you noticed. Why applying caulking/silicone to the outside surface won't work is because you're not clamping the sealant between the two surfaces and you would be applying it to a basically wet dirty surface.

Most likely you will need to have access from below, unless we can get a better photo of the actual drain from atop without the hair screen in place. Most drains have a tightening nut from below. I would replace it with a sioux chief jackrabbit drain which is made specifically for repair/replacement.
What will happen if I turn the drain cover counter-clockwise? Will it unscrew and come off?
I thought what I am looking at is just a drain cover and not really what is making the seal?

Could I unscrew the drain-cover and cut off the putty and reapply? Or would it be better to just cut the putty around the drain and reapply around the drain for appearance?

I don't think a seal has failed since I don't have any leaks. Hoping it is cosmetic.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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What will happen if I turn the drain cover counter-clockwise? Will it unscrew and come off?
I thought what I am looking at is just a drain cover and not really what is making the seal?

Could I unscrew the drain-cover and cut off the putty and reapply? Or would it be better to just cut the putty around the drain and reapply around the drain for appearance?

I don't think a seal has failed since I don't have any leaks. Hoping it is cosmetic.
Basically the putty needs to be compressed between two flat surfaces in order to be effective. Just being pressed up against the edge does nothing. Even a really strong adhesive would be very ineffective if it were injected into that void, but would be better than putty.

I doubt that there is any ability to tighten the shower body from above. Most have a nut that tightens from below.

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