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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Bathtub drain replacement difficulty

    I have a roughly 50 yr old house and am trying to replace the drain in the bathtub. It is rather old and a little but rusty. There are 2 crossmembers, so I think it can be unscrewed with a tub drain wrench. However, I have not been able to get it to turn with a drain wrench and scrwdriver.

    Can anyone confirm that this type of drain is removable by unscrewing and is not a permanent part of the tub?

    If it can be removed is there a way to make the job easier? If it is old and rusty is there a way to loosen it up more? I have tried cleaning it with CRL and applied a little bit of WD40 but this hasn't worked.

    I attached pictures of the drain and the tools I'm using.

    Thanks,
    Andy
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Bathtub drain replacement difficulty

    You should be able to unscrew the flange off the waste arm. Use long nose pliers. If it doesn't budge, cut it off, but don't damage the tub.

    You should have access to the plumbing from the other side of the wall. Most of the times there is a small access door. If there is no such door, you'll need to cut some drywall.

    Once you gain access, you can also cut the waste arm off and the flange will come out.

    This job requires experience.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Bathtub drain replacement difficulty

    Yep, you need to have done this before to do it the first time. We usually skip the attempts at unscrewing and just cut out the old pipes.

    We prefer cable driven tub drains.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Bathtub drain replacement difficulty

    Many thanks for the input.

    I checked and there is a panel behind the tub to allow access to the plumbing, but from there I couldn't find an easier way to get the job done. I'd rather not try and remove the drain pipe as I don't have the plumbing expertise to start messing around with that.

    What are the odds that a professional plumber might be able to unscrew the drain and what would a reasonable charge for the job be?

    Thanks,
    Andy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Bathtub drain replacement difficulty

    atbender,

    The odds that a professional plumber can do this job are very high. Something like 100%. Just make sure that he doesn't damage the tub, or be held responsible if he does.

    The charge? it varies from place to place, but it should be around 2-3 labor hours plus parts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Bathtub drain replacement difficulty

    My suggestion would be consulting a good professional as they can help you in the right way. As it is 50 years old and you may find difficulty doing it, if you would not had done it before.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Bathtub drain replacement difficulty

    Thanks for the advice!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Bathtub drain replacement difficulty

    I'm just curious what turned out with the drain .
    I also have an older home and have removed the drain when it was very difficult. I used a large screwdriver and directed it on the inner top edge of the drain and kept tapping / hitting the screw driver to turn the drain .It did take a bit of doing but it worked and no tub damage . This does of coarse destroy the drain . i've had to resort to this method at my dads home also .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New London County, CT
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Bathtub drain replacement difficulty

    Our home built in 1959 has a pink cast iron tub in great condition. I had the same problem and used a small cold chisel to tap the flange. It took over an hour to loosen the thing before I could get it out. Installed a new cable drain that works perfect.

    Several days later the big blue store had a flange remover on the clearance rack for $15, I bought it for the next time.

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