13 Easy Steps with Pictures to Effortlessly Remove a Drain from Your Tub
Maintaining your bathtub drain system is important to keep it functioning properly. Over time, due to wear and tear, a bathtub drain and plug may need to be removed and replaced. This guide provides a step-by-step approach to remove and replace bathtub drains and plugs.
I. Removing Foot Plug Drain's Stopper
For foot plug drains, start by unscrewing the stopper. Put on some rubber gloves and grasp the center stopper. Turn it counterclockwise while pulling up slightly. The stopper should unscrew fully from the drain after enough turns.
II. Removing Lift-and-Turn Drain's Stopper
To remove a lift-and-turn drain's stopper, grasp the stopper and pull up on it. A setscrew underneath the stopper's cap will be visible. Use a screwdriver to remove it. The stopper should come out by tapping or nudging it with the screwdriver if it seems stuck.
III. Removing Trip Lever Drain's Faceplate and Plunger
For trip lever drains, remove the screws on the drain's faceplate and lift up the drain to pull it out. The faceplate will be on the tub wall near the faucet, not on the bottom of the tub with the drain. The plunger, which stops the tub, should come out along with the drain.
IV. Removing Drain Basket
Heat the drain basket with a hairdryer for a few minutes by turning it on "hot" or "warm". The basket, also called a flange, is sealed with plumber's putty. Warming it up will make it easier to remove. After heating, the next step is to fit the drain wrench into the basket. Try the various heads of the drain wrench until you find one that fits well. Once it slips into the basket and onto the crossbars that are at the bottom of the basket, turn it counterclockwise using some torque.
V. Installing the New Drain
To put the new drain in, grab some plumber's putty from the container and make a ball about an inch in diameter. Roll it between your hands until you have a log about 5 to 7 inches long and pencil-thick. Wrap this around the bottom of the replacement drain's lip. Depending on the type of drain, you may need to screw the new drain basket clockwise by hand as far as you can, then tighten it further with the drain wrench using a different head than before. For trip lever drains, check the drain's instructions for exact details on your drain model, insert the plunger into the drain hole, then reattach it to the trip lever using a setscrew. Finally, screw the drain basket into the drain hole.
VI. Testing for Leaks
To test for leaks, activate the tub stopper or trip lever and fill the tub halfway with water. Come back after an hour or so. If the water has not drained much, then your new drain is installed properly. You can place a piece of tape on the tub wall at the water line to make it easier to tell if any water drains out. If the water is below the piece of tape after an hour has gone by, then some water has drained out. If the tub does leak, check and make sure the new drain is sealed properly.
VII. Required Tools
The necessary tools for removing and replacing bathtub drains and plugs include a drain wrench, rubber gloves, plumber's putty, a heavy-duty screwdriver, tape or dry erase marker, vinegar and baking soda, a mild bathroom cleanser, and a hair dryer (optional).
Replacing a bathtub drain or plug may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and approach, it can be accomplished easily. Following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article will ensure that your bathtub drain and plug are restored to full functionality.
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