How To Unscrew A Bathtub Drain
If your bath begins to drain slowly or stops draining completely, it has probably become blocked by a build-up of hair and grime. This means you will need to remove the drain and unblock it. You will also need to remove an old drain to replace it with a new one.
Of course, you can call in a professional plumber to do it for you. However, removing a drain is quite a simple task, and many people will be able to DIY it. If you are interested in trying it out for yourself, heres our guide for how to remove a bathtub drain.
We also had a look on YouTube, and there are a whole lot of video showing you how to do this job. There also seem to be about as many different techniques as there are videos, but this is a good one so check it out if you want to see how its done.
Replace The Bathtub Drain
- Whether you are replacing the drain you just removed or installing a new drain, use fresh plumbers putty.
- Roll the putty between your hands until it is a long log that is about as thick as a pencil. Wrap the putty around the lip of the replacement drain basket.
- Screw the new drain basket in by hand and tighten it with the pliers or drain wrench.
- Use the putty knife to remove excess plumbers putty.
- If you are installing a flip-lever drain stopper, insert the plunger into the overflow drain first, screw in the drain basket, and then screw on the drains faceplate. Check the flip-lever drains manufacturers instructions for details on how to install your specific model.
- If you are installing one of the other types of drain stoppers, simply screw the new drain stopper into the drain basket.
How To Get Water Out Of The Bottom Of A Hot Tub
Whatever method you use to drain a hot tub, inevitably you will be left with about an inch at the bottom. I have tried a few methods to remove this but in the end, I always just fall back to using a bucket and a large sponge to remove this water.
You will have to get into the hot tub to do this but with a large sponge you can soak up the water in no time and squeeze it into the bucket. It only takes a few minutes and then you are done.
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Diy Bathtub Drain Removal Will Save You Money
Learning how to remove and install a drain for your bathtub will help you save the money and time that you would have used to hire a qualified plumber.
However, you need to be perfect with your DIY removal process so that there wouldnt be a noticeable difference between your work and that of the professional you would have hired.
When you follow the tips above to the latter, you can rest assured that you will have a seamless DIY process.
You dont have to struggle with bathtub drain removal roles anymore. Follow these tips for the best outcome.
Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.
How Do You Stop A Bathtub Drain From Smelling
There are a couple of reasons that your bathtub and shower drain may smell.
There could be odor-causing bacteria feeding on debris in your pipes. This process with give off a foul-smelling hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like sewage or rotten eggs.
Also, its common for mold to grow in bathtubs and showers where its warm and wet and mold growth on the debris causing a clog can cause a bad smell.
You can try deodorizing bathtub drains and help shower drain smells with a combination of baking soda and vinegar. These ingredients, when used together, can also sometimes help to clear clogs.
All you need to do is pour a pot of boiling water down the bathtub drain. Then pour a mixture of one cup baking soda and one cup vinegar into the drain. Insert the drain plug, or close the filter, and wait 510 minutes. Finally, flush the drain with another pot of boiling water.
For more information on this process, check out our article Do Baking Soda and Vinegar Solutions Clear Clogs?
For information on how you can use Liquid-Plumr® products, visit our FAQs page.
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How To Clean The Drain Stopper
Now that you know how to remove drain stoppers in the sink and bathtub, it’s time to learn how to clean a dirty stopper. Fortunately, the same cleaning processes work for most drain stoppers.
Keep all screws and small, loose items in a safe place. You can lean on home remedies to clean the stopper. Use at least one of these methods:
- Remove the debris by hand.
- Rinse the debris with faucet water.
- Scrub the drain stopper with a toothbrush and baking soda or dish soap liquid, then rinse the debris with water.
- Soak the drain stopper for 30 minutes in a bowl filled with either a cup of white vinegar, cleaning vinegar, dish liquid, or a cup each of baking soda and vinegar. Then, scrub the contents with a toothbrush. Rinse the debris off with water.
Afterward, dry the stopper with a washcloth or paper towel. While the drain pipe is open, use a fresh cup of each vinegar and baking soda to clean the clogged pipes. If you see debris, use pliers to pull the gunk out. You can also use a coat hanger, plunger, or drain snake.
Remove The Drain Fitting
- Most drain fittings feature a metal X that keeps objects from falling in. If your drain fitting has these crossbars, insert a drain wrench into the cross shape and turn counterclockwise to unscrew it.
- You can also try using a pair of needle-nose pliers to grip the X and unscrew the drain fitting. It should be loose enough after a few rotations to be unscrewed the rest of the way by hand. Then just pull it out.
- If your drain fitting doesnt have metal crossbars, youll need to remove it with a tub drain extractor thats designed to grip the inside walls of the drain fitting.
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When To Remove A Bathtub Drain
Bathtub drains can be removed any time the homeowner needs to deep clean the drain, replace the entire drain or remove the bathtub. Drain baskets tend to corrode over time, which may prompt drain removal. Removing a drain may also be required to remove clogs like hairballs and other gunk often trapped in these tight plumbing stops. Visible leaks are also a sign that its time for the bathtub drain to be removed and replaced.
How To Remove Drain Stoppers
There are several types of drain stoppers, and it’s important to know which type you have in your bathroom before you begin. Every type has different removal and cleaning instructions. If you arent sure which drain stopper type you have, this article can help. P.S.: If you don’t have a flat-head screwdriver, an electric drill will complete the task too.
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Use The Hot Tub Drain Valve
Most hot tubs have a drain valve which you can utilize to empty it. My current hot tub was originally on the sun terrace of our apartment and was actually plumbed into the drains so that I could empty it by just opening a valve.
When I had it moved to my house there was no suitable drain nearby so I now use my submersible pump or the method shown below.
You will need to find out where the drain valve is on your hot tub. On most hot tubs you will probably need to remove a side panel to find the drain valve and then connect a hose, a pool backwash hose or even plumb it in permanently to an existing drain nearby, depending on your particular situation.
When the level of the water in the hot tub goes below the seats use a brush or something else convenient to push the water that sits in them into the foot-well so that is also drained out.
It used to take about 40 minutes to drain all of the water out using this method.
What Is The Best Tool To Unclog A Tub Drain
That depends on the size and stubbornness of the clog. For a small clog, baking soda and vinegar poured down the drain might be a solution. If the clog is tougher, a commercial product might be your best solution. Just remember that many of these products contain caustic chemicals and can be extremely dangerous if misused. If neither of those tricks is successful, you might need to use a plumbing snake to physically free the clog.
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How To Remove A Push
As mentioned above, push-and-pull drain stoppers are very similar to lift-and-turn stoppers in both function and in appearance, though the knob on the top of a push-and-pull drain stopper is typically wider and smoother than the knob used on a lift-and-turn drain stopper. Push-and-pull drain stoppers are easy to identify because they have a very simple operating mechanism. Just push the plug down to close the drain and pull the knob up to open the drain.
How To Remove A Tub Drain In Your Home
Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 13 years.
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $35
Removing a tub drain is necessary if you’re removing or replacing the bathtub. It’s also necessary if the drain fitting is badly corroded or leaks and needs to be replaced. The drain fitting is a metal basket-like piece that has a lip or flange at the top and a body with threads on the outside. It screws into the elbow, or shoe, of a horizontal length of pipe that extends toward the end of the tub and ties into the drain pipe assembly.
Inside most drain fittings are two metal crossbars that form an “X” to prevent large items from falling into the drain. The crossbars are what make it possible to remove the drain with a plug wrench or pliers.
A plug wrench is a small wrench made of cast iron or steel that is milled to fit the crossbars of two or more different sizes of drains. If you expect to be removing your tub drain more than once, it will be worthwhile to purchase this inexpensive item. Also, because the head is form-fitted to the drain’s cross, there is less chance of accidentally breaking off the cross.
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How To Remove A Toe
A toe-touch drain stopper consists of a drain assembly that sits inside the drain and a toe-touch mechanism that is operated by simply pushing down on the drain stopper. One push will close the drain and a second push will open the drain. These drain stoppers usually have a circular shape and a flat lid that may be completely smooth or have the word ‘push’ engraved on the lid.
Remove The Drain Basket
- Once you have removed the drain stopper, you will see the drain basket in the drain opening. The drain basket will have a metal crossbar at the bottom.
- To remove the drain basket, you will need either locking pliers or a tub drain wrench. A drain wrench is a drain removal tool that is form-fitted to drain basket crossbars. It greatly reduces the risk of accidentally breaking the crossbar.
- If you are using a drain wrench, insert the drain wrench into the drain and turn it counterclockwise to unscrew the drain basket.
- If you are using locking pliers, make sure the pliers are small enough to reach into the drain yet sturdy enough to withstand you turning it. Clamp and lock the pliers onto the center of the metal crossbar and twist them counterclockwise. If you have trouble turning the pliers, gain some extra torque by putting a screwdriver between the plier handles and using the screwdriver to turn the pliers.
- Bathtub drains usually have a long, deep thread that may take some time to unscrew. Be patient when removing and replacing a bathtub drain.
Tip: The drain basket is sealed with plumbers putty. Soften the putty with a hairdryer first to make the drain basket easier to remove.
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Identify Your Type Of Drain Stopper
There are many different types of drain stoppers. Thats the part that prevents water from going down the drain when you want to fill the tub. Since theyre all different, the first step is to look carefully at what you have, so you can figure the best way to remove it.
Many stoppers are quite simple. Some old-fashioned tubs have a stopper on a chain, making removal nothing more than a quick tug. Other tub drains have a pop-up stopper, where you can use your toe to press it down and seal the tub and then press it again to open the drain.
Pop-up drains almost always simply unscrew counterclockwise. Sometimes, your drain stopper might have a set-screw that holds it in place, so if you cant figure how to remove the stopper, look around for a small screw.
Heres a quick list of different stopper types to help point you in the right direction:
- Toe-Touch Stoppers Usually unscrew
- Chain Stoppers Pull it off and set it aside
- Lever-operated Stoppers Requires dismantling the lever system
Some lever-operated systems are a bit complicated. But with a bit of patience, you can figure out how to remove the stopper fairly easily. Oftentimes, the whole mechanism is attached to the faceplate at the overflow drain, so make sure to expose as much of the system as you can to investigate how it comes apart.
Ready To Play The Plumber
Not a Drain-It-Yourself job? Heres when you should call an honest plumber:
- The toy is lodged in the drain
- A non-organic solid object is stuck
- Tree root has entered the drain
If you have a clogged bathtub or shower drain, chances are youve quickly grown tired of watching the water go down the drain slowly.
Even more annoying is taking a shower and having to stand in an inch or two of dirty water until you finish because the water just isnt going down.
And if youre in terrible shape, then water isnt draining at all, and you have no choice but to fix your clogged tub.
As you might guess, there is more than one way to solve your clogged bathtub problem. While this might leave your head spinning, its a good thing.
Plumbers always have a set of things to try. Each tactic is performed until one works.
Lets take a look and find a way to get your bath and shower drain unclogged.
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Four Methods To Drain A Hot Tub Plus A Bonus
There are a number of ways to drain your hot tub I have described below, all of which I have used at some time or another when carrying out hot tub maintenance over the past 20 years that I have owned hot tubs.
I have a separate article you may wish to read If you want to how often you should change your hot tub water.
Whichever method you use to remove the hot tub water, the first thing you should do is switch off the electricity to the hot tub. You do not want the pump running while the hot tub is emptying as that could lead to damage.
I would recommend that you remove the hot tub filters from the filter compartment too before you start to drain your hot tub. This helps to prevent an air lock and ensure that the dirty water in the pipes also drains.
How To Remove A Bathtub Drain Stopper
Have you noticed that your bathtub is draining slowly? If water is pooling at your feet every time you take a shower, you likely have a clogged drain. Removing the drain stopper will help you get a closer look at whatever is causing the problem. Its also important to know how to remove a bathtub drain stopper if it isnt properly placed. A stopper that isnt flush with the bottom of the tub when its engaged may not hold water very well, making bath time a hassle.
Chances are good that you can troubleshoot and replace your stopper. The first step in figuring out how to remove a bathtub drain stopper is to determine which type of stopper you have. Some of the most common types are listed below.
Toe-Touch Tub Stopper
This style opens and closes with the touch of your toe. It is usually circular and flat at the top, with no tabs or knobs. Heres how to replace a toe-touch tub stopper:
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