What Are Your Options For Sealing A Drain
For sealing your bathtub drain, you have two options: Plumber Putty and Silicone caulk.
Plumbers putty is similar to clay and can be molded to fit various shapes, similar to normal clay. The advantage of plumber putty is that it can be used without much prep work and you do not need another chemical solution to remove plumber putty.
Simply mold it to whatever shape you desire and apply it to the surface you are trying to seal. The disadvantage of putty is that it will fail quickly, within 2-3 years, becoming brittle and eventually cracking.
Silicone caulk on the other hand comes in a long tube that you must apply by using a caulk gun. The caulk is a clear substance that when exposed to air for an hour, will dry and form a hardening skin.
When it fully dries, you are left with a durable sealant that wont become brittle. The only real disadvantage to silicone caulk is that it does require an extra chemical solution such as caulk softener to remove, making it a bit more of a hassle to remove as it is quite durable.
How To Remove An Old Bathtub
Removing the bathtub yourself isn’t all that difficult. Before you begin, measure the tub and make sure you’ll be able to get it past other fixtures and out the door. Remove the sink or the toilet if they will be in the way. To protect the floor, cut and tape pieces of plywood to the floor and cover with a drop cloth. Then follow these steps on how to remove your old tub.
How To Replace A Bathtub Drain In A Mobile Home
Bathtub Plumbing Parts & Installing Them Yourself
Aaron Stickley is a licensed plumber with 15 years of experience in commercial, new residential plumbing, and residential service and repair. He started his own residential service and repair plumbing business. Aaron’s articles about plumbing on The Spruce span four years.
- Working Time: 1 – 3 hrs
- Total Time: 1 – 3 hrs
- Skill Level: Advanced
- Estimated Cost: $20 to $50
Replacing an old, leaky, or damaged bathtub drain in a mobile or manufactured home usually differs from replacing a tub drain in a typical site-built home. Mobile homes often have “garden-style” tubs with no overflow tube. The standard mobile home bathtub is called a 1 1/2 drain. It has a 2-inch hole in the tub and a 1 3/4-inch thread diameter. The drain includes a seal and nut that you tighten onto the tub.
In a standard home, the drain assembly is usually a threaded insert onto which a mounting nut is screwed from below. To fix these plumbing parts in a site-built home, you must break through the wall. A big difference when fixing the plumbing in mobile homes is you have to break through the floor the plumbing is under the tub.
Rather than call out a contractor to stop the leaking drain, here are all the steps to do a mobile home tub drain replacement yourself.
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How To Remove A Trip
Not all drain stoppers have an easy-to-remove assembly, like flip-it stoppers, and the trip-lever drain stopper is one such product. These drain stoppers have a lever that is located on the overflow faceplate. This lever is connected to a rod assembly that drops down vertically through the overflow drain and operates a plunger. By tripping the lever, or sometimes by rotating the lever, the plunger will move up or down.
When the plunger is up, water will flow into the drainage system, but when the plunger is down it forms a seal inside the drainpipe to stop the flow of water. Due to the complex assembly, these drain stoppers are prone to clogging and they can be troublesome to remove and replace.
Inspect Clean Or Replace
With the drain stopper out of the drain, you can inspect it for any signs of damage, like a torn plug, rusted threads, or a cracked lid. If there is any visible damage it’s advised to replace the drain stopper. However, if the drain stopper is in good working order, take this opportunity to clean the drain and the stopper with a bathroom cleaner and remove any hair, soap scum, or other debris before reinstalling the drain stopper.
The Spruce / Kevin Norris
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Tips For Buying A New Bathtub
Materials matter when shopping for a new bathtub. Acrylic or fiberglass tubs are inexpensive, light, and easy to install. Some have finishes that are fairly durable, but they can become dull in time. An enameled steel tub has a sturdier finish but lacks insulating properties, so bathwater will typically cool quickly. Enameled cast iron is the most expensive and heaviest material but might be worth the cost because it retains a gleaming finish for decades, fills quietly, and keeps water warm the longest.
Generally, standard bathtubs feature decorative aprons on an exposed side and are found in white, biscuit, and cream, though other colors such as black, pastel blue, and pink finishes are available on midrange and pricier tubs. Rectangular tubs can feature rectangular, hourglass, or oval interiors, so give each bathtub you’re considering a test run if possible. Lay down in the bathtub to check fit and comfort level. Are there contoured head and armrests, slip-resistant floors, and ample rims for holding toiletries and/or bath toys? Integrated seats, available on some midrange bathtubs, introduce added convenience while tubs with a curved apron wall supply extra bathing space.
Removing The Old Stopper
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Do You Need A Plumber To Install A Drain
No, you do not need a plumber to install a drain. However, basic plumbing knowledge is recommended if you are attempting this install for the first time. Installing a drain requires you to clean your bathtub and deal with your plumbing system, which if you are inexperienced, can lead to flooding or permanent damage, so refer to the steps above carefully or consult a professional if you are experiencing difficulties.
Lift And Turn Drain Stopper
With this type of drain stopper, youll need to rotate it until a setscrew becomes visible on its knob. Take a screwdriver or hex wrench and use it to loosen the stopper setscrew.
Once the screw is removed, you can detach the knob. Next, lift the drain stopper from the post. Then unscrew the drain post. In case you dont find a setscrew, unscrew the whole stopper unit using a wrench or your fingers.
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Prepare The New Bathtub Drain
Prepare for the new bathtub drain fitting and the drain pipes for installation. Beneath your mobile home, you will need to locate and access the drain trap. You may need to unwrap the belly of your home if you are not able to identify the drain trap. Once you have access to the trap, loosen the trap nut and move the trap and drain pipe out of the way to make room for the new bathtub drain.
How To Install A Tub Drain
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Whether youre fixing a faulty drain or upgrading your hardware, installing a new drain is a fairly straightforward job. After removing the old stopper, take out the old drain flange, or the housing that connects the tub and drain to the pipe below. Cover the underside of the new flange with plumbers putty, then twist it into the drain opening. From start to finish, installing a new drain should only take some elbow grease and an hour of your time!
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Roll A Section Of Plumbers Putty
Roll the plumbers putty into pencil sized in thickness and long enough to wrap around the drain flange. Place the putty roll underneath the drain flanges lip, wrapping it completely around. Try not to use too much plumbers putty as an overly thick roll will interfere with positioning the flange and may cause leaks. Only a small amount of putty should ooze out as the flange is screwed into position.
Remove The Drain Stopper
If the push-and-pull drain stopper has a separate stopper knob and lid, then the bolt should now be exposed. Unthread the bolt from the drain crossbar with a screwdriver or set of pliers and lift the stopper out of the drain.
However, most push-and-pull drain stoppers have a solid body instead of a separate lid and knob. The entire body is attached to the threaded hole in the center of the drain crossbar with a fastening bolt. This makes installation and removal incredibly easy. Just turn the entire drain stopper to the right to unthread the bolt from the crossbar and lift out the drain stopper.
The Spruce / Kevin Norris
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How To Fix A Bathtub Drain Leak
Fortunately, I always have plumbers putty in my toolbox .
You can get this product at any hardware store or on Amazon.
Sorry for the bright picture below.
The actual leak was occurring in between the gasket that sits on top of the bathtub shoe tube and the bathtub drain hole.
The gasket can be seen in the picture below as a black ring.
And the bathtub shoe tube is the threaded section directly below the black gasket.
The leak occurred because the bathtub can flex when someone is standing on it or when excessive water weight exerts downward pressure repeatedly over time.
So the gasket seal can fail do to normal expansion and contraction forces.
I placed a generous bead of plumbers putty on the drain flange such that the putty sealed the entire black gasket.
The next step I took was to clean off the old plumbers putty on the bathtub itself as well as any left within the bathtub shoe tube.
Now that everything was clean I inserted the drain flange back into the threaded bathtub shoe tube and tightened it with the drain wrench.
When you do this the plumbers putty with be squeezed around the bathtub shoe tube gasket and create a flexible water-tight seal.
I made sure to clean off the plumbers putty that oozed out from the drain flange.
At this point, I put the bathtub strainer screen back onto the drain flange and filled the bathtub until the water level reached the bottom of the overflow cover plate.
The sweet smell of success or in this case plumbers putty.
How To Remove A Pop
Similar to trip-lever stoppers, a pop-up stopper has a complicated assembly that is threaded through the overflow drain. These drain stoppers also have a lever on the overflow faceplate that is connected to a rod assembly and drops down vertically through the overflow drain. However, instead of connecting to a plunger, the rod assembly is connected to a spring that sits on top of a horizontal rocker arm. The rocker arm runs through the tub or sink drainpipe and controls the movement of a pop-up plug.
When the lever is in the open position, the spring is compressed, pushing down on the rocker arm and popping up the plug. In the closed position, the spring is relaxed, allowing the rocker arm to pivot up, which causes the plug to be pulled down, sealing the drain. Pop-up drain stoppers are prone to clogging due to the complex rocker arm and rod assembly.
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Warning: What Emerges From The Drain Stuck To The Bottom Of It Is A Giant Mutant Ball Of Hair And Grossness Ill Save You The Photographic Evidence Because Its Monday And That Would Be Cruel And Unusual Youre Welcome
Then you take your drain parts from the kit: And screw it in the drain hole. Tighten it first with your hand: Then with a nifty tool like needle-nose pliers: Pause to give yourself a rousing round of applause. Drop in the stopper plug thing, and pause for a second round of applause. Now quit celebrating because you still have to fix the other hole you just made. Screw back on the insides of your old round thingy, leaving off the ugly outside. Now screw back on the new piece. And youre done! Standing ovation!! BRAVO! Before and after: Now quit celebrating and go clean your tub! Gross.
It was such a quick, easy project, it made me wonder why weve been storing that unopened drain kit for A YEAR and not just fixing it. I think I couldve knocked it out myself if I hadnt HAD to bow out of the actual labor to take on the role of the photographer, of course. The sacrifices I make for this blog. *Sigh.*
So did you guys get anything knocked out this weekend? Are you just dying to go unscrew the drain hole in your bathtub to see whats stuck to the bottom? I wont keep you. Run and go check.
Why Replace A Bathtub Drain
There are many reasons people will need to replace the bathtub drain. It could be that youve tried every method you can think of to clear a clog and youre still having issues. It might be that youve got a cast iron tub, and a drain that doesnt work could lead to rust issues. Perhaps you have a fiberglass tub, and the drain is causing residue buildup. Any of these reasons or a whole host of others could lead you to want to replace your drain. Replacing your drain is also a step to take before going through the work required to replace the whole bathtub.
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Toe Touch Drain Stopper
For this stopper, youll need to open it by first grasping the head using one hand and grasping the shaft using a wrench or with your other hand.
Next, rotate the head in a counterclockwise direction to detach it fully from the crossbar. The head may easily pop off to expose a screw. You can use a screwdriver to loosen the screw.
Remove The Stopper Body
The toughest part of this how to remove a bathtub drain job is removing the old tub drain stopper body, but its all downhill after that. Remove the old stopper body as shown here. If youre having trouble unscrewing it, try heating it with a hair dryer set on high. The heat may help loosen the old plumbers putty. The old tub drain stopper body can also be cut out with a reciprocating saw and metal blade, but be very careful because its easy to cut into and damage the bathtub. Cut a notch 1/4 in. wide and deep in the old stopper body with a mini hacksaw. Check progress frequently to ensure you dont cut into the tub. Wedge a 3/4-in. cold chisel into the cutout slot and pound counterclockwise with a hammer to free the stopper body . Completely unscrew and remove the stopper body.
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How To Replace A Plunger
A plunger-type tub drain lacks a visible stopper. Instead, a trip lever moves the hollow brass plunger up and down in the drain assembly to close off its opening. Cleaning the drain may fix a problem with water seeping through. If the drain still does not work properly after it is cleaned, you need to replace the trip level and plunger.
Remove the screws securing the trip lever plate with a screwdriver. Place the screws in a bowl or cup.
Pull up the trip lever plate to pull the linkage and brass plunger out of the overflow drain. Insert a flexible retriever into the hole to retrieve the plunger if it is not attached to the linkage.
Assemble the new plunger and linkage by hooking the linkage to the back of the new trip lever. Clamp the hook on the linkage with a pair of pliers.
Insert the plunger and linkage in the overflow drain, and position the new trip lever plate to align with the screw holes. Insert the screws in the plate and tighten them.
Turn on the tubs faucet to run a small amount of water. If the water drains out of the tub, remove the trip lever plate, linkage and plunger and lengthen the linkage again by loosening the locknut and turning the plastic fitting. Tighten the locknut and place the assembly back inside the drain.