How To Replace Tub Drain
If your bathtub drain has become clogged, it means that you will have to replace it. How to replace tub drain is not too difficult of a task, even for the novice plumber. It does require some time and effort.
To get success, you need to know the source of the problem. The source could be a blocked or clogged pipe, a faulty water valve, or some other component in your plumbing system. Once you have determined the source of the problem, it is time to locate the main drain line and drain it.
The location of your main drain line depends on where you live. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, chances are good that your main drain line is buried.
Removing Different Types Of Drain Stoppers
Taking Out The Drain Basket
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Remove The Old Stopper
Start by taking out the old bathtub drain assembly, making sure it’s unclogged first. If you have a foot lock stopper, open the drain and turn it to the left until it becomes detached. You can then lift the stopper out.
Lift-and-turn drain stoppers are also straightforward to remove. If your model has screws, unscrew them until you can pull the stopper free. If you don’t see any screws, try twisting the entire stopper counter-clockwise to see if you can loosen it that way.
If you have a lever stopper, take out the screws and then remove the overflow plate, linkage rod and plunger. You can then unscrew and remove the drain plate.
Replacing The Tub Drain Is An Easy Diy Project For Anyone
Its a common misconception that replacing a bathtub drain is a difficult project. Its actually an easy one for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort to do it.
With the proper tools, it should take less than 30 minutes to install a new bath drain. Youll need some basic knowledge about plumbing skills, but otherwise, its simple as pie.
A bathtub drain is typically made from metal and plastic. The metal piece of the bathtub drain has two holes on each side with threads off the inside of each hole.
Many people are afraid to do DIY projects. Its not because theyre no good at them, its because they dont want to get their hands dirty. There are a lot of projects that you can do on the cheap using just a screwdriver, but the easiest project for anyone is replacing a tub drain.
Its just like putting in a kitchen sink drain. The only thing thats different is that you have to put more muscle into it because there is more weight on it.
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What Should I Do If I Cant Unclog The Bathtub
Ultimately, it is best to have a professional unclog drains so the pipes do not get damaged. If you are unable to remove the clog yourself with hot water, a drain snake, or a plunger, avoid using other tactics as they could cause bigger issues.
Be sure your plumber specializes in both traditional plumbing service as well as drain cleaning. You may need to have your pipes thoroughly cleaned to remove additional build-up that could cause your drains to stop working in the near future.
A plumber will be able to use specialized tools to unclog safely without damaging your pipes. In some cases, portions of the piping may need to be removed or replaced if the clog is severe.
A professional plumber may also try hydro jetting to unclog the pipes. This involves using a high-powered water pressure machine to create a strong stream of water that will run through your pipes to quickly remove any blockages. This also helps to clean out the entire plumbing system, so you wont deal with any clogs in the near future.
In the mean-time, there are some other tips you can try to prevent your bathtub from clogging again. First, use drain covers in the shower or tub that will capture large items like clumps of hair or small pieces of plastic from going down the drain.
Cleaning up your tub regularly can help to prevent build-up from soap residue, dirt, sand, and other clogging culprits. Try to rinse out the shower after use and deep clean it regularly.
How To Replace A Tub Drain: Step
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How To Install A Tub Drain
You can save yourself a headache by following these instructions from your local plumber.
Tools Used In Replacing Tub Drain
Tub drains are installed in tubs to provide the water a way out. Many tools available that can be used for replacing a drain, but most people use a heavy-duty wrench or a ratchet with a socket and a pipe wrench.
A common cause of clogged tub drains is hair. Hair, when wet, is a lot like a sponge it has spaces that can fill with water, and once its full of water its weight will keep it from coming back up the drain.
Tools that can be used to replace tub drains include:
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Install The New Flange
Start by rolling out a thin sausage-shaped piece of plumber’s putty. Then, place it around the perimeter of your new flange, pressing it down firmly to help create a secure, waterproof seal.
Some bathtub drain assemblies come with a rubber gasket. If yours has one, install it around the edge of the drain and then place the new flange inside. Using your drain key, screw the flange clockwise until you have a tight seal connecting the drain to the drain pipe. Avoid overtightening the flange, or it will be very difficult to remove when you next need to repair or replace it.
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.
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Insert The New Stopper
If your new assembly has a separate bathtub drain stopper, connect it by twisting it clockwise into the flange. You may need to attach it using screws, so take care not to drop them down the drain. Lever drains come with a plunger and linkage that you need to push into the overflow pipe. Every drain assembly has a slightly different installation protocol, so it’s important to defer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Check carefully that the assembly you plan on buying is the correct size for your bathtub.
Finally, it’s time to check that your bathtub drain assembly is watertight. Close the bathtub drain stopper and turn on the faucet to run a few inches of water into the tub. Leave it for a few hours, observing now and then to check that the water remains at the same level. If it doesn’t, check the seal for any gaps or loose connections and reseal with more plumber’s putty if necessary.
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Replacing Bath Tub Drain
This Instructable is to help people who are first timers like me.
This is the first time I have attempted any plumbing repairs and the videos are a little wonky.
Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions to make this job easier.
The tools and parts cost less than $25 US in 2017.
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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.
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.
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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.
You Have Clogged Drain Pipes
Of course, the most common reason why a bathtub wont drain is due to clogged pipes. Over time, nearly all bathtub drains will develop clogs. These are most commonly caused by a combination of:
- Shaving cream or gel
- Shampoo and conditioner suds
These mix with the water during a bath or shower and they can solidify in the drain. Sometimes even small items like shampoo bottle caps or razor shields will sneak through the drain openings.
If these clogs are located near the top of the drain opening, you may be able to unclog it on your own. You will likely need to unscrew the drain opening to pull up whatever is clogging it. However, this needs to be done with care, as you could accidentally push the clog further down the pipe.
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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.
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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