Removing a bathtub drain is one of the best ways to maintain your bathtub and drain fitting.
For instance, the filter within the drain can prevent you from cleaning it efficiently. But you can tackle this problem by removing the tub drain since it provides better access to the main plumbing system.
Similarly, you might have to replace the bathtub drain if it is leaking or badly corroded.
Most drain fittings are pretty easy to remove. So today, we have compiled this guide to help you find ways of removing the bath drain with simple techniques.
So, let’s dive into our guide to bathtub drain removal!
How To Remove Bathtub Drain Stopper
One of the first steps in removing a tub drain is to remove the drain stopper mechanism. However, most modern bathtubs are built with a drain tub stopper which can be tricky to remove and takes longer if you don’t use the right method.
The method you use to remove the tub drain heavily depends on the type of stopper installed in the bathtub. Here are some tips to remove the drain and different stopper models more efficiently.
1. Push-Pull Drain Stopper
If your tub has a push-pull stopper installed, it is easy to remove it. Grab the push-pull stopper and turn it in the anticlockwise direction. Once you have turned the stopper for a considerable time, you can remove it quickly.
If the stopper refuses to pop out, we suggest wrapping some fabric or cloth around it. This will provide a better grip, and you can use a plier to pull it out. Some people even prefer to use a drain wrench to pull out the stopper.
2. Toe-Touch Tub Drain Stopper
When removing a toe-touch stopper, you will first need to open the head to get better access to the stopper. To detach the head of the stopper, hold the top with one hand and the shaft with the other before turning it in an anticlockwise direction.
The head will detach itself from the stopper, and you will notice a screw holding it in place. You can remove the screw with a screwdriver, following which the stopper will pop right out.
Out of all the stoppers, this drain fitting one of the easiest models to remove since it doesn’t involve any complicated steps. All you need to do is grab it and pull it out.
4. Lift And Turn Drain Stoppers
The lift and turn stopper is the most complicated stopper on this list since you must follow many steps to remove it correctly. Firstly, you will need to rotate the stopper until you notice a set of screws.
These screws can be removed using a screwdriver or a hex wrench. Once the screws have been removed entirely, pop out the knob gently, and you will have access to the stopper.
Tools Required To Remove The Flange
Now that you have removed the stopper, you can reach the visible section of the drain, which is usually termed the bathtub drain flange. A bathtub drain flange is located in the drain’s tailpiece region and can be removed if you have a simple drain setup.
However, some bathtubs have a complex tub drain style, requiring specific tools to remove the drain flange. Here is a list of tools you can easily find in your house or local hardware store:
A dumbbell is a tool designed for drain removal or other plumbing tasks and comes in a key shape to easily fit the crossbar. Once you have placed it properly, use a screwdriver or a wrench to turn it around.
2. Sturdy Drain Extractor Or Drain Key
If the tool mentioned above doesn’t remove the flange, you can use a sturdy tub drain extractor or a drain key. These tools use reverse-thread systems and wings to cling onto the flange for easy removal. After the tool latches onto the flange’s interior, you can twist it and open it with a wrench.
Some drains contain crossbars that can be removed with a screwdriver, so insert the screwdriver into the crossbars and turn it to remove the flange. However, there are certain instances when a regular screwdriver cannot reach the crossbar. You must use a long screwdriver or try a different tool in such a scenario.
Step-By-Step Guide For Removing The Flange
Before performing standard repairs or maintenance on the drain, you should always clean the drain opening since it contains a lot of gunk and waste. If you don’t clean the drain opening, you will have a tough time replacing the flange, as the gunk will block the view.
In addition, removing hair from the drain can make things easier when you install a new flange.
2. Drain Key
The next step will be to take the drain key and place it in the drain opening of the bathtub. You can use a wrench to turn the drain key anticlockwise until the wings hook onto the drain fitting.
From here on, you can either use a screwdriver or a wrench to unscrew the flange from the main drain system. But you will face many challenges since putty, calcium build-up, and grime prevent the fringe and drain fitting from detaching.
One of the most effective ways of removing stubborn waste build-up and plumber’s putty is using heat, which can help soften the debris. Thus, we recommend using a hairdryer or a heat gun to loosen the grime and plumber’s putty to facilitate flange removal.
4. Clean The Drain Opening
After removing the flange, you will notice some residual putty stuck at the drain opening. You can use a putty knife to scrape out the remaining debris on the surface, but people who don’t own a putty knife can also use a flathead screwdriver.
Apart from that, you should remove residual gunk and hair stuck in the opening to prevent your drain from getting blocked in the future.
Removing Bath Drain — The DIY Way
Since a bathtub drain is important in keeping the tub and drain fitting clean and hygienic, you should maintain it properly.
One of the main reasons a bathtub drain can start to malfunction is when excess hair and soap begin to block the drain. However, this can be avoided if you use a filter to prevent hair and dust from entering the drain.
We also recommend using a solution of baking soda and hot water to remove gunk or debris stuck within the drain. And don’t forget to clean the overflow drain.
But if you don’t have time to maintain the bathtub drain yourself, contact Big Blue Plumbing — one of the best plumbing companies on the Sunshine Coast.
We offer an extensive range of plumbing services and repairs at an affordable rate. So whether you have a blocked bath or want your old tub drain replaced — we can do it for you!
Read our guide before removing the bath drain, and you won’t face any problems!