Can't get tub drain out

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Old 06-30-12, 09:43 AM
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Can't get tub drain out

I have an older bathtub and want to replace the drain. Most tub drains have metal crossbars at the bottom that you can grab to unscrew it. Mine doesn't have these and it doesn't look like they were there at one time and broken. It does have 2 slots - one on each side - that go about 1/2 way down the drain pipe. The slots are not very deep. I'm having a plumber install the new shower valve and he didn't know how to get the drain out. Is there a special tool for this?
Thanks,
June
 
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Old 06-30-12, 11:24 AM
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Odd a plumber would not know how to get out. I am also not a plumber, but I would suspect that it would screw into the tailpiece the same as any other drain.

Here are some examples of some tools: Drain Tools and Smart Dumbells from the most FAMOUS Internet PLUMBING SUPPLY
I'm guessing something like the bottom one is what you need.
 
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Old 06-30-12, 05:49 PM
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My plumber told me he often has to use his reciprocating saw to slice the old drain in a couple of places. He also cautioned that this has to be done carefully to avoid damaging the tub or the tailpiece. I haven't tried it yet!

The first tool in the link TI gave - the Drain Key - looks intriguing. I just might try that one.
 
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Old 06-30-12, 08:13 PM
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Tools rule

Have called several plumbing supply stores and no one has a clue. I think my plumber is good - have worked w/him before and he and his crew do a very nice job. People in the business swear by him. Also, he's honest. I had another plumber mutter about a "special tool" he had to get from somewhere else but I think he was full of it.

The Famous Internet Plumbing Supply site looks great. Except for the first item, I think the tools listed are for drains w/crossbars. The first one is interesting but I'm thinking the reciprocating saw sounds like what I - or the plumber - will end up doing. It would have to be done verrrrrry carefully to not booger the underlying threads. I think the drain probably does just screw down like any other. The problem is getting any kind of a hold on it to unscrew it.

I've done so much work on this bathroom: all new fixtures, tearing up the subfloor (rotten wood), new floor, tub door, etc. I really don't want to settle for the old cruddy drain.

Thanks for the ideas - please keep 'em coming!
June
 
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Old 06-30-12, 08:55 PM
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I'm thinking the reciprocating saw sounds like what I - or the plumber - will end up doing. It would have to be done verrrrrry carefully to not booger the underlying threads.
Yes. I have blades that are just 2-1/2" long that I use for everything they'll reach on, to enable me to set the nose plate on the work and still avoid the damage that the whipping end of a longer blade might cause. They're available everywhere, and that's what I'd use for this.

My plumber also said that in a lot of cases the installers did not use the putty that remains flexible but some cheaper alternative that hardens up, and that's why these become a pita to remove, and often require more than one cut, so that the drain fitting can be pried out in pieces. Then you'll need to clean the threads in the tailpiece with a wire brush before you can install the new fitting.
 
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Old 06-30-12, 09:00 PM
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If it were me, I would first try taking a screw driver or chisel, setting the end to the edge of one of the slots, and whack the end with a hammer to try to spin it out.
 
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Old 07-01-12, 08:46 AM
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I have tried setting a screwdriver in the slot and hitting it with a hammer. It doesn't budge. The slots aren't very deep or long. I'll pick up some short saw blades. I have trouble controlling my reciprocating saw on other projects too so these sound great.
 
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Old 07-01-12, 03:10 PM
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Got it!

Used the reciprocating saw to cut notches that I could put a screwdriver in and pounded away w/a hammer. Now of course I find that my replacement pipe doesn't fit. Back to Home Depot.
Thanks for your help!
June
 

Last edited by junestan; 07-01-12 at 03:11 PM. Reason: want to add a thankyou
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Old 07-01-12, 04:27 PM
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Glad you got it out, and thanks for letting us know!
 
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Old 07-16-12, 06:00 PM
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once it's out and nothing fits...

FYI: if you have one of these oldies you might find that once you get the drain out no one will have a replacement that fits. I tried specialty plumbing supply stores, etc. etc. for mine with no luck.

My fix was to go under the house where I found access to the J-shaped pipe that the drain screws into. It was easy to slip this pipe out and get a replacement pipe that had threads that were standard. I doubt that Home Depot would have them but a plumbing supply store will. I did have to cut part of it off so it would fit. Save the washer from the old J-shaped pipe. Your new one might come w/one but my old one was thicker and seemed OK so I used it on the new pipe.

The new pipe came w/a drain but I wanted polished nickle w/a step-on plug. It was easy to take the new drain to Home Depot and match it w/the type I wanted. Screwed right in and I finally have my tub back.
 
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Old 07-16-12, 06:10 PM
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Glad to hear you got the whole thing solved! You have also made it easier for the next guy.
 
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Old 07-16-12, 06:20 PM
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Wow - that'd be a first for me. This site has given me such great advice it's nice to be able to give a little something back.
 
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