Bath Drain Replacement

What You'll Need
Drain wrench
1/2-inch ratchet
New drain kit
Plumber's putty
Mineral spirits

You make the task of replacing a bath drain less challenging if you use the correct specialized tool. This article will guide you through the process of replacing your bath drain.

Step 1 - Purchase a Drain Wrench and New Fittings

You will need a few different tools to remove your bath drain. They go by names like master extractor, drain key or tub drain wrench. They offer similar features and operate on the same principal. If you choose to not purchase a drain wrench, you can insert plier handles into the drain and wedge a screwdriver between the handles to torque the pliers in a counterclockwise direction.

The fittings you choose will depend on whether you want a different stopper type or a different finish to match new faucets. Drains come in a variety of finishes and metals.

Step 2 - Remove the Drain Cover and Stopper

Many drains are covered with a simple cover with a center screw. You can remove the center screw with a flathead or Phillips screwdriver.

If you have a plunger type of plug, you will need to remove the whole linkage by unscrewing the plate on the wall of the tub and pulling out the assembly. You may want to replace this assembly with a lift-and-turn type of stopper. If you do, you can replace the back plate with a solid cap.

If your stopper is an internal stopper operated from the position of the overflow drain, you may just leave it if it is operating properly.

Step 3 - Remove the Bath Drain

Insert the drain wrench according to the user's manual. Connect the ratchet and begin turning the tool in a counterclockwise direction. It may take some muscle to release the drain initially because of the old plumbers beneath the flange of the drain. Once the drain releases, continue turning until it comes loose from the internal waste shoe.

It is not a good idea to take a screwdriver and hammer to your drain because you risk damaging your tub and damaging the internal plumbing component to which the new drain will attach. If you damage this internal drain pipe (known as the waste shoe), you will create a problem that isn't easy to repair.

Step 4 - Clean the Opening of the Bath Drain

Clean any old plumber's putty from around the drain hole; also remove any dirt, grit or debris from the opening. You may need a little mineral spirits on a rag.

Step 5 - Install the New Bath Drain

Place a bead of plumber's putty under the flange. Seat the new drain in the hole and screw it in clockwise. Insert the drain wrench and attach the ratchet. Snug the new bath drain into place. Follow the manufacturer's directions for installing the new stopper if you have chosen a different stopper style.