How to Remove a Shower Base Pan

What You'll Need
Safety gloves
Safety glasses
Pry bar

In order to install a new shower base pan, it is necessary to remove the old unit. This is not always as easy as it looks, and sometimes it can seem like a hopeless task. Before you go to far towards breaking the shower pan in half and lugging it away, there are a number of things that you can do to get rid of that old pan in a single piece. Rather than call in a professional contractor and let them charge you exorbitantly for it, you can manage the task yourself. Just follow these steps.

Step 1 - Preparation

In order to remove the shower pan, you will need to shut off the water first, then ensure that any shower doors or curtains are removed. Turn off the water at the outside supply line, then run the taps to ensure that there is no water remaining in the system. Unscrew any fixtures which might interfere with the removal of the pan, such as the drain assembly cover. Remove all of pipes and fittings that you can, and cover the rest with protective tape. Ensure that the area around the shower base pan is covered with newspaper or sheets.

Step 2 - Loosen the Shower Base Pan

Once you have cleared away all of the shower accessories, use the screwdriver to loosen any connections between the pan and the walls or the floor. You can pry the screwdriver in between these areas, and push gently towards the pan. Do not damage your shower base as you do so. You may find that the connections are stuck together with old caulk, making the pan difficult to move. Use a scraper to get rid of most of the caulking, then insert a pry bar under the exposed base of the pan. Lift it up, or push it away from the wall.

Step 3 - Remove the Shower Base Pan

Once the shower pan has been loosened, you should be able to grasp it and pull it towards you. The pan may be resistant at first. If this is the case, you should attempt to move it further away from the wall using the pry bar. When the pan has been moved sufficiently, you should hear a tearing or cracking sound, and then the pan should come away from the walls and floor. Pull the pan towards you, and it should now slide along easily.

Step 4 - Finishing

When the pan has been removed, you may find that you need to do some brief repairs to the shower liner and the edges of the walls where the base pan has touched them. The liner may need to be removed and replaced, or it could simply be caulked if the damage is only small.