How to Fix a Tub Drain Before It Causes Extensive Water Damage
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How to Fix a Tub Drain

  • Categories: Plumbing
  • Date: January 29, 2021
How to Fix a Tub Drain

For all you DIYers out there who want to perform small plumbing jobs yourself, one easy task is replacing or resealing an old tub drain. A leak in the drain can cause extensive water damage. Fortunately, replacing or resealing a drain is an inexpensive and easy process. Supplies only cost about $20, and you can do it in an hour or less.

What You’ll Need to Replace a Tub Drain

Before you perform the repair, you’ll need to check your toolbox for the following items or run to the local hardware store.

  • A new drain stopper and flange
  • A new drain shoe gasket
  • Mineral spirits
  • Plumber’s putty or silicone
  • A drain removal tool such as a drain key or smart dumbbell
  • An adjustable wrench
  • A flathead screwdriver

How to Replace a Bathtub Drain

  1. Unscrew the drain stopper. Set it aside if you are not replacing it.
  2. Insert the drain removal tool into the drain and rotate counterclockwise until the flange pops out. If the tool does not work, use a hairdryer to heat the flange and soften the plumber’s putty or silicone holding it in place. Then try using the tool again.
  3. Clean the bathtub drain hole with mineral spirits. Pat it dry and then give it a few minutes to air dry.
  4. Check the rubber in the shoe gasket. If it is worn out or not sealing tightly, use the screwdriver to pop it out.
  5. Replace the gasket if needed by pressing it firmly against the screw.
  6. Apply enough plumber’s putty or silicone in a ring on the underside of the new flange to form a complete seal with the tub. Do not skimp, as not using enough could cause leaks.
  7. Screw the bathtub drain flange into the drain hole. Turning clockwise, hand tighten the first few turns and then use the drain removal tool to tighten it. Use the wrench for the final quarter turn. Be careful not to over-tighten.
  8. Remove the excess plumber’s putty or silicone from the bathtub drain with mineral spirits.
  9. Insert the existing or new stopper.

Note: these instructions do not address the drain shoe or the piping that connects the drain to the sewer line. Those are much more extensive projects, and you should contact a professional plumber for those.

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for Your Home’s Plumbing Needs

If you’re uncomfortable with performing plumbing repairs on your own, contact the professional plumbers at Ravinia Plumbing today. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing companies in Chicagoland. Contact Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment.

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*Based on research conducted January - December 2021

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