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Old 04-06-2008, 06:31 PM   #1
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


Help someone! I was trying to remove a 35 year old bathtub drain using a wrench. I broke the little crossbars in the drain opening and now I have no way to grip it to twist it out. How do I get it out now? Could a hacksaw work? How about using a flathead screwdriver and a hammer and pry the metal circular lip up? Would this work?

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Old 04-06-2008, 07:28 PM   #2
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


Are you able to replace the entire assembly, can you get the the drain from below?

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Old 04-06-2008, 08:02 PM   #3
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


No. I have to work from inside the tub. I took out a cross stub in the wall behind the tub to look below if there was any leaking.

This whole thing started when I took a bath and used the soapdish/handle and it pulled away from the wall. Underneath the backboard was saturated in a small area. The tile had cracked behind the bracket and I tore out the wall with three rows high of tiles and then bought some wonderboard at Home Depot to replace that.

The flipper deal you pull up on the tub to keep the water in was just hanging loose. My son had taken out the screws to try to maneuver it to be able to keep water in. The hanger thing/plug will keep the water in the tub but over the years I noticed water occasionally dripping in the basement below the tub and figured it must be the drain/spout workings and seals. I read the diy website and thought I should try to replace the drain which would include putting in new putty. Problem was the drain fixture would not budge then I broke it when using a wrench and a screwdriver to turn it. Now I'm left with a drain and no way to remove it. What do you suggest?
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:06 PM   #4
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


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I noticed water occasionally dripping in the basement below the tub and figured it must be the drain/spout workings and seals.
You mention basement, can you not see the tub drain in the basement?
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


No. In the room below and directly below the upstairs main bath is the water heater. The drips don't happen all the time. My son seems to think it's the overflow from the tub.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:16 PM   #6
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


Are you good whem dealing with plumbing, reason I ask cause I don't want to tell you what to do if your not sure of what to do, last think you want is to make things worse by taking actions from what we say on here, worse case is if you try what we say and you don't do it correctly you will be tearing out the tub to fix this problem.

This is the reason I asked about access.

Do you understand why I was asking if you had access to the drain below so all else failed you could replace the complete drain on it.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:21 PM   #7
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


Right, I understand. It's a really small area to access below the tub in the basement. I'd have to remove the waterheater. Do you think I should go as far as removing the tub. (I also understand I'd have to remove the toilet which is about a foot away from the tub). I'm prepared to do that I was just mainly wondering about removing the entire drain using maybe a hacksaw or some other tool? What do you think? I have no way to remove the drain when I'm in the tub since I broke off the "X" metal in the bottom of the drain. What should I use to cut it out?
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:25 PM   #8
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


Before I get into what you have to do, do you have access to the back side of the tub through a wall?
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:32 PM   #9
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


There is a bathroom off of the master bedroom on the other side of the wall but the toilet is there next to that wall.

Behind the water spout on the tub I took off the wall tiles and wall area and removed a small section of 2x4 that was surrounding the copper pipes to the drain, etc. I was hoping to look down in there and see if it was leaking. Have not done that yet.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:37 PM   #10
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


Step #1........Access the back of the wall, tell us what you see there, you will need to get into that wall.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:18 AM   #11
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


Quote:
Originally Posted by andreajohanson View Post
Help someone! I was trying to remove a 35 year old bathtub drain using a wrench. I broke the little crossbars in the drain opening and now I have no way to grip it to twist it out. How do I get it out now? Could a hacksaw work? How about using a flathead screwdriver and a hammer and pry the metal circular lip up? Would this work?
Go to the local hardware store and purchase a "inside pipe cutter". Attach it to your drill and cut the drain off below the flang. If you are replacing the tub then you can crack the tub with a slege hammer and then use channel locks. A little WD-40 may help.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:05 AM   #12
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


House sergeon,
Indeed you MAY get the drain cut off that way,,,BUT larger question remains,,,how ya gonna put NEW drain in if there is NO access to UNDER tub area.??? I would vote for cutting out a little subfloor between the joists to access from 'below' can you stand on a ladder etc. and reach over water heater enough to access this area?? AND or the wall behind,,,you HAVE to have access from someplace sooner or later!!! Would make a good access door there OR a decrotive something or other to get back in to do leak repair or washer changes.

To original poster,,,where is the tub gooseneck?? Can you see that in basement?? Or with mirror thru wall?? IF its metal yet,,it may have rusted thru and causing a big prob. IF long term leak the floor should have rotted out below that area!! Otherwise could well have been just a washer replacement ,but now obviously has esculated the repair!!(the nut holding the drain on is on the 'bottom' of the tub!!)
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:24 PM   #13
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseSergeon View Post
Go to the local hardware store and purchase a "inside pipe cutter". Attach it to your drill and cut the drain off below the flang. If you are replacing the tub then you can crack the tub with a slege hammer and then use channel locks. A little WD-40 may help.
LMFAO @ username.....


I don't think an internal pipe cutter will work.. if you cut the tailpiece below, you will still have the flange below the tub that the brass drain is screwed into.

Worst case scenario, you have to try to cut the flanged fitting off from below, which will be very difficult to do without damaging the tub I would think. If it's ABS and you have access, you may be able to very carefully split the plastic off of the metal using a chisel.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:48 PM   #14
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


Andrea,
There is one thing that you can try, but if it still leaks...as everyone has said...you still may have to do whatever you have to do to gain access under the tub. However, THIS may work. I've done it successfully myself more than once.
A. Take a hacksaw blade and cut a small "V" into the inside edge of the drain. Do not cut into the tub. Heat the old drain with a hairdryer to soften and loosen the old putty.
B. Take a flathead screwdriver or chisel in the "V" and tap the drain around counter-clockwise with a hammer to unscrew the old drain.
C. Clean off all of the old putty, and roll a roll of fresh plumber's putty in your hands about the size of a pencil. Wrap the new putty completely around the drain hole depression and tighten a new drain down onto it.
That may do it, UNLESS the rubber seal or the drain fittings up under the tub are leaking due to "old age".
As far as the overflow assembly with the trip-lever stopper goes, you can clean, lubricate (WD-40) and adjust the old assembly, or replace it.
Good luck!
Mike

Last edited by Mike Swearingen; 04-07-2008 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:30 AM   #15
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Help! I can't remove a bathtub drain after I broke the crossbars with a wrench


First do what Ron said, don't be in a hurry to remove the strainer from the tub shoe. At this point if i understand it correctly you don't even know what is leaking. from behind the tub you will see if the waste and overflow is leaking. If it does turn out to be the shoe ( thats the the part that the strainer screws into ) then you can still remove the strainer without opening the ceilin. first make sure you know the cause before you get anymore into it.

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