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Old 09-02-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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How to remove brass drain flange from fiberglass shower pan


Short background story: someone ran PVC up into the brass drain in an upstairs shower, then sealed the gap between the PVC and brass drain with epoxy. The epoxy cracked, water ran down between the PVC and brass, and leaked onto the ceiling of the first floor bathroom.

So I'm trying to remove the brass drain flange from the fiberglass shower pan. Logic tells me that there should just be a silicone seal between the brass flange and the fiberglass. I tried gently tapping from below with a hammer but no dice. I don't want to crack the fiberglass so I thought I better ask before hitting any harder. Any good way to do this?
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Internal-Wrench
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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Did you remove the nut?

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Old 09-02-2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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Joe, thanks, I did look at a wrench like that but the PVC sticks way up into the flange, almost to the shower floor (see picture). I bought one of these for a replacement so I know I have to cut that PVC down, but I don't know if I'll have enough room for that wrench even after cutting it.
http://www.siouxchief.com/Drainage/R...le-Drain.RW2II

EPlumber, thanks as well, I do have the nut undone from below. The drain body extends pretty far down below the shower pan. So I'm trying to get the flange/drain body out in hopes of slipping the nut over the top of the pipe.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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The drain is usually sealed with silicone or putty. I would try to lift it with a narrow putty knife.
Since you have access from below, I'd use a solvent weld type of strainer as a replacement. It will not leak in the future.
You can cut the tailpiece to get the nut off and then use a coupling to reassemble the tailpiece after you install the new drain.

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Old 09-02-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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Does that drain pipe have a trap and a clean out some place.

That's pretty how they did that strainer.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:39 PM   #7
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Doesn't look like a very conventional install so the removal will be very conventional.

Start by cutting the PVC to give you enough room to work and try gently tapping the strainer from underneath. If they didn't epoxy it to the tub, then it should just pop out. If they did, you're stuck trying to CAREFULLY cut notches into the side of the strainer so that you can stick a screwdriver in there and break the seal. But if it's epoxied in, you might have a very hard time getting it out without screwing up the tub.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:42 PM   #8
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EPlumber, my thought on using the compression style is that we might end up remodeling that shower in a few years (don't have the $$ right now). So I thought I'd go with something easily removable instead of having to cut and solvent weld that drain multiple times. Let me know if I've got faulty logic there and if you think I'd still be better off with cutting/welding. I'm new to this so I don't take offense because I want to fix this the right way .

Joe, I assume sarcasm by the pretty comment? Let me tell ya it was a lot of fun chipping and digging all that epoxy out of there. Here is the whole setup:
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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Was there an internal nut on the drain?

I'd personally go with a jackrabbit drain for repair situation. . . Much easier to tighten up.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
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Nope, there was not an internal nut. That floor joist does make things difficult but there is enough room to get a wrench in there towards the "top" of the last picture. My problem is still trying to get the flange off the fiberglass. Seems to be putty or silicone based on what I've scraped off from underneath. None of the "gentle persuasion" methods have worked so far. Can't get a putty knife in from above. And a hammer from below isn't working either. I haven't cut the pipe yet. Seems that is my best bet along with an internal wrench to get the flange loose? Or is carefully using a hacksaw a better idea?
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:55 AM   #11
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I've had to cut the top flange into 4 sections with a Deremel tool with a cut off blade, or an ossilating saw, then use a sawsall down the drain (once the PVC is out of the way).
Now your working with 4 pieces not just one.
Then take my ossilating saw with a narrow under cutting blade (the teeth are facing up) to slide under the flange to break the bond.

Someone had used JB Weld to hold it in place.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idlplumb View Post
...If they didn't epoxy it to the tub
Why mix up a batch of epoxy for just one place?
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #13
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Ok so I got back to work and cut the pipe. Haven't tried removing drain yet. I had to do some awkward reaching to cut it and although I tried to cut straight I've got a bit of an angle. Is this ok or will it cause problems when solvent welding the coupling on?
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:18 PM   #14
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That looks a bit much to me. Specially since its gonna wind up under shower. What did you cut it with? Working in confined area not easy. But now that you got it cut, may be easier to recut. Mite need small handsaw. Short fine tooth jab saw. There are handles that will hold sawzall hack saw blades, at adjustable angles.
And gizmo like this for cutting pipe from inside, some fit electric drill, some fit dremel tool.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #15
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Yep got one of this inside pipe cutters. Also bought a dremel tool. So I should be able to even it out. I made that cut with a hacksaw but not having enough arm room screwed up my angle.

I also got the drain out. Cut drain into 2 pieces from inside then cut top of flange with dremel. Stuck a screwdriver in the groove, twisted, and drain popped right out. Thankfully it was just silicone. But epoxy wouldn't have surprised me.

Last edited by scottyv81; 09-07-2012 at 06:19 PM.
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