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Discussion Starter #1
I have what appears to be an old style link tub drain. We have the rotary knob with just a plate over the mechanism. I bought one of those standard threaded replacement units with the twist to open drain covers (thinking my drain was the threaded style).

Where do I start with this?
 

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Naildriver
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FIrst question is do you have access from below? The drain needs replacing, and will be difficult at best from above.
 

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as mentioned acces from below is best.



looks pretty beat up, cracked and broken. looks like it's plastic. Probably will just fall apart anyway, but you can try. once removed the new one should screw into base.

There is a special tub drain extracting tool for removing the spud but you can try needle nose pliers. Insert into cross bars and turn ccw. Use some wd40 or pb blaster.

Pretty straight forward, plenty of videos out there showing how to do this in needed.
 

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You are going to have to replace the entire tub drain. You have a thin wall plastic drain that will not be fixed. With another person helping you can either cut in access in the wall on the valve side of the tub or go below and cut the ceiling if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you for all of the feedback. Regarding the comment of it appearing "cracked and broken", I thought that was just the old plumber's putty. The drain itself looked to be in OK shape (just a bit moldy/mildewy).

I clearly have limited experience with plumbing - I can do the basic things such as replacing sinks, faucets, etc. Anyone care to elaborate on how this particular drain type works? Is this a plstic drain inset inside the standard PVC drain piping? It's not clear to me how this all connects to the drain handle - I assume via linkage.

Update: Looks like I do have access underneath - please see photos.

Thank you again.
 

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The linkage is inside the pipe. Someone was nice to have put a female connector right there. You need to replace all of this. I have never liked the linkage inside the pipe. Only so much space in the pipe, and now there is the addition of a metal rod. I really hate plastic. I use solid brass in my house. Lasts forever.


Cut all out and then loosen the compression fitting above the female connector. That should really be a why, not a tee if you are going to use the plunger type of stopper.
 
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