How to Do a Bathtub Drain Replacement

A leaky bathtub drain isn’t just annoying, it can lead to water damage in your home. Replacing a bathtub drain is a fairly straightforward project that can be done as a DIY or by a plumber. The amount of work that needs to be done varies depending on the type of tub and drain that are being replaced. While some people find Bathtub Drain Replacement to be a daunting task, the process is quite simple and requires little more than a few tools, an hour or so of time, and some plumber’s putty.

The first step is to remove the existing drain, and this can be done by removing the screws that secure the overflow plate at the top of the tub. Then you can reach down through the overflow opening and grab the drain with a pair of pliers. There are two different types of tub drains: the lift-and-turn style, which has a lever on the overflow plate, and the basic pop-up style, with a rocker arm that extends out of the overflow opening.

If you have a lift-and-turn type, the rods that raise and lower the stopper mechanism can be unscrewed from their mounting posts with a screwdriver. After that, the whole stopper assembly can be lifted up and out of the overflow opening. If your bathtub has a basic pop-up drain, the rocker arm may need to be removed with a pair of pliers. If the rocker arm is stuck or very hard to remove, you can spray it with a light lubricant.

Next, you need to remove the old drain flange, which is the body that connects the tub and drain to the pipe below. It can be difficult to unscrew, especially if it has been in place for years. A hair dryer can be used to warm the plumber’s putty that holds it in place, and this will usually make it easier to unscrew.

Once the old flange has been removed, clean the area around it, using a plastic knife to remove any putty or debris that remains. You should also apply some plumber’s putty to the underside of the new flange, which will prevent it from sealing to the pipe and leaking in the future.

The final step is to screw in the new flange, and this can be done with a wrench that’s specially made for this job. It has one end with a special head that fits the drain opening and another with various heads that can be used on different types of tubs. Usually, this tool is available at most hardware stores and is relatively inexpensive.

Once you’ve installed the new drain, it’s a good idea to test it by filling the tub and making sure there are no leaks. If you do have a leak, it’s best to contact a professional plumber as soon as possible, to prevent further damage and costly repairs. Otherwise, you can enjoy your newly installed tub drain!

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