How do you remove a tub drain?


Quick Answer

To remove a tub drain, you must unscrew it with a plug wrench or a needle-nosed vise grip and pliers. Because tub drains are sealed with plumber's putty, you need more putty to secure the drain when you replace it.

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Full Answer

  1. Use a tool to grip the drain

    At the bottom of the drain is an x shape that any tool must interact with in order to remove the drain. A plug wrench is the preferred tool, but a needle-nosed vise grip and a pair of pliers also works. If you are using a plug wrench, fit it into the spaces as you would a screwdriver. If you are using the needle-nosed vise grip and pliers, attach the vise grip to the x. Make sure to screw the pliers as tightly as they can be screwed, and as far down as they can go.

  2. Break the plumber's putty seal

    Turn your tool slowly but steadily to loosen the plumber's putty securing the drain to the tub. If you're using the plug wrench, it is designed to give you the necessary leverage to unscrew the drain. If you are using the vise grip, you have to use the pliers as well. Attach the pliers to the vise grip as far down as you can and turn counter clockwise.

  3. Finish unscrewing the drain

    After approximately two turns the putty seal breaks. Once this happens, the drain can be completely unscrewed. If you are using the pliers and vise grip you can return to manual grip once the seal is broken.

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