Q:

How do you replace a tub drain assembly?

A:

Quick Answer

Replace a tub drain assembly by determining the type of plug it uses, removing the plug and then removing the drain flange from the shoe. Once the flange is removed, clean any old plumber’s putty from around the drain and install the new flange and plug.

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Full Answer

Manufacturers make drain plug assemblies in styles including the toe-tap, plunger and the older style lever plug. Each requires a different removal technique. For drains without levers, access and remove the retaining screw by unscrewing or prying off the decorative cap. Removing the lever style requires removing the overflow plate with the lever and pulling the lift mechanism through the overflow hole.

Most tub drains have crossbars inside that allow the use of the handles of a pair of slip joint pliers for removal. Drop the handles in the openings around the crossbars and use a large screwdriver for leverage to unscrew the flange. If the crossbars are missing, use a drain key from the home improvement store. It expands against the sides of the flange for removal.

Using a putty knife, remove any plumber’s putty from around the drain opening. Dissolve any limescale buildup with white vinegar.

Screw the new flange into place and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the new drain assembly into the flange. Replace the overflow cover with the new one.

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