Removing a Damaged Bathtub Drain
When I’ve needed to remove an old bathtub drain, I’ve found that the center crossbars on about half of them are missing as a result of corrosion. Without the crossbars, it can be difficult to unscrew the drain from the pipe below without damaging the bathtub or the drainpipe. There are several tools sold online that do this job, but they are pricey.
During the demolition of a bathroom for a remodeling job, I had several tools in the bathtub to remove the old wall tile. I tried wedging a few of them in the drain so that I could get a grip in the drain to try to unscrew it. My flat bar was a little too big to fit in the drain, but when I tapped it down with a hammer, it cut grooves into the sides of the soft metal of the drain. I was able to push on the other end of the flat bar and use the leverage to start to back it out. I pried the bar out of the drain with another flat bar and repeated the process several times until I could finish removing it by hand. I’ve used this method many times over the years and have even enlightened a few plumbers.
Rich Kinter, Muskego, WI