How to Remove a Bathtub Drain Assembly

Bathtub drains sometimes need to be replaced.
Before the new one can be installed, the old one must be removed, and learning how will help in installing the new one. Looking at how one is put together while removing it helps in understanding how it will all fit back together. First determine what type of drain you have. A lever on the overflow plate between the drain and the spout indicates a drain assembly with a linkage.

Step 1

Place a sheet or some towels inside the tub. This will prevent damage and scuff marks on the finish while you are inside the tub working.

Step 2

Position the lever to open the drain stopper. With your hands, grab the stopper and pull it out of the drain. It may have to be rocked back and forth to disconnect it from the linkage inside.

Step 3

With a screwdriver, remove the drain overflow cover plate by removing the two screws that hold it in place. The drain overflow cover plate is between the water spout and the drain.

Step 4

Carefully remove the cover plate and the linkage attached to it. The assembly will have to be maneuvered out of the hole. If the cover plate does not have a lever, there will be no linkage attached.

Step 5

Insert the handles of the pliers into the drain hole. Wedge the handle of the screwdriver between the pliers handles. Turn the pliers counterclockwise with the screwdriver, unscrewing the drain from the assembly underneath the tub.

Step 6

Locate the access panel in a wall to get to the front of the tub behind the wall. If there is no wall access, the access will be under the house in the crawlspace. The drain assembly is at the front of the tub and is attached to the main drain pipe of the house. Disconnect the assembly from the main drain by unscrewing the connector with a pipe wrench.

Step 7

Go back into the tub and clean the drain hole opening and the overflow cover opening, removing the old plumber's putty. The tub is now ready for a new drain assembly.

Things You Will Need

  • Sheet
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Pipe wrench

Tip

  • To make the drain removal easier, purchase a drain key to unscrew the drain from the tub.

About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.