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How to Replace a Bathtub Drain Flange

The drain flange is the collar that surrounds the drain opening in your tub. These are mostly made out of metal, although PVC is also becoming a popular choice. Because they are exposed to so much water, sometimes these flanges can rust or start to break. Replacing a bathtub drain flange isn't as difficult as it looks, especially if you either purchase or rent a bathtub drain removal tool. These devices, sometimes called "drain keys", can make easy work of even the toughest bathtub drain flange.

Replace your bathtub drain flange.
  1. Spray the flange area with penetrating lubricant. Allow this to soak in according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Insert the bathtub flange tool into the flange. Align the tines on the end of the tool so that they grip the supports on the inside of the flange.
  3. Turn the flange removal tool counterclockwise until the flange starts to unscrew.
  4. Turn the new flange upside down. Insert the silicone caulk into the caulk gun. Trim off the end at the 1/4-inch mark with scissors. Apply a bead of caulk to the underside of the flange.
  5. Insert the flange into the drain opening right side up. Tighten with the flange tool. Allow the caulk time to cure according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Things You Will Need

  • Penetrating lubricant
  • Bathtub drain removal tool
  • Silicone caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Scissors

About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.

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