Bath tube Drain Flange

I have a big bathtub for once in my life and I want to remove the Drain Flange. (nastly, lousy hard water making a mess of stuff... hehe)
I started to unscrew the flange and after a few turns I could see that it was only caulked in.
Ok no prob there. So I kept screwing it off but to no avail. I looked at the drain point and noticed that the pipes to it were plastic (can only look so far and I cant see the drain point where the flange is).
What is holding down the Flange???
I can put a screwdriver down the hole of the flange and feel that it just elbows once i get beyond the flange. (I dont know if this helps) Par from just janking it out I would like some advice before I pull anything.
Thank you for this website and all your help.
I have used this once before and it was awsome.
John
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JohnA via HomeKB.com wrote:

Sounds like the threads were buggered before. You'll just have to yank it out. But, then what??
If you absolutely can't get at the "shoe" (right angle) underneath, you might have to silicone the whole mess back together.
Jim
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The flange is smaller then the tub hole and I didnt see any threads on the tub. I was just wondering where they would put the flange...would they caulk (or whatever) the flange to the plastic drain pipe?
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John,

First, the tub itself is not threaded. The flange usually threads into the elbow below "sandwiching" the tub in-between the two.
Also, plumbers putty is the usual water sealant underneath the flange, but silicone caulking wouldn't be unheard of (some manufacturers recommend it).
Assuming the tub is plumbed in the standard way, you probably have a combined "waste and overflow" assembly. This is the tub drain, the overflow assembly on the side of the tub, and the pipes and fittings connecting the two. You may want to visit a home center to see how new ones go together.
Waste and overflow assemblies are usually made of plastic, unless they'll be exposed for some reason (like a standing clawfoot tub).
My first guess would be the threads on the elbow fitting are stripped. If so, you're probably not in an easy situation. Somehow you'll need to get underneath the tub (hopefully it's over a basement or crawlspace) and replace that part of the tub overflow. You'll probably need help reinstalling the new one. Someone to hold up the fitting from below, and someone to carefully tighten the flange from above.
A second possibility would be a nut on the bottom of the bathtub drain. Once you loosened the flange, the nut is now able to spin around freely. You "might" be able to loosen it by pulling up on the flange as you unscrew it, but eventually the nut on the backside will drop away, and you'll still need access from underneath to reinstall it.
A third possibility is the flange is already loose, and you're just twisting the silicone that is gluing it down. If it has a tendency to "spring back" when you release it, I would suspect that's partially the cause. You might run a knife carefully around the bottom of the flange and try cutting the silicone away. Then see if the flange will lift away.
Regardless of the cause, you are more than likely going to need access to the bottom side of the tub. If this is over a crawlspace or an unfinished basement, it's probably no problem. Or, if you have an access panel on the front of the tub or through the back of the wall on the drain end of the tub, you might be able to get at it that way. Otherwise, you're probably looking at opening the ceiling below the tub, or through the backside of wall on the drain end of the tub.
Good luck!
Anthony
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Ok, I worked it some more but notice a few more things.
I got my finger into the flange and felt the metal flange and the plastic pipe that is at the end of the flange.
As I turn the flange I looked at the plastic pipe and elbow and saw that the pipe does not move as I turn the flange., which is good.
I still have no clue what is keeping them together unless there is a nut that is on the outside of the pipe and the flange.
I have a big tub (2 people size) and no way to access that elbow at the drain flange drain pipe unless I cut the bottom of the modular home., which seems to be the next step AFTER I check with how they make these things as was greatly suggested {thank you}.
The Flange piping runs from the drain flange to the shut off valves. there are openings in the tub but I need a 3 year old to fit in it. I am thinking about fastening a mirror to see if I can see what I need to see.
Thanks again this and any other help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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When we lived in our mobile home, there was a panel under the floor that provided access to the tub drain. It was simply a 2'x2' piece of plywood screwed in place.
If you have something similar, it should be fairly easy to climb underneath and have a look.
Anthony
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