Shower drain incorrectly installed? (Strainer won't fit)


I have a problem with what I suspect to be an incorrectly installed shower drain. I've visited the local home improvement stores to check out the parts of a shower drain, but still couldn't figure out how the drain in question was put together.
Here's what the problematic installation looks like:
The strainer is a typical metal strainer with small metal "tabs" bent towards the drain. (I don't know what the "tabs" are properly called, but apparently they are for securing the strainer to the drain by friction).
The shower drain (housing?) is a typical design made with PVC. The wall of the cylindrical hole in the middle of the drain forms the "outer ring" of a 3-ring concentric structure (as viewed from the top).
The "inner ring" of the 3-ring structure is a PVC drain pipe.
Between the inner and outer rings is a black ring? or cylindrical? part.
The problem: the tops of the middle and inner "rings" is too high, interfering with the "tabs" of the strainer.
(I'm going to post a crude ASCII-art drawing of the drain in a follow-up message.)
Can anyone make sense of my description? If so, what is wrong with the installation? What is the proper way to fix it so that the strainer can be securely put in place as it was designed to.
Thanks.
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This is the ASCII-art drawing I said I was going to post. (Sorry about the HTML formatting--it's done to make sure that the drawing is shown in fixed width font.)
------------ <--- shower drain strainer | | <--- small tabs bent to point downward ___ ___ '--... ...--' ||| ||| <--- Middle ring: black rubber?/plastic? gasket? (depth unknown) | | | | <--- Outer ring: PVC shower drain | | | | <--- Inner ring: PVC drain pipe | | Note: tops of drain pipe and gasket? too high, interfering with the "tabs" on the strainer
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The font I use to display my posts overrides the one you used! So there!
I use Agent.
Although it uses a different font for display to me the reply I'm typing. That one is fixed width, so it displays the way you wanted it.

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mm wrote:

Thanks for fixing the diagram. As you can see, my attempts using HTML formatting weren't successful. On my 3rd try I reverted to using just plain ASCII.
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This is the ASCII-art drawing I said I was going to post. (Sorry about the HTML formatting--it's done to make sure that the drawing is shown in fixed width font.)
------------ <--- shower drain strainer | | <--- small tabs bent to point downward ___ ___ '--... ...--' ||| ||| <--- Middle ring: black rubber?/plastic? gasket? (depth unknown) | | | | <--- Outer ring: PVC shower drain | | | | <--- Inner ring: PVC drain pipe | | Note: tops of drain pipe and gasket? too high, interfering with the "tabs" on the strainer
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This is the ASCII-art drawing I said I was going to post. (Previous attempts using HTML formatting produced garbled messages--reverting to plain ASCII. View the diagram below in fixed width font.)
------------ <--- shower drain strainer | | <--- small tabs bent to point downward ___ ___ '--... ...--' ||| ||| <--- Middle ring: black rubber?/plastic? gasket? | | | | <--- Outer ring: PVC shower drain | | | | <--- Inner ring: PVC drain pipe | |
Note: tops of drain pipe and gasket? too high, interfering with the "tabs" on the strainer
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mtco wrote:

The black rubber ring is the seal between pipe and drain fitting. It can be driven further down into the annular space. You can use a tool like a thinwall cylinder or <argh> a blunt screwdriver. But if it doesn't move fairly easily, there may be too much friction built up.
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

Thanks. Do you know how much space there is below the (current position of the) rubber ring to allow it to be drive down?
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mtco wrote:

I don't see why you need the tabs. According to your diagram, if the strainer is sized right it would fit in the depression. You could put a very thin amount of plumbers putty in the depression ring and just press the strainer into it. Cut the tabs off or just bend them flat. Or, get a strainer that has tabs spaced to fit inside the drain pipe.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

It seems very common for metal shower drain strainers to be manufactured that way (i.e. with those little bent "tabs"). I guess they are designed to be held in place by friction for easy removal. You may sometimes want to remove the strainer to clear a clogged drain, for example.
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