Trip lever bathtub drain screws are corroded and stuck

Hi all,
My bathtub drain trip lever mechanism has failed, and my bathtub won't drain.
The problem is, the heads of the screws holding the trip lever drain to the tub are totally corroded away. Just rubbing the head with my finger took off a bunch of rust and the heads are now stripped.
What's the best way to get the trip level drain cover off? Can I drill out the screws without damaging anything else?
--
Steven L.

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On 09/14/2014 09:35 PM, Steven L. wrote:

If you are careful.
Get some very high quality cobalt or carbide bits and see if you can get a small hole drilled down the center and if so progressively increase the size.
Be sure to wear safety glasses.
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On Monday, September 15, 2014 7:44:29 AM UTC-4, philo  wrote:

plan on replacing the trip lever assembly
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On 9/15/2014 10:43 AM, bob haller wrote:

Well, that's a given.
The plumbing is so old that I always prefer to replace all old parts as soon as a repair job gives me the excuse (and the accessibility) to do it.
--
Steven L.

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replying to philo  , BostonDave wrote:

Thanks for this advise, I had the same situation and it worked for me. I ended up re-threading with a 1/4-20 tap bit and replaced the assembly. All is well now.
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No, I wouldn't try to drill out those screw heads.
Those screws are SUPPOSED to be brass or stainless steel, and if they're badly corroded someone has replaced them with ordinary steel screws, which is why they're stuck.
Those screws screw into the overflow and drain assembly behind the front of the tub, and if you can't get the screws out of the overflow, you'll have to replace that whole assembly. That may mean cutting a hole in the wall behind the tub to get at the assembly from the back or cutting a hole in the ceiling below the tub to get at the assembly from below.
If it were me, I would use a Dremel tool (or any other such tool) to cut the overflow cover off around the screws, and then apply diluted hydrochloric acid to where the screws enter the brass overflow elbow using an eyedropper or Q-Tip. Hopefully the acid will be drawn into the crevice between steel male threads and bronze female threads amd dissolve the rust there so that you can remove those screws.
Keep applying acid and twist the screw heads with a pair of vice grips and hopefully you can get the screws out. Otherwise, replacing that overflow and drain assembly is going to require you get behind the front of the tub or you somehow gain access to that assembly from below.
--
nestork

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On 09/15/2014 09:23 AM, nestork wrote:

<snip>
Yes. Because they are rusted I assumed they are soft steel and it will be child's play to drill them out.
I suppose with acid , penetrating oil or heating them with a torch they /might/ come out with a vice grip but more than likely they'll just break off... necessitating a drill-out anyway.
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On Monday, September 15, 2014 12:20:13 PM UTC-4, philo  wrote:

In any case, trying to drill them out seems like an easier approach to me, than to start by cutting apart the cover plate with a dremel tool.
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Steven L. wrote:

B4 you mount it on permanent spot, I'd suggest you try it out indoor and get familiarize yourself with the camera. If it is not known name brand, a generic thing, tech support is almost nil. I played with many different IP cameras and running 7/24 on my NAS photo station.
cameras
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wrote:

I'd try what Oren says, including the tapping,
The description of the tool he lists sounds pretty good and gets a lot of high ratings, plus quite a few low ones. But I've never used it, have no experience with it.
I'm surprised no one suggested left-handed drill bits. Often when I use those, while I'm drilling CCW, the screw comes out. Start with a small bit, even if you have to use a clock-wise one to make the starter hole, and get gradually bigger, but no bigger than the hole! (You can see how big the hole is by looking at a new part at a hardware store. I think they're all the same in a given country.) Home Depot has a couple sizes of left handed bits by a famous maker and the only other place I know that has them is Harbor Frieght, which sells a set of four different sizes.
Oren's device is meant to run in a drill that's going counter clockwise too. That's a good sign.
I think what all of us shoudl do is go around our homes loosening and retightening every machine screw in the house, so we don't get stuck like this. Starting.... NOW!
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sounds good till you try it
probably create more things to fix, since some that may never of had a problem will because they were disturbed:(
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On 9/16/2014 7:56 AM, bob haller wrote:

> disturbed:(

buy some lithium grease. Put some on the threads of each machine or sheet metal screw, to reduce the risk of corrosion.
Locks, window cranks, refrigerator and freezer door, oven hinges, door knobs, door hinges. This list will be a good start. Then, backs of radios and TV, and .....
--
.
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On Tuesday, September 16, 2014 8:19:55 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Teflon plumbing tape does the same thing (lubricates the tightening operation, makes the fastener removable, protects it from corrosion) but is FAR less messy than grease.
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wrote:

You're right. Plus there are hundreds or thousands of screws.
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wrote:

BTW, I don't reject the idea that those who gave it a negative rating didn't read the instruction or had some other stupid reason to dislike it.
I bought a couple weeks ago a Big Red mini-floor jack, which got lots of negative ratings, many complaining that it didn't go up high enough or it took too many strokes to make it go up? What do you expect, fools? It's a mini-jack with a short handle and a short stroke, and if you want it to go up faster, you'll have to push harder than with other jacks.
OTOH, it does make this big noise going up at some point, and no one complained about that. Still I like it.
This is the one with that's red with the yellow plastic handle. I don't know if it last many years, but so far so good.
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