Tub Drain leak


Tub is leaking around the periphery of the drain flange. My understanding is these screw down. If I could I'ld like to remove it, put a new gasket and/or sealant under it and screw it back down. But it doesn't budge either way. I don't want to break it because there is no access to the area behind or under the tube as it's boxed in by the wall AND there is a similarly installed tub back to back (head to head one might say) on the other side of the double thick wall in the other lav.
I might try harder if I knew for sure they are standardized (this installation dates from 1957) and if it breaks I can just get another and screw it down without need to replace the other parts. But maybe I should just leave it alone and shoot some sealant under the edge of the drain flange. Is there something that is especially ideal for this?
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Steve Kraus wrote:

Yep, you're in a tight spot.
The sealant option is the one with lowest risk. I would work some dental floss around the perimeter to try and make a small gap first. The drain fitting is usually sealed on top with plumbers putty.
After that, use a powerful hair dryer to dry out the gap. Then inject silicone sealant and work in with fingers. Clear silicone may be best here.
Jim
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wrote:

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Its highly likely that what you believe is a flange leak is really ;line failure. It happened here and will get worse.
Have you opened the cieling below? the parts are standarized.
at that age you may have a drum trap, they rot away, but can be easily replaced with a PVC P trap.
the lines in mine were brass, after a long time they rot.
Its time to open the cieling:( and redo the area. you will find multiple areas of interest and might as well do the whole thing at one time.
I do some plumbing but given the access hassles had a real plumber redo mine about 11 years ago.
just recently it started leaking again, cieling fell down:(
The cast iron lines are begining to perforate, and the whole drain line needs replaced probably to the basement, my home was built in 1950. I did a temp fix for now and left the cieling down.
If you can tolerate it install a access panel in the area, it will fail again.
inciodently the drain you see is attached to a foot, most likely brass, it along with everything slowly rots away. even some copper lines have pinhole leaks.
note if you replace the cast iron lines with PVC you WILL HEAR LOTS OF NOISE, when water flows:(
Hubless cast iron is available, if noise is a concern. no leading in and such, just clamps together
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Water was leaking from the tub and coming out from under walls in adjoining rooms.
I did a test where I removed the drain strainer thing and sealed off the normal opening (but not beyond) with aluminum tape. I ran about a gallon into the tub and watched the level drop. I think it was gone in just over a minute. Surprisingly, given the very small water level, I actually saw a very tiny vortex (whirlpool) develop over the left edge of the drain flange!
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