I live in a old condo. My condo has two bathtubs adjacent to each
other, separate by a wall.
The tub drains are rusted and I'd like to replace it. A plumber came
and said it has no access to the tubs, therefore, he needs to knock
down the wall, the tiles, and replace the entire drain system in order
to replace the drain. I was able to take out only one drain and took
it to Home Depot but they don't have the same size. The other tub, I
can't get it out even with the tub drain removal tool (bought it from
Home Depot). When I told the plumber that, he said I can damage the
condo below with the water leaking because it needs to replace to
entire system rather than just the drain itself.
My question are:
1. Can I just replace the drain or the entire system?
2. If I can just replace the drain, what do I need to do to ensure the
water won't leak.?
3. Where can I get the drain which fits the existing drain pipe, Home
Depot and Lowe don't carry it? I live in Houston, TX
4. How can I take out the old drain from the other bath? I used the
screw driver and inserted it horizontally to the tub drain removal tool
and can't get it out. Is there an easier way?
Your help is greatly appreciated.
I did it once, so I'm an expert:
1. Must replace the whole thing.
2. It'll leak. Replace the whole thing. And hope it doesn't leak
when you're done.
3. Plumbing supply shops will carry more fittings than HD.
4. If it won't come loose with the tool then perhaps you can sawzall
it off from the bottom.
There's no other way to get to the underside of the tub? Perhaps
through a wall of your neighbor's place? Tearing out tile seems
extreme, but it's quite normal to have to do some drywall work.
I replaced one because it leaked. The whole process was such a pain in
the ass that I'd never do it for cosmetic reasons. It was every bit as
bad as digging a deep 40 foot trench with a shovel.
IMHO you are taking big risks because you will
be responsible for any damage to the unit below.
That said, sometimes the drain fitting simply won't
come out because of corrosion in the threads.
Then it's time to get out the Sawzall. Blade vertical,
*inside* the drain. Make maybe 6 cuts thru the "side" of
the drain till it almost cuts the tub. That will weaken it
so it can be pried out.
The bad news is that you may have to replace the tub "shoe"
underneath if you cut thru it.
PLAN "B": Heat the drain fitting with torch. Cool it
rapidly with cold water to shrink it. That should loosen
There is a round rubber gasket *under* the tub which seals the
tub shoe to the tub and prevents leaks; don't forget to
NOTE: I am not recommending you actually *do* any of the
above. Heed what your plumber said.
Well, I hate to discourage anyone from a DIY project, but out of all
the things I've tried since buying an old house, that was the worst.
Tear out the wall. Spend half the weekend shoulder deep between 16"
studs trying to get the thing to stop leaking. Resoldered the
connections, replaced the gaskets, finally flung the whole contraption
out across the yard and picked up a new one from HD. Rest of the
weekend cutting, bending, fitting. Finally, in desperation, used a
rubber coupling to fit the new drain to the old cast iron pipes. All
for a tub I don't even use! Another one is leaking now (girlfriend HAD
to fill the damn thing to the overflow, now I have to repaint the
kitchen ceiling). I'm going to fill that one with rocks and concrete
and be done with it!
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