How to Connect the Drain to a Bathtub

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Whether the bathtub drain leaks and you need to replace it, or you are installing a new bathtub, you need to connect the drain to the bathtub for the water to flow out properly. You do not want water damage or mold problems from an improperly installed drain, nor do you want your bathtub to have problems letting the water out after a bath or a shower. It is not a difficult task, and almost any homeowner can do it.

Things You'll Need

  • Bathtub drain kit
  • PVC glue
  • PVC copper adapter
  • Plumber's putty
  • Test fit the drain kit with the drain hole in the tub and the existing pipe. You want to make sure that you have all of the parts you need to ensure the water gets from the tub to the existing piping. Fit all of the PVC pipe together and attach it to the piping.

  • Glue the PVC piping together and attach it to the existing piping, either with PVC glue if the existing pipe is PVC, or with an adapter if it is copper.

  • Slide the slip connection into the right position to fit the drain space. You need to pull it down if it is too long, or pull it up if it is too short. You also might have a swivel connection if your kit has a popup drain. The swivel connection works much the same way as a slip connection does, but you twist instead of slipping.

  • Apply plumbers putty to the drain fitting and press it firmly into the hole in the tub from the top side, up against the PVC pipe underneath that you just glued.

  • Tighten the screws on the strainer cap, if the drain fitting has one. Drop the lift rod and the plug down the overflow pipe hole in the side of the tub if you have a lift rod attached to a switch to plug the drain. Screw the popup drain into the threads in the swivel connector, if that is the type of drain you have.

  • Allow the plumber's putty to harden and the glue to set before you run any water into the drain. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for how long the putty and glue need to cure, because different types of putty and PVC glue have different requirements.

Tips & Warnings

  • To access existing drain pipes, you might need to go through an access panel in a closet or behind a wall. If there is no access panel, you might have to cut a hole in a wall or a floor.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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