How to Unscrew a Bathtub Drain

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Most leaks between the drain and tub are due to the plumber's putty cracking. The tub drain screws into a retaining nut below the tub. There is a special plumber's tool to use when removing the drain. However, you can also unscrew the bathtub drain with a pair of pliers and screwdriver. After removing the bathtub drain you will need to clean the area well of all residual plumber's putty before installing a new drain.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Channel lock pliers
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Place a towel in the bottom of the tub to protect the tub enamel while you are working inside the tub.

  • Insert the handles of the pliers into the tub drain. The handles will need to go into the crosshairs in the bottom of the tub drain.

  • Place the blade of the screwdriver in between the two handles so that you can grab the screwdriver handle and the blade of the screwdriver with your hands.

  • Grasp the screwdriver with both hands and turn the pliers counter-clockwise. You will need to use some force when turning the pliers with the screwdriver. When you begin to see a little space between the drain and the tub, cut the plumber's putty as much as possible using a utility knife.

  • Continue turning the drain counter-clockwise until you remove the drain completely from the tub.

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