How to Install a Drain in a Shower Without Removing the Stall


Installing a standard shower drain without removing the stall will require access to underneath the stall area. The drain consists of two parts that are screwed together with common threads and connected to the drain pipe underneath. Some modern replacement products allow the drain replacement without going underneath the shower stall. These are much easier to install and will last for many years.

Things You'll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Silicone caulking
  • Hacksaw
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Tub drain removal tool
  • Wingtite replacement drain
  • Pry off the old drain cover with a flathead screwdriver.

  • Insert the tub drain removal tool into the shower drain and unscrew the center piece. Use needle-nose pliers and screwdrivers if necessary to unscrew or pry off the remaining smaller pieces of the center piece of the drain.

  • Use the hacksaw to make two cuts about a half-inch apart through the remaining drain piece. Remove the small piece of the drain between the two cuts. Do not cut the shower pan or the drain pipe to which the drain is connected.

  • Collapse the drain onto itself and lift it out of the drain pipe. The nut on the bottom of the drain will fall off and remain hanging on the drain pipe. It is not necessary to remove it. Drains that are glued to the drain pipe will need to be broken off in pieces to remove it from the pipe.

  • Clean the drain pipe end and remove all caulking or pipe dope from the shower bottom.

  • Apply liquid soap to the o-ring on the replacement drain. Apply silicone caulk around the underside of the replacement drain flange. Push the drain into the drain pipe until it settles on the shower pan.

  • Tighten the wing screws until secure. The wings on the screws will flip out and grip underneath the shower pan to make a tight fit. Clean off any caulking that exudes from around the drain flange and press in place or screw on the drain cover.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wingtite drains are held into place using the same method as remodel electric boxes are held into sheet rock walls.
  • Replacing the drain from underneath the shower is a much more labor-intensive procedure.
  • Pipe adapters and extensions may be needed to extend the drain pipe or compensate for different pipe sizes.
  • Always take safety precautions and wear proper safety equipment while using hand tools.

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  • Photo Credit drained image by Nicemonkey from
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