How to Get a Rusted Basement Floor Drain Cover Off

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Things You'll Need

  • 16-gage wire or a clothes hanger

  • Hammer with claw

  • Crowbar or large prying tool

Over time basement drain covers may become frozen in place with rust. Removing the rusted drain cover may seem daunting because there is nothing to grab onto or to pry off with a tool. By looping 16 gage wire through the slots of the drain cover, you can make an efficient lifting or prying point on the drain through which you can slip a hammer or crowbar.


Step 1

Wrap 16-gage wire or an unfolded wire hanger through the slots of the drain a few times to make a loop. The loop should be fairly close--within 1 inch or less--of the drain so that a hammer claw or prying tool can fit underneath.

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Step 2

Twist the two loose ends of the thick gage wire together securely, so they do not come apart when prying with a tool.

Step 3

Slip the hammer claw through the loops of the wire with the handle sticking straight up.

Step 4

Slowly pry the hammer back so that its claws lift up on the looped wire. Use enough force to dislodge the drain cover.

Step 5

For stubborn drain covers that do not dislodge with a hammer, slip a crowbar or large prying tool under the wire loops.


If the wire loops are too big, place a block of wood on the ground to raise the lifting point of the prying tool. The block of wood can also be used to protect finished flooring in the basement.


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