How to Replace a Tub Drain Shoe

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Bathtub drains require repair and replacement due to different causes, such as hard water, rust and regular use. The most common parts to fail on a bathtub drain are the bathtub drain strainer and drain shoe. The tub drain shoe seals the drain strainer against the bathtub and connects to a pipe to allow drain water to pass through. Rusted and corroded drain strainers and bathtub drain shoes may require specialized tools for removal. Repair parts for bathtub drains are available at most plumbing supply stores or can be ordered from the bathtub drain manufacturer directly.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Plumber's wrench
  • Bathtub drain repair kit
  • Mild abrasive cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Plastic scraper
  • Plumber's putty
  • Plumber's PTFE paste
  • Flat-tip screwdriver

Turn the drain stopper counterclockwise to unscrew the drain stopper from the bathtub drain strainer. For stubborn stoppers, wrap a rag around the stopper to protect the finish and loosen it with pliers.

Unscrew the bathtub drain strainer from the drain shoe with a bathtub drain installation and removal tool. Turn the drain strainer counterclockwise and lift the drain strainer out of the bathtub drain shoe. Use a bathtub drain key to remove difficult drain strainers.

Remove the bathtub access panel from the backside of the bathtub plumbing wall; if a panel isn't provided, you will have to cut the wall to access the plumbing.

Unscrew the center nut on the waste tee with pliers or a plumber's wrench.

Slide the bathtub drain shoe out of the waste tee.

Slide the cone washer and nut off of the bathtub drain shoe piping.

Clean the bathtub drain shoe and drain strainer sealing area with a mild abrasive cleaner and sponge. Scrape excess sealant from the bathtub with a plastic scraper.

Slide the nut and cone washer onto the new bathtub drain shoe piping. Apply a coat of plumber's PTFE paste to the cone washer.

Place the rubber drain shoe gasket on the drain shoe and slide the bathtub shoe piping into the waste tee.

Align the bathtub drain shoe with the bathtub drain hole.

Screw the nut onto the waste tee. Hand tighten the nut; this will allow for adjustments to the drain shoe.

Apply plumber's putty to the underside lip of the bathtub drain strainer. Knead the putty in your palms until it is soft.

Apply plumber's PTFE paste to the drain strainer threads. Screw the drain strainer into the bathtub drain shoe and adjust the shoe if necessary to align the drain strainer and drain shoe threads.

Tighten the drain strainer with a bathtub drain installation and removal tool. Remove any excess plumber's putty with a flat-tip screwdriver.

Tighten the waste tee nut with a plumber's wrench or pliers.

Screw the bathtub stopper into the drain strainer; hand tighten the bathtub stopper.

Close the stopper and fill the bathtub with water to the over flow; allow the water to stand in the bathtub for 10 minutes. Check the drain shoe for leaks around the rubber gasket.

Open the bathtub stopper to drain the water and check for leaks around the waste tee nut.

Replace the bathtub plumbing access panel onto the bathtub plumbing wall.

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