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Do you cherish a daily bath? You’re not alone, because almost no one could possibly argue that it’s not relaxing, great for a good night’s sleep, and just perfect for that little bit of alone time that we all love. But if you’re faced with the task of needing to know how to remove the bathtub drain, that’s where things get a whole lot more stressful – because there are so many types of bath drains, including:

  • Trip lever
  • Toe-tap
  • Lift and turn
  • Pop-up
  • Push and pull
  • Flip-it
  • Pres-Flo
  • Grid drain & many, many more.

How to remove tub drains of every type

At the end of the day, learning how to remove specific bathtub drain assemblies depends on how old the tub is – and who manufactured it. And the oldest baths in Australia date all the way back to the 19th century! That’s a lot of tubs!

So if you’ve been browsing for the most generic way to unscrew bathtub drain assemblies all across our sunburned land and come up empty-handed, we hear you. And that’s why we’ve put our heads together here at Ryan Old Plumbing to come up with a step-by-step process for removing tub drain components – no matter what they are – to complete the process that we know you just want to get done in the easiest and fastest possible way. So here goes!

Removing bathtub drain components in 11 steps

Dealing with a hopelessly blocked drain? Drain assembly worn out? Just updating the look or functionality of your existing tub? Sure, a plumber could certainly help. But if you want to know roughly what they get up to so you can also learn how to remove bathtub drain assemblies, here’s the basic process:

1. Got your tools?

You’re going to need a few things, including:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Drain removal tool
  • Adjustable pliers
  • Pipe wrench
  • Plumber’s putty/thread seal tape
  • New bathtub drain assembly.

Haven’t got everything? Don’t worry, you can still proceed.

2. Prepare the area

Make sure the area around the bathtub is clear of anything that may disturb you. At the same time, put a towel down to catch any water/debris, and put on some gloves to look after your hands.

3. Remove the drain cover

Can you actually see the drain cover? It will probably come off with a simple tool like a screwdriver, but you may need to unscrew something as well.

4. Access the drain assembly

Do you also need to remove an overflow cover plate or the access panel underneath the bath? It should just be a matter of removing some screws.

5. Loosen the assembly

Next up, grab those pliers or wrenches to grip the assembly firmly and unloosen it in a (normally) anti-clockwise direction. Be patient and gentle but firm enough to fully unscrew it – and if you struggle at this step, you probably need a drain removal tool.

6. Remove the assembly

It should now be a matter of lifting the assembly out of the drain hole. Feel free to do a bit of wiggling or pulling, because debris or sealant may be making it a little tricky.

7. Clean & prepare

Do you see any debris or residue in or around the drain hole? If so, clean it thoroughly with a rag – or something a little stronger if it’s stubborn.

8. Install the new assembly

Wait ’til it’s dry, and then apply a layer of plumber’s putty around the threads of the new drain assembly. Carefully insert it into the hole, and then use your pliers or wrench to tighten it all up. Just be careful not to damage the assembly or tub by tightening it too much.

9. Reassemble

Did you remove an overflow cover plate or access panel earlier in this process? The time has come to re-attach them, making sure not to over-tighten.

10. Test

Your new drain assembly should now be in place, but turn the water back on to check. Do you see any leaks? If not, you’ve done a great job.

11. Cleanup

Tidy up, double-check the connections, wipe everything down – and go boil the kettle for a much-deserved coffee!

How to remove drain from tub the easy way

Just need an experienced, fully-licensed professional in bathtub drain removal to do it for you? At Ryan Old Plumbing, we offer Brisbane & the Gold Coast the most professional, speedy and affordable bathroom plumbing service possible, with all the best goodies like upfront pricing, no-obligation quotes and 100% guaranteed workmanship – for life. Struggling with removing bathtub drain assembles? Stop right now and simply give Ryan Old Plumbing a shout – and we’ll be right there!