How To Replace A Tub Drain Flange

If you notice leaks near the rim of the tub drain, it usually is a sign the flange needs replacing. The tub drain flange, also called drain basket, provides casing for the drain secured by a single screw and it also works as a drain strainer. Here are some tips on how to replace tub drain flange and seal the leak yourself:

Remove the Stopper and Old Flange

Determine what type of stopper you have and remove it following manufacturer's directions. Common types of tub stoppers include toe touch, push-pull, lift-turn, and pop-up.

You will need a drain removal tool or pliers to take off the old flange. A drain removal tool looks like dumbbells with ends of various sizes and it won't damage the tub finish. Disinfect the drain opening with acetone removing debris.

Secure the handles of the pliers or drain tool on the cross pieces. Fasten locking pliers or an adjustable wrench tightly on the plier handles or drain tool and rotate slowly to the left. If the flange is stuck, try heating it with a blow dryer to loosen the putty.

Examine the Drain Gasket 

The gasket is located between the drain shoe and tub base. A deteriorated gasket will need replacing. Take off the old gasket with a screwdriver being careful not to move the tub shoe. Fold the new gasket and slide it into place between the drain shoe and tub base.

Insert the New Flange

Form plumber's putty into a inch thick roll  around pencil thickness, and completely cover the bottom rim of the new flange. The putty will make a seal between the flange and finish of the tub. Set the flange in the tub drain hole and keep rotating it right until it starts threading on the drain shoe.

Avoid applying too much pressure so the threads ease the flange onto the drain shoe. Secure the new flange by inserting the drain tool or adjustable wrench and giving it a ¼ turn. Turn gently or the gasket may get pushed out of alignment.

Remove extra putty with a knife or with your fingers and save it for later use. Reinsert the tub stopper and run the tub water to test for leaks.

These tips should help you replace the tub drain flange and stop the leak. If the tub doesn't leak around the drain rim, it means the problem has been solved. Otherwise, you have a leak somewhere else. You will need plumbing services to determine the leak source.