I attempted to use my tub drain removal wrench to remove a bath tub drain. Unfortunately the spokes of the drain broke and the drain flange cracked. Not being terribly skilled at plumbing I am now unsure of how to remove this tub drain. How do you remove a tub drain with no spokes and therefore no removal wrench?

cracked drain flange missing spokes

  • 1
    Can you access under the drain?
    – Steven
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 19:16
  • @Steven there is a plumbing access panel so I can get under the drain, but not easily.
    – ahsteele
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 20:43
  • 2
    It might be your best option at this point to avoid damaging the tub while trying to remove it.
    – Steven
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 13:16

4 Answers 4


You could try putting an expanding plug into the drain which should give you something to grab hold of with a pair of vice grips. I would replace the wing nut with a regular nut so that you have better access to the stud.

Expanding Plug

Expanding plugs from McMaster-Carr


If the other ideas don't work out, these internal pipe wrenchs are fantastic. I've got an old set that are older than me.

Here's an example of them enter image description here Www.amazon.com

They work forward and reverse and are indispensable when you need them.


Another approach is use a large pipe extractor, which looks similar to a large left handed screw, and bite into the drain trim, and back it out. You will get more torque with this approach, but the pipe extractors are pricey, especially in that size. One brand product is called EZ-out.

You can also use expanding pliers. I once saw a pair of arc joint pliers which were ground with DIY jaws on the back side, to accomplish the same.


Tub drain extractor home depot sells them enter image description here

  • Actually this is very similar to the EZ-out product. Probably cheaper as the EZ-outs are significantly hardened. This is probably less expensive.
    – mongo
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 14:47

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