Decided to DIY a refinish kit on my tub (it’s a rental and I’m broke); unfortunately, I cannot get the rusty, corroded drain to budge. Tried special tools, tried inserting pliers into the X and using channel locks to turn (YouTube tip). Still nothing. The overflow had a bunch of caulk on it, turns out it was the only thing holding it in place. When I removed it, the whole overflow pipe fell behind the wall. No access panel. Aside from taking apart the wall (half of tub wall is shared with linen closet, the other half is shared with a coat closet), any options for dealing with either of these? I removed the plywood “wall” in the linen closet, but there’s framing and drywall (I think) behind it that I’d need to cut into for access. 1953 house with a few owners. PS. I’m a total novice DIYer. Trying not to make anything worse!

  • Do you have people below you, or a basement, or a crawl space? Doing diy plumbing on a place you don't own is apt to expose you to some liability. Commented Feb 24, 2019 at 16:36
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    It’s a house with a crawl space. The landlord knows about the project (he reimbursed me for the materials).
    – Sabrin0325
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 11:20
  • I looked around the basement today and don’t see anything that could be a tub drain or access.
    – Sabrin0325
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 1:35

1 Answer 1


As a total novice DIYer I would say that this job is beyond what you are prepared to do. The house is an old rental so the previous work is old and most likely shoddy. Even if you were able to change the components successfully, you may cause more trouble somewhere else from wiggling the pipes around.

But if you must: The plywood you removed can cover the hole you make in the drywall so cut with a drywall saw, but don't go deep. Just one inch max. And if you feel something that doesn't feel like drywall stop cutting and make a small hole to investigate. There are pipes in there and though there shouldn't be wires, there may be. Once you have a hole large enough to take a picture, snap a few and post it here. If we can help, great, if not replace the plywood and call your landlord because the overflow "fell off" and your worried about a leak. Oh also, is this a basement washroom?

  • It’s the main floor, but there is a crawspace below it. I’m going to try your advice and try to get pix.
    – Sabrin0325
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 11:23

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