I want to remove our older style bathtub drains that use a drain lever with linkage and replace it with a popup drain. However, unlike most of the examples here and on other sites, our drain doesn't have any crossbar. So, removing it with a Drain Removal Wrench won't work (I think).

Does anyone have any recommendation on how to get the existing drain out so I can replace it?

The drain

Another picture of the drain

1 Answer 1


The drain will unscrew... you might need a drain key (or expanding tub drain remover). Here's a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_0vYme1Q88

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Or you might be able to grab it with a pair of channel locks:

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But if you don't care about it any more then you could use a dremel tool to cut a notch in it so that you can use a flat head screwdriver and a hammer to unscrew it.

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  • Nice comprehensive answer, one of these 3 methods should do it. Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 22:00
  • I frequently use #3, albeit with a grinder. (Just don't stray into the tub! And please don't ask me how I know.) Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 4:25
  • #3 was the way to go. I used a hacksaw to make the notch, then a hammer and cold chisel to get it turning. Around 100-200 hammer hits later, the drain was able to be turned by hand. I successfully did this on two separate drains now.
    – Jason S.
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 17:10

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