How to Install a Bathtub Drain

Over time, bathtub drains -- like all drains -- tend to become broken, cracked or worn out. When that happens, the drain needs to be replaced.

Regardless of the reason, replacing your bathtub drain yourself is much cheaper than hiring a contractor, and certainly more cost-effective than replacing the entire bathtub. All you need are the right tools and a bit of patience [source: Toronto Drain Experts].


To install a bathtub drain, you'll need the following items:

Here's how to install a bathtub drain:

  1. Unscrew the drain toggle.
  2. Unscrew the drain cover.
  3. Remove the drain extension, using heavy pliers if necessary.
  4. Locate the drain outlet that connects the bathtub drain to the sewer pipe. You may have to check in the basement, outdoors or behind the bathtub access panel (if there is one). If you can't access the drain pipe you'll probably need to remove the bathtub.
  5. Remove the old drain pipe by unscrewing any couplings. Use pliers or a wrench if necessary. If you can't unscrew the couplings, you'll have to cut the pipe with a hacksaw.
  6. Connect the new drain pipe to the outlet pipe. If the outlet is threaded, screw the drain in place. Otherwise connect the drain to the pipe using the adapters that come with the drain kit.
  7. Check that the vent tube has no obstructions.
  8. Install the drain cover in the bathtub using the hardware provided in the drain kit.
  9. Apply caulking around the drain opening.
  10. Double check that all the pipe connections are tight, and then pour water down the bathtub drain to test it for leaks [source: Guides at Overstock].