How To Remove Old Tub Drain Without Crossbars? – Step By Step Guide

Wondering how to remove old tub drain without crossbars? When you prefer to change or remove the bathtub, you’ve first to take off the tub drain.

The drain fitting may need to be replaced after a specific time when it’s leakage issues or is seriously rusted.

Removing an old tub drain without crossbars is a hassle-free task. It’s necessary to figure out first the kind of tub drain and stopper your bathtub has.

In this post, we’ll outline all the required steps to detach this tub drain smoothly. Let’s begin!

Step By Step Guide To Remove Tub Drain Without Crossbars

Remove Old Tub Drain Without Crossbars

Thinking of how to remove a tub drain without the tool? Well, you don’t need several tools to take out the tub drain.

2-3 handy tools will be enough. Most of them might be already in your home.

  • Take Out The Tub Stopper Or Screen

At first, you’ll need to take out the drain screen or drain stopper. That’ll help you easily locate the old tub’s drain fitting.

Use a tiny flathead screwdriver to pull below the screen if your old tub features a screen. If the tub has a screen, it’s supposed to feature a bucket or plunger stopper to restrict the water flow that goes through the drain pipe.

However, the handling situation won’t be the same if the tub doesn’t have any screen. In that case, the drain opening must have a stopper set. 

Depending upon the type of stopper your old tub has, you’ll follow a particular removal procedure.

For example, some stoppers may have an easy opening/closing system. Generally, they’re equipped with a setscrew to secure their position.

On the other hand, the tub drain pipe must have a metal rocker arm if you use a lever to run on the stopper. You’ll cautiously move the stopper and rocker arm from the drain.

  • Use a Plug Wrench to Take Out the Old Drain

Locate to the drain opening and put the last part of the plug wrench inside it. Make sure the tines on the wrench sit perfectly inside the drain crossbars.

You may have to try several options from the head sizes to choose one that fits ideally.

Next, use a big changeable wrench to pull the plug wrench in an anticlockwise direction. That’ll help you unfasten the drain. Once it becomes loose enough, use your bare hands to untwist it.

  • Use Locking Pliers to Take Out the Drain
guy removing tub drain

Now, locate the drain opening again and put two locking pliers inside it. Go as much as you can until the jaws limit you.

However, keeping the jaws on the other side of the crossbars is crucial. Finally, secure the position of the locking pliers by clamping them.

Next, use a pair of pliers to hold the locking pliers tightly. Secure their position on the locking pliers as much as you can. This’ll ensure no issues for the locking action.

Now, you want to rotate the pliers in the anticlockwise direction. Turn slowly. After turning the pliers several times, you can use your hand to remove them using bare hands.

  • Clean the Drain Opening

The drain opening features a ring. Utilize a putty knife to remove the ring. Make sure the putty doesn’t go inside the drain. Otherwise, it will cause clogging issues as it doesn’t prone to break down. 

There might be some old seal inside the drain opening. Utilize a plastic putty knife to eliminate any debris from them.

Now, take a sponge to wash the drain opening properly. You can use a bathroom cleaner for an effective solution.

If you prefer a natural option, using a blend of baking soda and vinegar will be perfectly okay. Make sure both items are mixed equally.

Tips To Remove Old Tub Drain

Tub drains are sometimes hard to remove. They accumulate muck, rust, or toughened plumber’s putty.

Additionally, when your bathtub is heavily cold, you can use a hair drier or a heat gun to blow hot air. A few minutes will do the job.

It’ll soften the hard putty. As a result, you’ll easily remove the drain. Now, watch this video!


Don’t throw away the old tub drain if you want to install a new one. Installing an accurate size for the tub drain is important.

Otherwise, it won’t fit perfectly. Take this old tub drain to your nearby shop so that you can find the correct replacement.

Here’re the steps to follow to install a tub drain:

  • Using a fresh plumber’s putty is necessary. It doesn’t matter whether you’re reinstalling the old tub drain or a new one.
  • Start rolling the putty using your hands. It should be thick enough to appear like a pencil.
  • Now, locate the replacement drain basket and put the rolled putty around its lip.
  • Use your hand to tighten the intact drain basket. For proper tightening, use a drain wrench.
  • Next, get rid of the extra plumber’s putty using a putty knife.
  • When setting up a flip-lever drain stopper, it’s necessary to put the plunger inside the overflow drain first. Make sure to tighten the drain basket first before tightening the drain’s faceplate. You can also follow the particular brand instructions because the installation process may vary based on the model.
  • But if you’re setting up another type of stopper, you just need to put the drain stopper inside the drain basket and tighten it properly.

How To Know If You Installed New Tub Drain Successfully?

Removing tub Drain

If you follow the wrong installation process, you may experience leakage issues in your bathtub.

But the question is, how will you know whether you have installed the tub drain properly or not?

Here’re the steps you should follow to learn if you have installed the tub drain correctly or not:

  • Now, let the plumber’s putty dry properly and completely get attached to the surface.
  • Closing the drain will be okay now. You can proportionally add water inside the tub.
  • Use a tape or something similar to put a label for the upper part of the waterline.
  • Keep it in that condition for 1-2 hours. Check if the water level dropped below or is standing at the prior level.
  • If the water level has reduced, your bathtub drain might have a leakage issue. Installing the new drain correctly and adequately sealing it is necessary.
  • However, if the water level has remained in the same tape marker, there’s nothing to panic about since the installation was successful.

When to Call a Pro?

If you’ve broken the drain basket while removing it, getting professional help is necessary. You can’t handle the task if the stopper or basket isn’t coming out.

You shouldn’t try to take out the stopper forcibly. Otherwise, you may end up damaging the drain or tub hole.


Removing your old tub drain and replacing it should not be hassle tasks. You can follow our guideline mentioned above on how to remove old tub drain without crossbars.

Regardless of the sort of bathtub you own, you can follow this method. 

These correct steps can help you easily remove the bathtub drain with hacksaw or other similar tools. Sometimes, you can set up the latest version drain to improve your user experience.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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