How to Fix a Leaky Shower Drain by removing the old drain, clean up the drain surfaces after a failed homeowner repair attempt. This project is continued from How to Fix a Leaky Shower Drain – Part 5.
Shower Drain Removal
After unscrewing the shower drain strainer body, the black rubber gasket and plastic anti-friction gasket were fished out with a screwdriver. The homeowner attempted to repair the leaking drain twice, and even applied automotive sealant (black areas) to the anti-friction gasket out of desperation to stop the leak.
I used an automotive gasket scraper to remove the plumber’s putty and automotive sealant from the face of the drain body because my 1″ putty knife was too wide to fit. The homeowner helped by gently pulling down on the PVC pipe from the basement to make a small gap to insert the narrow gasket scraper. Take care not to gouge the face of the drain body when scraping off the old material. Notice the paper towels stuffed into the drain pipe to prevent putty and dirt from falling into the drain.
The gasket scraper removed the bulk of the old plumber’s putty and automotive sealant, but more cleaning was needed to ensure a watertight seal.
I used steel wool to remove the putty and sealant missed by the gasket scraper and polish the face of the shower drain body. Steel wool worked great without marring or gouging the drain and shower pan.
The bottom of the shower pan was cleaned and polished with steel wool as all surfaces must be free of putty, sealant and dirt for the rubber gasket to make a watertight seal. Use your fingers to feel under the shower pan to check for smooth clean surface.
The threads of the shower body are cleaned with a brass wire brush to remove the plumber’s putty.
This project is concluded in How to Fix a Leaky Shower Drain – Part 7.
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