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 Plumber's putty question
Author: sum (FL)

Trying to remove an old tub drain basket from the shoe with the cross bar corroded and disintegrated. Tub is cast iron.

If I put a heat gun to the basket will it melt or soften the 60 year old plumber's putty under the flange enough to make it easier to come out? Or will it expand the male threads tighter against the female shoe?

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 Re: Plumber's putty question
Author: PlumberLoren (CA)

I doubt that heating it will soften it because the oil is all dried out. Use WD-40 or Aercroil and let it soak overnight. Then use the tool designed to remove the cross bar mouth of the drain. You may have to soak it longer because the existing dry putty will soak up the WD-40.

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 Re: Plumber's putty question
Author: m & m (MD)

If you're going to use heat, sum, put it on the shoe underneath the tub and heat the female threads. Then while it is still hot, turn out the strainer. In your case, you will need an expansion tool of some kind.

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 Re: Plumber's putty question
Author: packy (MA)

a couple of times now i have had something not unscrew (nut under a faucet and a pop-up drain fastening nut).
i took out my trusty oscillating tool to make a cut in them and 1/2 way thru, the vibration freed them up.
other times nothing loosened and i just finished the cut and chiseled things apart.

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 Re: Plumber's putty question
Author: hj (AZ)

If you noticed, he said the "crossbar" is broken out.

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 Re: Plumber's putty question
Author: sum (FL)

m&m I am thinking I shouldn't direct the heat at the lower shoes because the putty should be up top under the flange flat "disc" right, also there is this gasket between the drain basket and the shoe that may not be easily replaced if its wedged tight so I worry if the heat may warp melt or deform that gasket.

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 Re: Plumber's putty question
Author: Steve williams (MA)

I had one with broken cross bar. No way to grip it with a tool. My solution required ruining the flange but I was able to remove it,replace the flange, and reuse the old drain. Cheap fix. If you drill 2 "1/4 inch" holes in the upper part of the flange that lays flat on the tub surface,you can use a hammer and nail set to tap on the flange to loosen it. Put the nail set in the 1/4 inch hole at a sharp angle and drive the flange counter clockwise with a firm tap with a hammer. The metal to metal contact should break it free. The reason for 2 holes is that it's a hard place to get a good swing at it. 3 holes would be even better.

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