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How To Use Drain Removal Tools

Do it yourself plumbing information and education

Do you need to remove a bathtub or sink drain?
Get started with a little how-to on the tools you will need.
Two basic types of drain removal tools:
  • The Smart Dumbell
  • The Drain Key
smart dumbell
Smart Dumbell
Drain key
Drain Key
These tools are a must-have for your next drain removal project. Affordable and very easy to use, these tools make a great addition to any tool box. They are versatile and can be used for many different plumbing projects. They also make great gifts for the 'do-it-yourselfer' or professional plumber.



Steps for using the Smart Dumbell
The Smart Dumbell can be used to install or remove:
  • Kitchen sink baskets
  • Most bathtub drains
  • Some flush valves
  • Basket Strainers
Step 1:
smart dumbell instruction
Click here for larger image
Determine which side of the Smart Dumbell to use, based on the size of the drain. The larger side can be used for kitchen sink baskets, flush valves, or other large drains. The smaller side can be used for bathtub drains, bar strainers or some lavatory drains.
Step 2:
smart dumbell instruction
Click here for larger image
Insert the Smart Dumbell into the drain:
The notches on the end of the dumbell should fit in between the cross bars in the drain. If your drain is an odd size and the notches on the dumbell do not fit snugly, try placing a rag over the dumbell and reinserting into the drain.
Step 3:
smart dumbell instruction
Click here for larger image
Using a crescent wrench, grasp the middle section and turn the dumbell counterclockwise until the drain is released.
Note: To install a drain use these same steps, just turn the dumbell clockwise instead.



Want to add the Smart Dumbell to your tool box? Click here!




How to use the Drain Key
The Drain Key can be used to install or remove:
  • Most bathtub drains
  • Closet spuds
  • Jr. Duo strainers
  • Jr. Basket strainers
  • Tray Plug drains
  • Pipe Nipples
To remove a drain or nipple:
Step 1:
smart dumbell instruction
Click here for larger image
With the drive screw at the top, insert the Drain Key into the drain body or nipple with the drain key shoes inside the body of the drain or nipple.
Step 2:
smart dumbell instruction
Click here for larger image
Hold the hex nut in place with your hand, and begin turning the drive screw counterclockwise.
Step 3:
smart dumbell instruction
Click here for larger image
When the drive screw can no longer be turned by hand, place a crescent on the hex nut and a crescent wrench on the threaded drive screw.
Hold the hex nut in place and continue to turn the drive screw counterclockwise until the drain breaks free.
Step 4:
smart dumbell instruction
Click here for larger image
Once the drain has been removed, use your wrench to turn the hex nut counterclockwise. This will release the Drain Key. A wrench on the drive screw may be needed to help release the key.



To install a drain or nipple:

This is much like removing the drain, except you will be turning the drive screw and hex nut in the opposite directions.
 
Step 1: Insert the drain or nipple into the connecting piece, and hand thread for the first few turns.
 
Step 2: Place the Drain Key into the drain body or nipple to be installed.
 
Step 3: Hold the drive screw in place while turning the hex nut clockwise by hand, this will expend the Drain key to engage the drain.
 
Step 4: Continue to turn the hex nut until a wrench is required to tighten the drain.
 
Step 5: Keep tightening the drain with the wrench on the hex nut.
 
Step 6: After the drain is tight, hold the hex nut with a wrench and turn the drive screw clockwise to release the Drain Key.




Do you want to add a Drain Key to your tool box? Click here!




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Please note the information provided here is intended to give a basic knowledge of plumbing related repairs.
This information is general, and may not suit all applications. If you are at all unsure of your abilities to complete one of these projects,
please consult a professional. Always check with local code regulations and the proper authorities before beginning a project.

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We hope that we have helped you on this page with information on using drain removal tools,
and thank you for helping to make PlumbingSupply.com® the most famous Internet plumbing supplier.


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