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How To Use Drain Removal Tools

for your sink, bathtub, and shower drains

These installation and removal tools are a must-have for your next drain project - whether you're installing a new shower drain or removing an old lavatory sink drain. Affordable and very easy to use, they make a great addition to any tool box. Their versatility means they can be used for many different plumbing projects, and they also make great gifts for the 'do-it-yourselfer' or professional plumber.

How to Use the Smart Dumbell Drain Tool

In just three easy steps, the Smart Dumbell can be used to install or remove:
  • Kitchen sink baskets
  • --
  • Most bathtub drains
  • --
  • Some flush valves
  • --
  • Basket Strainers

Step 1

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

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

Using a crescent wrench, grasp the middle section and turn the dumbell counterclockwise until the drain is released.

To install a drain use these same steps, just turn the dumbell clockwise instead.


How to Use the Drain Key

The Drain Key can be used to install or remove:
  • Most bathtub drains
  • --
  • Closet spuds
  • --
  • Jr. Duo/Basket strainers
  • --
  • Tray Plug drains
  • --
  • Pipe Nipples

To REMOVE a drain or nipple:

Step 1:

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:

Hold the hex nut in place with your hand, and begin turning the drive screw counterclockwise.

Step 3:

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:

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.



How to Use Common Shower Drain Tools

View video tutorial
How to Install a Kitchen Sink Flange

YouTube icon video link

Want to add any of these drain tools to your toolbox? Just click here.


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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