Whether you're moving into an older home that has a shower drain that you don't care for or your shower drain has a leaking gasket, sometimes you need to replace a drain. The good news is, the process of removing and replacing a shower drain is the same whether you're working with a concrete slab or plastic shower pan, since the drain itself is merely screwed on to the pipe stub coming up out of the slab. All you need are some basic tools and safety gear, such as goggles and a dust mask, and you can quickly and relatively easily replace a shower drain in a concrete slab.
Step 1: Remove Concrete Around Drain
Remove the concrete around the drain to expose the flange. Use a hammer and chisel to break away the concrete until you have exposed the drain flanges and bolts holding the drain in place.
Step 2: Remove Drain Cover
Loosen the bolts that are holding the pipe rough-in and the drain into the concrete floor. Use a wrench set to determine the proper wrench size to loosen the screws. Remove the bolts so that you can remove the top of the drain, known as the drain cover, separating it from the flange and the actual drain attachment.
Step 3: Remove Old Drain
Use a screwdriver to help you apply pressure to the drain flange and turn it in either direction until you break the bond with the pipe cement. Place the screwdriver in the old bolt holes from the flange to apply leverage. Remove the old drain from the stack.
Step 4: Prime and Cement New Drain
Clean the pipe stack with an old rag. Then apply primer to the inside of the pipe stack coming up through the concrete slab as well as to the outside of the shower drain that is attached to the new flange. After the primer has dried, apply pipe cement to the same areas, known as the male and female sections of the attachments, and push the new drain into the existing pipe stack. Let the pipe cement dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 5: Install New Shower Drain Cover
Loosen the bolts on the flange and put the shower drain cover in place, slotting it over the top of the bolts and turning it until it is locked in position. Tighten the bolts with a wrench to finish the replacement.
Step 6: Prepare to Add New Concrete
Put duct tape over the top of the drain to protect it, while you stir up some concrete mix in a bucket until you have a thick, chunky mixture. Use a margin trowel to do the mixing. Use a spray bottle filled with water to lightly mist the edges of the hole you'll be filling with concrete to get rid of dust and to help the new concrete hold more effectively to the old concrete.
Step 7: Fill Hole With New Concrete
Fill the area around the drain with new concrete, completely covering the flange and bolts. Then use a flat metal trowel to smooth the new concrete flush with the rest of the floor. Remove the tape after the concrete has had time to dry.
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Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since 2007. His has been published online through GTV Magazine, Home Anatomy, TravBuddy, MMO Hub, Killer Guides and the Delegate2 group. He spent more than 15 years as a third-generation tile and stone contractor before transitioning into freelance writing.