How to Remove Rusted Overflow Drain Screws

If you've ever fallen asleep in a running bathtub, you can thank the overflow drain from keeping your bathroom from flooding. These drains, typically located underneath the spout on most tubs, connect to the sewer system and drain off excess water once it reaches the height of the overflow cover. These covers are held in place with screws, which can become rusted in place over time. There are several ways to remove rusted overfow drain screws you can try.

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Remove rusted drain screws in your tub.

Step 1

Use a bathroom cleaner and rag or old towel to clean off any mold or mildew from around the surface of the overflow drain. Dry thoroughly.

Step 2

Spray the screws with penetrating lubricant. Allow this to soak in for several minutes.

Step 3

Purchase a new screwdriver of the appropriate size and type for the overflow screws. If you use one that's too small, it won't produce enough torque and could slip out of the screw before it can grip the screw. A new screwdriver will have a nice, sharp tip that will allow you to grip the screw better.

Step 4

Insert the tip of the screwdriver into the screw. Press down on the screwdriver with one hand. Use your other hand to turn the screwdriver counterclockwise.

Step 5

Insert a hacksaw blade into the overflow opening on the bottom. Press the blade against the screws on the back of the overflow drain cap and begin sawing. Take your time and try to avoid scratching the bathtub as you work.

Step 6

Use a screw extractor. These come in two parts: a bit for your drill that you use to drill the hole and the screw extractor itself. Connect the bit to your drill and drill a hole in the middle of the overflow screw. Insert the extractor screw into the pilot hole on the bit and turn counterclockwise. The extractor screw will bite into the rusted screw and become secure. Use an adjustable wrench or pair of pliers to grasp the extractor and continue turning.