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How to Replace a Mobile Home Bathtub Drain

Replacing an old damaged bathtub drain in a mobile home can be different from replacing a tub drain in a standard on-site built home. For example, mobile homes often have garden tubs that do not need an overflow tube. Instead, the drain includes a seal and nut that you tighten onto the bathtub.

Drain fittings on most garden tubs need to be removed from the top of the bathtub and replaced securely with a new bathtub drain fitting with a retaining nut on the bottom side of the tub. Therefore, you will need access to the drain beneath your mobile home’s belly. If you are pretty handy, rather than calling a contractor to replace the old drain, here is a step-by-step guide to replacing a mobile home bathtub drain yourself.


Project Overview

Time: 1-3 hours

Skill Level: Advanced

Estimated cost: $20 to $50


Materials and Equipment
  • Dumbbell Tub Wrench
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Plumber’s Tape
  • Mini Hacksaw or Hacksaw blade (if needed)


Guide to Replacing Your Bathtub Drain

1. Remove The Original Bathtub Drain

Using a dumbbell tub wrench, unscrew the drain fitting counterclockwise. Levering the dumbbell tub wrench against the crosshairs inside the drain. If the fitting is stuck or the crosshairs break, you will need to cut the fitting with a mini hacksaw or hacksaw blade.


If a mini hacksaw or hacksaw blade is required, make sure to only cut through the threads and the rim of the fitting. Do not cut deep enough into the tub to damage your underside plumbing. Instead, make two cuts about ½ inch apart. You will need to pry out the cut segments with a flathead screwdriver. Then use the flathead screwdriver to pry up one of the edges of the drain fitting to unscrew it counterclockwise.


2. Prepare the New Bathtub Drain

Prepare for the new bathtub drain fitting and the drain pipes for installation. Beneath your mobile home, you will need to locate and access the drain trap. You may need to unwrap the belly of your home if you are not able to identify the drain trap. Once you have access to the trap, loosen the trap nut and move the trap and drain pipe out of the way to make room for the new bathtub drain.


3. Insert the New Fitting

Move back to the top side of your tub to prepare your plumber’s putty. Do not be cheap with the plumber’s putty. You will want to use more plumber’s putty than you think you will need. Roll out an even rope of plumber’s putty to position it around the new drain fitting. Push the fitting into the drain opening of the tub. Remove any excess plumber’s putty from inside the tub.


4. Secure the Fitting

Go back underneath the tub with the rubber seal and retaining nut. Push the rubber seal onto the tailpiece of the drain fitting, followed by the retaining nut. Screw on the nut until tight.


If the drain fitting starts to spin instead of tightening, you will need a second set of hands to help hold the drain in place from the top of the tub while tightening it underneath. A dumbbell tub wrench can be used instead to keep the drain fitting in place as you tighten the retaining nut if a second pair of hands is not available.


5. Install The Rest of the Drain

Once the drain fitting is in place, reconnect the drain tailpiece. The fittings required may vary; however, a 1 ½ inch female adapter screwed into the drain tailpiece is most common. Use plumber’s tape on the threads to ensure a watertight seal. You may also need additional pipes and fitting to complete the connection. When all the pieces are aligned, tighten the trap nut.


Try using the same diameter trap and pipe pieces to help the tub drain faster.


6. Check Your Work

Have someone fill the tub and drain it while you watch from underneath your mobile home to ensure no leaks from below.


Using a Trap Adapter

Although using a trap adapter is not recommended, a flanged tailpiece and a 1 ½ inch tubular trap with a trap adapter that connects back to the 1 ½ inch drain pipe can be used as an alternative method for replacing a mobile home bathtub drain. This type of trap requires slip-joint washers, similar to those used on a kitchen and bathroom sink drain. However, this alternative option does make it easier if you are having difficulties lining up or connecting the tub drain.

However, the 1 ½ inch tubular pipes do create some issues. The first being the tub will not drain as quickly as it should. In addition, the drain needs to be in an accessible location since the mechanical joints often leak more easily than glued joints. Secondly, snaking the drain could cause the thin tubular trap to break. You have to remove the trap from underneath your home and snake the line from there to prevent this.



Learning how to replace a bathtub drain can be done in just a few hours if you know your way around tools and your plumbing. However, if you feel unease about replacing your drain yourself, we encourage seeking out professional help to get this done right. Do you need help finding a new bathtub drain replacement or plumber’s putty? Find all the products and supplies you need at Mobile Home Parts Store to get the job done.

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