How to Measure/Size a Tub Drain Easily

Remodeling your bathroom or buying a new tub leaves you with the dilemma of determining the drain size.

The tub drain is essential for the safe passage of waste and overflow, without which the project is incomplete. It’s crucial to get the measurements spot on to ensure that you can then choose the right work kit. While it may appear complicated, measuring a tub drain isn’t that difficult.

You’re further helped by the fact that most kits in the market can work on numerous tub sizes, thereby saving you the burden of frantically searching for the correct unit. But if you’re a newcomer to the field of measuring tub drains, our guide lists down all the possible ways to make it more manageable.

The key is to take your time to get accurate results because inaccuracy may mean that you need to change your piping all over again.

So, let’s focus and begin without any more delay.

How to Measure/Size a Tub Drain

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Finding the Access Panel

Before we commence, it’s essential to let you know about the access panel, which plays a vital role in making the job more comfortable.

Firstly, you must determine whether you’ve got a freestanding tub or a built-in tub because the process varies a bit from one to the other. For freestanding tubs, measurements can be easily made since all the components are in the open. However, for built-in tubs, the same procedure can seem a bit tricky.

Whatever the scenario, you’ll have to start by locating the access panel, placed either in the nook or in the plumbing, and accessible from the adjacent room. In case you fail to find it, you can try tapping the wood or tiles situated on the front of the tub or along the sides.

Doing so will help you pick out a carefully concealed hollow space that houses the access panel. The access point is vital to gain entry to the overflow plumbing and other crucial parts of the tub. If you fail to find it, you’ll have to open the wall or the floor to reach the drain or even find a suitable spot under the house for the same.

Therefore, we recommend installing an access panel when you get work done in the bathroom to save you from more hassle in the future. Neglecting to do so may mean you’ll have to get professional help while measuring the drain.

Measuring the Tub Drain

Once you reach the overflow plumbing, you’ll need to measure from the center of the overflow straight up to the point where the drain is mounted on the tub. Based on what’s more suitable, start by measuring from outside the tub to its underside. Similarly, you can calculate from inside the tub to the floor as well.

Remember, you don’t need to adjust according to the tub’s flow but instead, measure straight down. Next, calculate the drain show’s length, which is an elbow like structure present directly above the tub drain. Its purpose is to direct water into the pipe from the tub, which ultimately meets the bathroom drain line present under the floor.

Consequently, you need to measure from the center of the drain to the point where it fits into the overflow tube. After that’s done, you need to measure the height, and for accurate results, calculate the distance from the bathroom floor to the upper rim of the tub.

It’s important to note that the depth can vary from 14″ for an alcove tub to over 20″ for freestanding tubs. While the measurement isn’t necessary for choosing your assembly, it does play a role in determining the size of the kits you’re likely to require.

Things to Remember

While we’ve discussed the primary steps for measuring a tub drain, there are undoubtedly additional factors you need to consider. You need to determine the drain’s hole size with a tape measure because that’s the width your drain pipe needs to be.

Moreover, exercise caution when you remove the access panel as it’ll save you the trouble from damaging the wall more than needed. It’ll also keep the faucet fixtures from being harmed, and to replace the old drain, you need to use an adjustable wrench and channel lock pliers.

If you find it difficult to remove the connecting bolts, you can use a lubricant like WD-40. After installing the new drain pipe, securely replace the bolts and fit them tightly to avoid leaks. To understand whether the drain works properly, check the connection between the main pipeline and the tub, which should line up correctly.

Additionally, you can use plumbers’ putty on the drain to ensure that your new drain pipe connects tightly to the tub. Then make sure the strainer stays in place and run water through the drain to determine whether everything is adequately sealed. The main thing is to determine that everything lines up and also check for holes or gaps.

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Final Words

We’ve reached the end of our guide, and hopefully, you’ve got a better idea of how to measure a tub drain.

Keep in mind the points we’ve discussed and double-check to see if you’ve followed all the steps correctly. By following the steps correctly, you can ensure that your drain pipe won’t need any change soon. It’ll guarantee reliability and longevity to help maintain your bathroom in top shape.

That’s all the time we have. Take care and adios!

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