Plumbing help: reinstalling a drain cover
December 28, 2020 10:30 AM   Subscribe

I have a walk-in shower. The drain is supposed to be covered by a grate that is screwed down at a couple of holes in a PVC flange. (photo). Both of the screws are long since rusted away; it looks like one of them was never in the right spot to begin with. I'd like to affix the grate without needing to replace the flange, which would be a big undertaking, in such a way that I can remove the grate if needed. Ideas?
posted by adamrice to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You could go get new, stainless screws (marine stainless would last longer).

Or, you could dry it thoroughly and then bed the grate in butyl tape. Provided the grate sits flush or below flush, and is tamped down so that it won't rock out when you step on it, that should stay put as well, and butyl tape never hardens so you could remove it easily if necessary.
posted by bricoleur at 10:55 AM on December 28, 2020


Is that flange actually as smashed up as the photo makes it look?

If your problem were my problem, I'd start by removing as much of the old rusted screws as I possibly could, maybe using a drill; then I'd clean the hell out of the flange with a scouring pad to get rid of all the years of accumulated shower floor grime and expose a fresh PVC surface; then I'd get it all perfectly dry and fill in the original screw holes and their cutouts and any busted-off flange bits with J-B Weld. Once the epoxy had fully cured I'd sand it flat, drill two small holes in it, and fix the grate back down with very small stainless steel self-tapping screws with countersunk heads.
posted by flabdablet at 11:01 AM on December 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


You should be able to replace those screws pretty easily. They'll be a standard size, and possibly even sold as "drain screws" next to drain hardware in the plumbing aisle at Home Depot.

Alternative: silicone sealant, which stays pliant and will be removable if needed.
posted by Dashy at 11:03 AM on December 28, 2020


Whatever you decide, flabdablet has a decent approach, be careful not to block the weep holes between the top and bottom part of the flange and not to drill through the bottom of the flange.

Alternatively they sell replacement drain strainers that just snap in.
posted by Mitheral at 11:40 AM on December 28, 2020


Chances are very good that you don't have to screw that cover in at all.
Clearly the screws haven't been doing anything for years.
Drop in back into place, and see if it stays there.
posted by the Real Dan at 2:25 PM on December 28, 2020


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