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How to Remove RV Shower Drain? Guideline to Eliminate the Water

One of the best perks of RVing is enjoying a hot shower anytime, anywhere your travels take you. However, shower drains can eventually get clogged with hair, soap scum, and other debris. When simple drain cleaning methods fail to fix poor drainage, removing the entire drain assembly for inspection and maintenance becomes necessary.

The specific RV shower drain removal process depends on the particular model. Drains come in screw-in, snap-in, and compression types, each requiring a different approach. With the right tools and proper precautions, removing an RV shower drain is a manageable DIY job. Follow along as I walk through preparation tips, removal methods, and reinstallation steps to ensure your RV shower drains freely.

How to Remove RV Shower Drain?

First of All, Pre-Removal Preparation

Properly preparing for drain removal prevents plumbing disasters or personal injuries.

Gather Necessary Tools and Supplies

You may need –

  • Wrenches or pliers for turning drain fasteners
  • Screwdrivers to pry snap-in drain covers
  • A bucket to catch residual water
  • Old towels for absorbing water leaks
  • Replacement drain gaskets/seals
  • Eye protection and work gloves for safety

Take Precautions

Make sure you take some important steps when dealing with water valves and your water heater. First, turn off the water valves and let out any water left in the pipes to avoid leaks. Double-check that the power to the water heater is off to prevent any electrical issues. Keep absorbent towels and a bucket nearby in case there are spills, and wear protective eyewear and gloves to stay safe. Following these simple precautions helps you avoid accidents and keeps your water supply and heater working well for a long time.

Inspect and Access the Drain

Take a good look at it and find the drain in and around your shower area. Check underneath or around the shower pan to locate the drain position. In tight spaces, take off any panels around the area to make it easier to get to. If the drain is under your RV, use jacks to lift and secure the rig safely, so you can reach the drain without any problems. By doing these steps, you make sure you can inspect and reach the drain easily, making maintenance smoother.

RV Shower Drain Removal Methods

With proper access and safety gear, you can now go for the removal procedure. 

Removing Screw-in Drains

Step 1: Using pliers or wrenches, carefully loosen and remove the circular clamping flange that securely holds the drain in place. This initial step is crucial in preparing the drain for subsequent removal.

Step 2: Turn the drain body counterclockwise using tongue-and-groove pliers to unscrew it from its fixed position. This controlled rotation allows for the gradual detachment of the drain body from its housing.

Step 3: If the threads prove resistant and refuse to budge, apply penetrating fluid to facilitate easier movement. Gently move the drain back and forth to break the seal, ensuring a smoother removal process.

Step 4: Conclude the removal by pulling the drain body firmly while simultaneously turning it. This combined action ensures the complete extraction of the drain from its opening, allowing for inspection or maintenance.

Removing Snap-in Drains

Step 1: Begin by inserting a flathead screwdriver under the lip of the drain cover, delicately lifting it to release it from its secured position. This initial step sets the stage for the subsequent phases of the removal process.

Step 2: Once the drain cover is free, proceed to the next phase by removing the screw(s) responsible for securing the snap retainer in place. Carefully extract these screws to prepare for the subsequent disassembly.

Step 3: Rotate and lift the plastic retainer to disconnect it from the lugs on the drain body. This pivotal step ensures the separation of the components, allowing for the subsequent extraction of the drain.

Step 4: Conclude the removal process by unscrewing the drain body counterclockwise, facilitating its release from the shower pan. This final step ensures the complete removal of the snap-in drain, readying it for further inspection or maintenance.

Removing Compression Drains

Step 1: Begin by accessing the drain lines beneath your RV to pinpoint the compression nut securing the drain. This may involve getting underneath the vehicle to ensure a clear view and access to the drainage components.

Step 2: Employ pliers or a wrench to gently loosen the compression nut that firmly holds the drain in place. Taking care during this step is crucial to avoid any damage to the drain or the surrounding components.

Step 3: Once the compression nut is sufficiently loosened, twist it until it is completely disconnected, allowing the drain body to separate from the assembly. This step ensures that the drain can be safely removed for inspection or maintenance.

Step 4: Slowly pull down on the drain body, exercising caution to prevent any kinking of the pipes. This deliberate approach helps maintain the integrity of the drainage system and avoids potential damage that may occur during the removal process.

Finally, Post-Removal Considerations

Once the drain is fully removed, complete these steps –

Thoroughly Clean the Drain

a) Use a drain brush attached to a flexible rod to clear debris inside the tailpiece and P-trap

b) Flush with hot water and drain cleaner to remove soap scum and mineral deposits

Inspect for Damage

a) Check the drain body, seals, and fasteners for cracks or stripped threads

b) Ensure the tailpiece is clear and not collapsed

c) Replace any faulty or worn-out pieces

Reinstall the Drain Properly

a) Replace the main gasket/seal with a new RV shower drain gasket

b) Securely hand-tighten or use wrenches to reinstall fasteners without overtightening

c) Check for leaks and make any necessary adjustments to achieve a watertight seal

Relevant Questions

What if my RV shower drain has no visible screws or retainer?

It is likely a compression drain. Follow the instructions to loosen the compression nut securing the drain body. Avoid bending any pipes during removal.

Can I replace my original drain with an upgraded model?

Yes, just ensure the replacement drain fits properly in the existing shower pan opening. Larger drains may require modifying the opening size.

How can I access an RV shower drain located under the rig?

Safely lift and secure the RV on jacks, then locate the drain assembly by crawling underneath. Use jack stands for support if extensive time is needed under the RV.

My screw-in drain is stuck tight. What else can help loosen it?

Apply a penetrating lubricant around the drain collar and let it sit before attempting to unscrew it again. Gently tap the edges with a hammer to help break the seal.

Wrapping It Up

While removing an RV shower drain takes time and care, it allows you to fully clean and restore proper drainage. Pay close attention to your specific drain style and follow instructions to avoid plumbing disasters or damage. With the drain refreshed, you can continue enjoying your RV’s shower without standing in an ankle-deep puddle. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber if you encounter any difficulties along the way.

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