Replacing 40-year-old stuck tub drain

tub drainminnesota_nice_guy asks:

I’m trying to replace a 40 year old tub drain in a steel tub. The dumbell tool I have doesn’t fit down into the crosspiece to grip properly and every tool I’ve tried to get down into it to unscrew it has broken when I try to unscrew it.

I’m picking up a drain key which should help me get more leverage (and shouldn’t break). I’m assuming the fact that there is 40 year old putty hardened onto the drain is causing most of the issues. Any tips to working this out without breaking a pipe or causing damage would be greatly appreciated!

For extracting tub drains, Rectorseal manufactures a tool called the Golden Extractor. Using a standard 3/8” ratchet, the Golden Extractor is designed to grip the inside of the tub drain even when the cross arms are rusted or broken off. When turning the ratchet counter clockwise, the tool distributes equal pressure at three contact points of the drain making it easy to extract without any damage to the tub shoe. The Golden Extractor is also designed for installing new tub drains without scratching the new surface.

– Jerry Tomasello, Director of Sales – Plumbing