Major Bathtub/Shower Repairs


  #1  
Old 10-10-01, 12:18 PM
xseabee
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We are in the process of a whole house remodel and have just been forced to concentrate on the bathroom for a while due to a leaking tub drain. Water was seeping out from under the tub. We were not able to replace the drain piping with the tub in place, so I removed it. It is a cast iron Crane alcove tub made in the early 60's.

After I got the tub out of the bathroom I started on the drain. It appears the builders (circa 1963)poured some sort of tar based stuff the hole around the drain. The tub drain & overflow was mostly encased in this. Strong tar smell. If this makes sense, it was pliable, but brittle enough to break off in pieces. I chipped it out all the way down to the pearock the slab sits on. The drain appears to be 1 1/2" copper. I purchased a plastic drain & overflow kit and intend to join them with a rubber clamp on coupling, code permitting. We also intend to replumb the shower & tub fixtures with a new Moen set and install ceramic tile on the walls around the tub.

This leaves me with a few questions;

1.What was that black tar like stuff the old drain was encased in?

2.What do I encase the new drain in?

3.If I understand correctly, I put Durock up directly on the studs, not over an existing greenboard wall. Should I put any kind of vapor barrier between the studs & the Durock?

Thanks,

Mark


 
  #2  
Old 10-11-01, 03:59 PM
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Use a shielded Fernco coupler, (same as the rubber hose with a metal wrap around it that the hose clamps are attached to it) not just the rubber hose with the 2 hose clamps. Many areas of the country allow this to be in an inaccessable area, but not the rubber only style. Be sure to ask local inspectors about this.

The tar like substance was that. There wasn't much in the way of caulking back then like there is now. Use a silicone based exterior caulk for resealing the hole. What the original seal did was not let water out through the slab but water would eventually leak onto the floor and you would know there was a problem with the drain. Not saturate the ground below the slab and crack the concrete from settling.

Don't know about the vapor barrier. I take out tile and sheetrock then replace with surrounds all the time. I haven't really run into any vapor barriers. But then, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be one there.

You might ask about this in the ceramic tile forum.

Have fun with your project, it sounds fun....
 
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Old 10-12-01, 05:24 AM
xseabee
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Thanks for your response. I have the plain grey Fernco coupling. I was looking for a way to connect the old drain & the new overflow kit and that's what the guy at HD handed me. When I asked if that was allowed by code he said "Yes, It's just a drain." I'll be sure to double check with local inspectors though.

Wow, just plain tar huh. It smelled just like a hot tar roof going on, but I didn't think they literally poured tar around the old drain. I would need a lot of caulk to seal this hole, it is roughly the diameter of a 5 gallon bucket and about 4 inches deep. My first thought was to fill it with something like mortar, but I'm not a plumber. That could be the worst thing I could do for all I know.

After thinking about it, I've never seen a vapor barrier behind tiles either but I can see where the studs have gotten wet over the years and I do have some rotten pieces to replace. I wondered if putting a vapor barrier there would prevent this in the future.

 
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Old 10-12-01, 02:55 PM
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Environment concerns weren't as big a deal then, you would need an envirnomental impact statement to use tar like that now. You need to refill that hole, with this in mind...Will I ever need to do this again. You could concrete it in, but sometime in the future, it may have to come back out.

I spent the day tearing out a ceiling on the first floor and the tiled floor of a bathroom on the secoond floor to get at rotting subflooring. Had to redo some 2X10 floor joist along the way and had just a wonderful 10 hour day. I should be done next wednesday at best. All this from a leaking service line to a toilet that has been leaking for? I have 2 other bathrooms also in progress at different levels. I kind of do this for a living.

Have fun, take your time, and it will look great when your done....
 
  #5  
Old 10-22-01, 05:54 AM
xseabee
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Wow, all that for 1 leak. I thought we had it bad. We have had every major appliance in our home break since we moved in. We feel like we're living the movie "The Money Pit" at times. The water heater flooded the house once, the washing machine the next time. When I say major remodel, that is an understatement. When we are finished the only thing original to this house will be the slab,framing,most of the plumbing, and the roof sheathing. Everything else is in the process of being replaced. Fortunately where I live the homeowner is allowed to do almost everthing themselves.

I talked to the local plumbing inspector. He seemed fine with the plain grey fernco coupling I have. He just said to make sure it was rated for connecting copper to pvc. Is there any benefit to the shielded type? He also suggested filling the hole in the floor with concrete, but I'm thinking mortar as that would be easier to break up if it ever had to come out again. I also have to provide a 12" X 12" access panel if I use slip joints on the overflow. The kit I bought is a slip joint type I believe.

I'm thinking of putting up pics for family on the net. I could put a link here as well.
 
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Old 10-23-01, 02:15 PM
T
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Bath remodels

Go to http://www.doityourself.com/baths for many good helpful articles relevant to bath remodeling issues. If you are going to install ceramic tile for shower walls, please use concrete board underlayment. Greeenboard is not the preferred underlayment for a proper tile job. If you have ceramic tile and underlayment questions, go to http://www.johnbridge.com where all the tile pros hangout on their own tile forums. You can also post plumbing questions on the Plumbing Forum here on our doityourself.com site. We have some outstanding plumbers who just love for us to rattle their pipes.

Best regards,
 
 

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