Americast Tub trapped water in floor?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by tubgonewrong, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. tubgonewrong

    tubgonewrong New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Hi,
    I have what appears to me to be a very strange tub problem. Over the past few years i had noticed my floor near the outside edge of the tub getting soft and rotting out. I thought it was due to water running out of the corner of the shower curtain and through cracked away cauld but it appears to be caused by something else.
    I began to tear out the floor and i was amazed how soaking wet the sub floor was. I removed about a 2 foot section of sub floor that butts up to the side of the tub in the front lower corner., The wood was soaked through the vinyl, and two layers of plywood. My house has a crawl space so i can inspect the plumbing fairly easily although it is somewhat boxed in around the front of the tub.I figured i had a plumbing leak so i spent a whole day looking at all possible pipes and fittings. Every time i ran the shower, the subflooring would seep water in the front right corner. After checking all the pipes and drain i could not find a leak. From the crawl space i could see the front center area of the tub bottom and it was perfectly dry. The rest of the area is covered with sub floor so i cannot see the front edge of the tub.

    Next, I removed the 4 inch ceramic tile that runs along the top edge of the tub, thinking that maybe water was running down the inside of the tub. The tub is an Americast, probably 15 yrs old, and does have a lip along the that is nailed to the wall. while i did find some trapped water in the lip, it did not appear to be causing a problem.

    I then thouht maybe i had crack in the tub floor but could not see anything. I finally decided to unscrew the drain even though the connection underneath the tub was perfectly dry.

    when i unscrewed the plastic tub drain fitting from inside the tub, water began to flow out of what appears to be the edge of the drain hole. the water did not come from the drain,but woud have been flowing down the drain if was still attached. Hard to explain because it does not sound possible. It was as if the inner wall of the tub, if there is such a thing, was holding water. I would guess that at least a half gallon to a gallon of water came out of the material. It continued to drip for a long time. I had put a bucket in the crawl space to catch the water.

    when i am in the crawl space looking up, I cannot the long edge side of the tub due to a joist running just under the edge of the tub. I can see lots of wet wood under the tub area, mostly to the front and the right half running long ways down the tub.

    I wonder if water somehow got into the material of the tub floor and possibly rusted out the front right corner of the tub floor,from the bottom side.

    While i can replace the drain pipe and fitting, making a new seal,I'm thinking that something else is wrong.


    Is there any expert out there who can explain this?? Again, it is an Plain old Americast tub, nothing fancy.

    thanks for any help or ideas.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF the "americast" coating has separated from the tub itself, then it is probably still covered by the "limited lifetime warranty", (assuming it was NOT set on a concrete bed which would have voided the warranty), although you would have to pay to remove and replace the tub. The Americast is a 3 layer process, but A/S says that using a cement bed under it concentrates the heat and can cause "delamination" of the three layers.
  3. tubgonewrong

    tubgonewrong New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    HJ,
    I looked up my old receipts and the remodel was done in 1996. I cannot remember if i put mortar down. I think i might have to make the floor stable. Back then, i don't remember anything about it being a problem. Have you ever seen the problem i described or have you ever seen the coating separate?

    I will google american standard to see if there is a customer service number. If you have one please send it to me.

    Thanks
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    1-800-442-1902
    Monday through Friday
    8:00 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. EST
  5. tubgonewrong

    tubgonewrong New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Thanks HJ,
    I was able to find that same number and called them on Weds. The agent was very nice and asked me if there were any "depressions" in the floor of the tub that were holding water. I remembered a little area that did not drain well and had actually left sort of a ring in the tub. She had me email pictures of the tub floor and a scan of the original sales receipt. She would have some experts look at it and decide if they would either cover it under the limited lifetime warranty or possibly send someone to look at the problem or not cover the problem. Thanks again for mentioning this limited lifetime warranty. I will post again when i have an answer.
    If they cover it i hope the replacement tub will hold up better than this one did. Not sure i would put an americast back in for the tub cost of $340 but if it is free, I guess it would be ok.

    photo 2.jpg
    I tried to attach a photo, but not sure if it came through.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2011
  6. mrmedic

    mrmedic Junior Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Delaware
    Did you take the strainer out and disconnect the drain to this tub before the picture was taken?
  7. tubgonewrong

    tubgonewrong New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Yes, of course. I left it off for the picture i sent to A/S. I think i should have used the correct terminolgy in my original post. I unscrewed the strainer body and when it was out, that is when the water flowed out of the material of the tub. It flowed out of the round,cross sectional edge of the hole. The water did not come up from the disconnected drain. Like i said i didn't see how this was possilbe unless there was a crack in the tub floor, and the tub material delaminated and stored the water in the bottom layer of the tub. Then the water must have found another exit hole to drip onto the subfloor, where i cannot see it.
    Hope that helps
  8. tubgonewrong

    tubgonewrong New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    ok, here is an update to my americast tub problem. American Standard has agreed to replace the tub! Of course they will not pay for the installation, but will directly ship me a tub to my home. They asked me to give them a list of tubs i was interested in and they would see if they can replace it with something other than the exact Princeton model that i have.

    They will not spring for a whirlpool tub, but are willing to consider something other than the Princeton model. I am still limited in length to a max of 60 inches and a width of 30 inches as my bathroom is quite small.

    I would appreciate any comments on the best american standard tub that meets those dimensions, including cast iron. maybe the americast has improved their design and coverings in the last 15 years and i should go with the princeton. Thanks for any advice. And thanks again to HJ, your the best.
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