Steel Or Cast Iron?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by BMWMK2, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. BMWMK2

    BMWMK2 New Member

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    I Am In The Process Of Removing An Old 54" Tub. How CaN I Tell If It Is Cast Iron Or Steel?
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Steel has a higher pitched ring than cast iron. Cast is like a thud ring. Hard to explain. Steel will sometimes flex in the middle of the front side.
  3. BMWMK2

    BMWMK2 New Member

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    This Thing Is Heavy, I Pryed It Up With A Crowbar And A 2x4 But I Couldnt Stand It Up On End It Was Just Too Heavy, Now It Is Stuck Caddy Corner Leaning On A Stud. It Has To Weigh At Least 300lbs.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Steel will be fairly smooth on the bottom...cast iron will be rougher because of the sand mold it was poured into.

    If you aren't going to save the tub, safety glasses and a sledge hammer will crack it into manageable pieces. Watch out for shards flying...long sleeves and sturdy pants are also suggested.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    The weight tells the story. You're dealing with a cast iron tub.
  6. BMWMK2

    BMWMK2 New Member

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    Thanks Guys, But Is A Steel Tub That Much Lighter?
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Think car door steel thickness...not an I-beam. Some of them have sprayed on plastic to deaden the sound. A cast tub is probably 3-6x heavier than the same size steel one. Another thing...a cast iron tub will break if you hit it hard enough...a steel one will bend.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  8. BMWMK2

    BMWMK2 New Member

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    Is There Anything Different I Should Do For Instalation Of A Steel Tub? I Mean Besides Setting It In Place And Attaching The Hardware. The Cast Iron One Was Just Sitting There.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Do you have the manufacturer's instructions? Usually, the best thing is to make a mud bed and set the tub into it while leveling it. This makes it feel much more substantial and can help keep it from crazing the finish over time.
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    If you are trying to remove the old tub and it is cast iron you can bust it up with a sledge hammer and carry it out in peices. Wear eye and ear protection. The enamel coating is basicly glass and will shatter and splinter.
  11. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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  12. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    I'm almost an old timer and always did them with 2 people. Some how the tubs seem to have become heavier over the years :D and I now have to use 3-4 people.
  13. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

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    cast iron

    I remember that too Cass. If you could lift one end up, you could walk it when it was still in the crate. And in the old days it seems that some of the plumbers would slide them from the truck and walk them to the house and if it was going on the first floor, walk them near the bathroom, take the wooden shipping crate off, and square them to the recess on the floor and push them into place and sit them on the 2" x 4" at the back wall and go from there. Once in a while you had to readjust that 2" x 4".
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    tub

    You got a helper with a cast iron tub? What a wimp. I always felt a helper just got in the way. The only things good about a steel tub, or any other steel fixture, are that they are light and cheap. Other than that, they are no good from the day they are installed and go downhill from there.
  15. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Ha.............
  16. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

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    You bet. I have a wood pellet burning stove with a cast bronze door-must weigh 60 pounds. Products like that are disappearing slowly. "Stamped" cheap metal is just that. OTOH there are some alloy products available that are pretty amazing too.
  17. BMWMK2

    BMWMK2 New Member

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    So Then What Do You Guys Suggest, Steel Of Fiberglass? By The Way Thanks For All The Help, I Took A 10lb Sledge To It And Got It So I Could Get It Up On Its Side, Just Have To Walk It Out Of The House Now.
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Cast iron is the most durable. I like acrylic as an alternative. The finish on anything other than the CI will scratch much more easily...you need to be careful of the cleaners and method (no scouring powder on an acrylic unless you like a matt finish!). As in many things, you often get what you pay for...those that cost more are thicker bodied and have a thicker finish layer.
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