Steel Tubs - life span?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jjaazzy, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. jjaazzy

    jjaazzy New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    florida
    What is the life expectancy of one of these builder grade tubs. It is in very good condition now with plenty of gloss to the paint. Original to the house built in 93, I am carefull to not clean it with any harsh chemicals that will scratch. I am going to change out the tile in this bathroom and it would be a real time and money saver not to swap out the tub however, I would not want to find out after the fact that the tub is a gonner after all the tile went up.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,129
    Location:
    New England
    Personally, I think I'd replace it. If the finish is perfect and it is installed well supported so it doesn't flex, and you don't drop anything on it that cracks the finish, it could last a very long time. I think you're on borrowed time, and I agree that refreshing the tile without considering that the tub may start to rust is wishful thinking. No matter how well you try to keep things covered, I think you'll likely drop a tile, or a tool and do something to the old tub hastening its demise. Also, keep in mind that now may be the time to update the tub/shower valve to modern standards rather than as an afterthought when you try to put the old trim back up and can't stand it with the refreshed tile. Check out www.johnbridge.com for help with tiling.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There will NEVER be a cheaper time to replace the tub than now. IF it is really a steel tub, and not cast iron, then it was NO GOOD the day it was installed and has only gotten worse, regardless of how it looks. In fact the damage is usually where you CANNOT see it until it becomes so bad the tub has to be replaced.
  4. brownizs

    brownizs In the Trades

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Springfield, IL
    Mine is over seventy years old, and is holding up. Then again, it is not one of these cheap Mexico & China made thin wall tubs.
  5. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    If it's 70 yrs old it's cast iron not steel. No steel tub can even come close to that age.

    John
  6. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Yank the pressed steel and put in cast iron, you will be good for 70 years.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Then again, it is not one of these cheap Mexico & China made thin wall tubs.

    if it's 70 years old then it was either from the 30's or 40's. The 30's were all cast iron, and the 40's would have been wartime so it would have been a "cheap made in America thin wall tub", if it is really pressed steel and not cast iron.
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