Drain slants and skirt is slightly bowed

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Krooser78, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Krooser78

    Krooser78 New Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Hello, I have some concerns with my bathtub and found this forum while searching for answers. Maybe someone here can help?

    Problem is this: I have a recessed fiberglass garden tub that doesn't drain completely. Instead, a few cups of water remain toward the center of the tub. I have noticed that the skirt of the tub bows or bulges out slightly toward the center/bottom. In addition, the drain itself seems to be tilted or slanted with the edge of the drain closest to the rear of the tub 1/8" or more higher than the tub bottom.

    The tub is about seven years old though it has been used rarely. I only noticed this after I replaced the Moen positemp cartridge. I don't think that would be a factor, but thought it worth mentioning.

    So I guess I'm wondering if A. This is something I should be concerned about and B. Can it likely be repaired?

    There is a stand up shower on the other side of the wall from the tub so the plumbing is not going to be easily accessible.

    Thanks so much!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    It sounds to me like the tub was not 'set' properly, and over time, has bowed because it is not supported well. The middle is hitting something, and the fiberglass doesn't have enough strength to hold it up on the ends, so each end is sagging. This would leave water at one part, since the bottom is no longer sloped to the drain. If the drain end sunk, the drain piping may be stronger, and is trying to hold that end up, but the tub is bending.

    First thing I'd do is take a long straight-edge and a level and see how the edges and base of the tub are. The edges should be level both along the length and side to side, and the base should slope from one end to the drain.

    Once the fiberglass has taken a set, it may not rebound. To fix this, you may need to replace the tub. Many tubs work and last longer if they are initally set in mortar so that they are well supported. This becomes even more important when the subfloor isn't level and smooth.

    It's also possible that the subfloor and structure has settled or has water damage, which allowed the tub to sink. If the tub's panel is not removeable, you may want to poke a hole in the wall of an adjacent room to try to look underneath it to get a better idea what's going on.
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