Replacing old tub

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by TheRock, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. TheRock

    TheRock New Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Kansas City
    Hi all, new to the site, seems like a good place to get some help. Homeowner/DIY'er.

    My son just bought his first house, a 30-some year old duplex. He was able to take possession a couple of weeks before he had to move out of his old place, so we decided it would give us a great opportunity to fix some things. Like the bathroom.

    The old tile was put up over plain drywall, so he of course has an assortment of problems. We tore all that down, and decided to replace the tired old tub while we had it open. Good thing, it was rusting through around the overflow and the subfloor underneath was rotted through. So we've fixed the floor and have the space prepped for the new tub. Moved it into place and now we have a problem.

    The previous drain assembly was brass, and actually screws into an ABS P-trap. We've been able to leave the junction piece in place and use the tub shoe and overflow tube from the kit we bought. However, the old tub's drain was exactly on center - 15" from the wall and that's where the ABS rough in was placed. Our new tub's well is slightly offset toward the wall, the center is about 14" from the wall. So the tub show and overflow drain aren't aligning to the piece we've left from the previous drain assembly. I'm considering putting in spacers to move the tub an inch away from the wall, should fix this. Love to hear other suggestions.

    Bigger problem: the existing drain sits too high for our new tub. If I fit all the drain pieces together, the tub shoe sits a little over an inch above the subfloor where it would meet the bottom of the tub. The tub if set level expects the drain to be less than half an inch above the subfloor. So we're draining uphill. And connecting so crooked that I'm fairly sure we won't seal.

    The entire ABS portion is under the subfloor, under the front wall. There are air return ducts below that, so no chance of any access from below. Do I have any option here other than raise the entire tub? Anyone ever encounter this? Appreciate any help. Gotta get my son and his family a bathroom by next weekend.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    WE encounter it almost EVERY TIME we replace a tub. If the old drain is in the same spot as the new one we rejoice in our good luck. There are several possibilities, but what you have now determines the best solution. We need a picture to even have a chance to help you, but the first part of ANY solution is to remove the old drain. The way it stands now it is NOT going to work and raising the tub and/or furring out the walls, is a hack job and will ALWAYS look like a hack job.
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  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Jul 20, 2009
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    North Vancouver, BC
    Plumbing heights

    If you have everything opened up you should be able to hook up the new tub all right.

    If you went shopping to a box store you may have missed out on some of the speciality fittings that are available at a good plumbing wholesaler.

    Bring your mock up in to your local plumbing wholesaler first thing in the morning 6:00 7:00 AM and you will be sure to find a plumber or two picking up fittings. Ask them and the counter staff for advice.

    It should be an easy fix but if not track down a plumber with some time under his belt and get him to fix it up.

    Good Luck.
  5. TheRock

    TheRock New Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Kansas City
    Have a couple pictures of the project:

    You can see the abs under the front wall. The brass piece screws into a threaded 1 1/2" piece. Those are the cold air return ducts underneath, hard to get to from below if I could at all.

    2nd pick shows the elevation. The tub shoe sits above the subfloor, flange is about 1 1/4" above the subfloor. The tub drain is 1/2" high. Having trouble finding one that sits higher.

    What if I found a raised outlet tub? These seem to let out at about 3". Surely I could find an extender to bring the drain up a bit.

    Attached Files:

    • tub1.jpg
      File size:
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    • tub3.jpg
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      38.1 KB
  6. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Jun 21, 2007
    I smash things and demand money.
    Victoria, BC
    This is not a DIY project, and it is not even an installation that a good number of plumbers could do easily.

    Find yourself an experienced plumber who will set the tub properly the first time! Otherwise you risk having a small undetectable leak from the drainage piping which will rot away the framing over the years.
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