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jameslward 05-15-2008 12:26 PM

Old Cast Iron Drain Leaking
5 Attachment(s)
I have an old enameled cast iron bath tub (at least 40 yrs old) that has developed a leak at the seal underneath the tub. I was not able to actually see where the leak was being generated, but I do know it is leaking at the seal and I was able to take some pictures (please see attached pictures). In the picture I noticed what seems to be a hole or rust spot in the tub above the seal and I'm concerned I might not get away with just replacing the gasket. I also am having trouble figuring out how to actually remove the drain pipe assembly. There does not appear to be any way to remove the polished flanged sleave from the top of the tub because there seems to be no way to grab hold of it. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I hoping not to have to replace the entire tub, but I'm nervous about what I see from the pictures I took. Maybe if I can remove the fittings I will be able to evaluate the entegrity of the tub above the seal. Thanks.Attachment 694

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glennjanie 05-15-2008 02:02 PM

Welcome JamesLWard:
Most Plumbers would stick the handles of their Channel-Locks in the drain and use a big screwdriver to turn it. I'm just sure you will only need a new gasket. You could roll out a worm of Plumber's Putty to put under the top flange to help pervent leaks.
You have some good looking copper and brass there and evidence that the Plumber owned a SawZall.

inspectorD 05-15-2008 04:25 PM

One lovely drum trap...thats where the important stuff stays.:p

asbestos 05-15-2008 09:38 PM

Yeah that's all good looking stuff, new gasket should do it right up. There is a tool that you stick in the drain hole to twist it out, if the chan-l-locks don't work

jameslward 05-16-2008 06:29 AM

Please take a look at the pictures once again. If you look at the picture of the drain from above the tub, picture #2 in the series, the cross piece with the screw hole in the middle (at the bottom) is actually part of the bronze flanged elbow directly below the leaking gasket. I'm guessing I will have to unsolder the copper elbow below the bronze tee, shown in picture #5, in order to allow the bronze flanged elbow to turn. I was hoping there was a special tool to turn the polished galvanized flanged sleave instead. I would rather not unsolder any of the piping, but it seems to me to be the only way.

kok328 05-16-2008 05:06 PM

Trust us, the drain is actually male threaded into the elbow below the tub. I think I'm also looking at compression fitting about 3-4" off the 90 on the drain. The wood joist below is notched out. Unscrew the drain from the top side of the tub, back off the compression ring and remove the drain 90 for repair.

inspectorD 05-16-2008 06:36 PM


Originally Posted by jameslward (Post 19091)

This picture says it all. You need to get the tool for this drain, or use some old fashioned yankee ingenuity. Using the handles of the channel locks stuck down in each of the holes, may help to loosen it up.
This is threaded into the drain pipe line...that's the easiest way to explain it.
DO not unsolder any brass fittings, you still need to get the drain cup out and apply plumbers putty.
Good luck.

mstplumber 05-17-2008 04:39 PM

Yes, trust them. I know it might lokk like the cross brace is part of the drain assembly but it if it is it will be the first one I have ever seen and I've seen lots.
If you can't get the handles of your channel locks to work, you can find a piece of 1" copper, cut some notches in one end to fit the cross brace and use it as a tool.
There are also several types of special tools made just for this. And don't forget the putty.

jameslward 05-19-2008 07:46 AM

Thanks everyone for your advice! I made a tool from some old 1"-dia glav pipe, notched it as suggested, and the drain screwed right out (with some extra help from a long handled pipe wrench). I replaced the rubber seal and added some plumbers putty underneath the drain fitting. Walla, the tub is sealed up tight and is no longer leaking. Bath time ready for the kids again. Thanks again!

sail_away 01-23-2009 11:51 AM

question regarding the drum trap.
Re: the comment below, I have the same setup shown by the pictures above... but the tub/plumbing is from 1936, and the drum trap is made of lead... I was told by another plumber friend that I "should replace this, as it could fail at any time". Thoughts?

BTW: I have found a water under this trap, though I can not tell where it is originating from (yet). I am pulling the tub up so I can get under it to effect the repairs. (this is not a huge deal, as I am in the process of doing a complete remodel on the room)


Originally Posted by inspectorD (Post 19109)
One lovely drum trap...thats where the important stuff stays.:p

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