re-glazed clawfoot tub chipping - help!

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by bungalowbabe, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Feb 11, 2010 #1

    bungalowbabe

    bungalowbabe

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    Three years ago I bought a re-glazed clawfoot tub when I re-built my bathroom. It looked fabulous. For about 6 months... Little dings appeared at first and now in the last 6 months they are sprouting like weeds. They are all on the bottom and up the first 6" up.

    We don't bang anything around in there - the tub is only used by adults, so no toys or metal bashing going on.

    The only thing I can imagine is that perhaps my hot water tank is set too hot (which I know it is, and I do use the telephone shower attachment a lot for rinsing the tub) and one of the bathers is very heavy.


    So I have three questions:
    1: can the tub be reglazed in place?
    2: what should I ensure in terms of material/expertise when looking for a repari contractor?
    3: is this a built in hazard of the re-coating process and means I should expect having to refinish this thing every 3 or 4 years?

    Thank you for any suggestions!

    Holly
     
  2. Feb 11, 2010 #2

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  3. Feb 11, 2010 #3

    Bud Cline

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    Jheeeezh! That thing reads like the constitution of India.:)


    In my experience those coatings just don't work that good. I've seen many failed recoat jobs.:)
     
  4. Feb 11, 2010 #4

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    How long do they last?
    What makes them fail?
     
  5. Feb 11, 2010 #5

    Bud Cline

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    Can't answer all that!

    Saw one at a house I was working on when the cleaning lady was soaking the filters for the vent hood in some type of cleaner solution. When she drain the sink the coating separated from the sink at exactly the same level as the cleaning liquid had been sitting. Have no idea what was used in the soaking solution. The sink had been newly coated about a month before.

    A few other jobs have turned up nicks and chips from kids playing in the tubs with toys.

    On a few occasions I have also seen water stains from dripping faucets in tubs.

    Then there have been a few fish-eyes which is usually a sign of poor cleaning and prepping workmanship on the part of the installer.

    I'm afraid I would be scared away from those products.:D

    All of those jobs were done by professional companies and not the DIY crap sold at the big box stores.:)
     
  6. Feb 15, 2010 #6

    bungalowbabe

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    Well it sounds as if I have my answer.. and that is that this lovely old tub will be the bane of my existence and require regular upkeep. I have been meticulous in caring for it and yet it is sprouting little spidery cracks that eventually end up with a bare center.

    I shall live with it. And take my wine glass into the tub with me so that I have something to focus on besides the tub.

    Cheers,
    Holly
     
  7. Feb 16, 2010 #7

    frozenstar

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    Whew that's a pretty long article to read Wuzzat.. :(

    A friend of mine encountered what Bud encountered and told me as well that recoat jobs doesn't usually work on that.
     
  8. Feb 16, 2010 #8

    bungalowbabe

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    Thank you all for the depressing answers to my problem. I will now embark on a search for a 5' clawfoot tub that has not been reglazed. While it may not have that blinding sheen, it also won't fall to pieces.

    I don't understand how with the technology available to us, a serviceable coating seems to elude the best minds. It just doesn't make sense. What the heck was the original process and why can that not be replicated??? Grrrrrrr!

    Cheers,
    Holly
     
  9. Feb 16, 2010 #9

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Well, depending on where you live you might find a factory that does this. The Thomas Register
    ThomasNet® - CNC Machining, Metal Stamping, Gaskets, Fasteners and other industrial products and services.
    lists companies and what they do. The next thing is, will the company take on this one job and do they have a set-up charge?

    Or you could try some of the chemicals listed in the patent description. The latest patent is supposed to overcome the shortcomings of the prior patents & methods.

    Or you could do a Web search for the chemicals and recoat it yourself as often as necessary, if they will sell to other than a contractor. This job on this 300 pound tub should probably be done outside, wearing protective clothing.

    If you hit on a durable method you'll be famous!
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  10. Feb 16, 2010 #10

    Bud Cline

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    This beast was for sale in my neck of the woods a few months ago. They took it out and replaced it with a larger garden tub.

    The legs aren't in exactly the right place in the picture. I stood them where they are and stood-up the gold-plated supplies for the picture but you can see how it is supposed to work.:) The tub is in excellant condition (or it was) when we did the remodel.:)

    08-27-09_1119[1].jpg
     
  11. Feb 18, 2010 #11

    bungalowbabe

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    Thanks Wuzzat and Bud for the info. Here's the rub: there's no way in hell I'm going to wrestle that tub outside ever again, let alone on a regular basis to recoat it myself. It's a bit beyond the point where I can do the "PorcaFix" patch job and get away with it.

    What confounds me is how the original finish on these tubs is infinitely superior to any "modern" reglazing technique, and why that original process can't be replicated. Most of the old tubs I looked at before buying mine were simply abraded somewhat evenly, thanks to enthusiastic and regular cleaning with Comet, Ajax etc... The standard rust spot around the drain, but all in all the original coating remained intact.

    I could have bought a "replica" tub for 2 grand but I dislike the cheap esthetics of these acrylic tubs. I love that I can pour my bath and it stays warm until I'm half asleep. I want a cast iron tub in pristine condition. And there doesn't seem to be such an animal.

    Anyway, so far, the dings are accumulating closer to the drain and faucet end, so I'm not feeling the pain in the *** yet, but it's creeping in that direction. I was just making a pre-emptive strike before it gets to that point, and thanks to your collective wisdom I believe I am doomed.

    Anyway, I live with my decisions and I ought to done more research in the first place. Besides, one of these days I'll be too old and gimpy to clamber over the edge of that tub anyway, and will be paying other people to wash me, so the point is moot.

    Must drink wine and watch the Olympic Games recap now. Done thinking.

    Cheers,
    Holly
     
  12. Feb 18, 2010 #12

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    If it's a race between you and the tub, check out
    Gamboa, Anthony M., Jr., Worklife Expectancy of Disabled Versus Nondisabled Persons by
    Sex and Level of Educational Attainment, Louisvillel, KY: Vocational Economics Press,
    1988.

    to see who wins.

    Each of us is the sum total of the decisions we made and make. Bummer!

    How can a junior member, and a babe no less, be too old & gimpy? :confused:
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  13. Feb 19, 2010 #13

    Bud Cline

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    babe,

    You brought up a good question asking how cast iron bath tubs are made. I had no idea either, you should have asked Kelebay, he knows EVERYTHING.

    So...I looked it up on eHow.com and here is what I found:

    Cast Iron Enamel Tubs
    The cast iron is poured into a mold, heated to 1500 degrees F, then blasted with chilled iron grit. After the cleaning process is complete, acid pickling begins. Hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid are used to descale the metal and build a strong bond for the enamel. After this, a dip of nickle sulfate and Boric acid to further strengthen the enamel bond is often used. Then the tub is coated and dipped again in a neutralizing solution made from soda ash and borax to remove the acids and prevent rust. After all these rinses, the cast iron tub is dried quickly and enameled.
    The Enameling Process
    For dry enamel, the tubs are heated to the melting point of the enamel, which is then dusted onto the tub in powder form. It melts on contact, then is fired in a furnace to form a slick finish similar to porcelain.

    For wet enamel, tubs are dipped or sprayed with liquid enamel and then fired. The first coat is a ground coat, and after firing the tub is dipped or sprayed and fired again for the cover coat.


    That would explain why the "Wham Bam Thank You Mam" (on site) paint jobs don't hold up as well as the real McCoys.:) Thanks for bringing it up I have learned something.:clap::banana:
     
  14. Feb 19, 2010 #14

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    And if the cured enamel and cast iron don't have exactly the same
    Coefficient of thermal expansion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    then sumpin's gotta' give.

    And I don't think too many people are working on your problem. . .
    [ame=http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=%22impact+resistance+of+enamel+coatings%22&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8]"impact resistance of enamel coatings" - Google Search[/ame]

    This just in: Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, out of many candidates, I have possibly come up with a recent photo of Ms. Babe
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JKMu9gk8TsE/Sla0Ma2Sd5I/AAAAAAAAApU/EvZzojz3Kug/s320/bungalowbabe09.JPG
    but the Canadian flag seems to be wrong. . .:(
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2010
  15. Feb 19, 2010 #15

    Bud Cline

    Bud Cline

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    I think the Maple Leaf must be on the other side.:)
     
  16. Feb 19, 2010 #16

    bungalowbabe

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    Dammit, Wuzzat! Now my CSIS disguise is out of the bag! At least that photo doesn't show my gigantic rhinestone Elvis belt buckle, so I may not have to go into hiding.

    By the way, my tub wasn't recoated on site - it was "professionally" done in a shop.
     
  17. Feb 19, 2010 #17

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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  18. Feb 23, 2010 #18

    bungalowbabe

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    ...you see what I mean... that ain't no gentleman, and I have (thanks to your timely warning) taken up residence in my basement bunker. (that's where the wine and whisky barrels are kept, there's an amazing old cast iron woodstove,a deepfreeze stocked with Haagen Dasz and I have my environmentally correct paper cup on a string communication device at hand) Oh oh, is that a Cherokee I hear idling in the driveway?

    Must slap on the wig and glasses and make like I'm writing a novel.

    Cheers,
    Holly
     
  19. Feb 23, 2010 #19

    Bud Cline

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    If it is, he must be beating on his tom-tom 'cause I don't think you can hear smoke signals.:)
     

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