Removing a Cast-Iron Bath

| April 9, 2015

If you are renovating the bathroom in an older house, you may need to remove an old cast-iron bath to make way for a modern replacement. Cast-iron baths are extremely heavy and you may need to enlist the help of a friend to remove the disconnected tub from the house.

Your first job is to turn off the water supply. Assuming the bathroom is upstairs and fed from the cistern, this is where you need to head to. If the cistern has a stop valve on the outlet pipe, turn it to the off position. If there is no stop valve, you will need to tie up the float arm of the cistern and then drain it completely. Leave the float arm tied up until you wish to refill the tank. Open the bath taps fully until all of the water has drained out of the cistern and the pipes.

Remove any panelling from around the bath so that you have access to the supply and waste pipes. Panelling is often held in place with capped dome head screws, so you will need to pry the tops off before you can undo the screws. Have a look under the tap end of the bath and locate the overflow pipe. In an older house this may be a solid pipe leading out through the wall or it may be a flexible pipe which feeds into the waste pipe. If it is a solid pipe, cut through it with a hacksaw, close to where it passes through the wall.

Check which tap is the hot and look for the connector to the hot supply pipe beneath it. Use an adjustable spanner to undo the nut and disconnect the tap from the pipe. If the nut will not unscrew, cut through the pipe close to the bottom of the connector. Repeat this for the cold tap supply pipe.

Find the waste outlet pipe below the bath and disconnect it from the waste trap. You can leave the u-shaped trap attached to the bath. A plastic waste pipe can usually be unscrewed by hand, but you may need to use a pipe wrench if it is sticking. The bath should now be disconnected from all supply and waste pipes.

Check to see if the metal frame supporting the bath is bolted to the floor. If it is, undo the bolts. If you want to reduce the risk of damaging any tiles surrounding the bath, and if the bath has adjustable supports, you can lower them slightly and cut through any silicone sealant around the bath. You should now be able to drag the bath away from the wall and into the middle of the room.

Breaking Up the Bath

If the bath is too heavy for you to remove whole, you can break it up with a sledge hammer and remove it in pieces. Move it into the middle of the room and cover it with a old blanket to stop bits flying everywhere. Hit the sides of the bath with a sledge or lump hammer and it should easily break apart. Always wear gloves and be careful when picking up the broken sections of bath as the edges can be very sharp.

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Category: Plumbing

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