bathtub drain replacement

I had an old fiberglass bathtub that cracked so am replacing and noticed that the drain seemed to have a small leak as there is a little bit of build up at the joint as you can see in the photo. So I figured it would be best to just replace this at the same time since the tub is out of the way. But there is this plastic like hard compound stuff all over and nothing can be removed... Can anyone tell me what and how to remove this stuff and can I just break it free and yank everything out and then replace it?
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bigredfish


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bigredfish;2934352 Wrote: > I had an old fiberglass bathtub that cracked so am replacing and noticed > that the drain seemed to have a small leak as there is a little bit of > build up at the joint as you can see in the photo. So I figured it would > be best to just replace this at the same time since the tub is out of > the way. But there is this plastic like hard compound stuff all over and > nothing can be removed... Can anyone tell me what and how to remove this > stuff and can I just break it free and yank everything out and then > replace it?
Whatever that blue stuff is, it's not supposed to be there, so that's reason enough to replace the drain & overflow.
There will be a P-trap under that PVC drain and overflow. If you can get under that floor, you can see whether that blue stuff is all over the p-trap too.
I'd replace all the plastic that blue stuff is on cuz it may cause you problems in future if you ever needed to replace that drain & overflow or the p-trap under it. You might not be able to cut the pipe where you'd want to cuz that blue stuff is on the pipe there, and could very well interfere with the plastic cement dissolving the PVC the way it should so that you don't get a strong and waterproof connection. Now that you have good access cuz the tub is out, now's the time to do that. If you had to deal with that blue stuff all over the drain piping only from below, it'd just be harder to do.
I'm thinking the way to proceed would be to get under the floor with a reciprocating saw and see if there's a connection anywhere under there that you can undo. If not, cut through the drain pipe and cut through that blue stuff too (if you can) and pull the drain (and p-trap) out with that blue stuff still attached.
But, I've been lucky enough not to have ever needed to replace a tub drain and overflow, so maybe wait for one of the plumbers in here to confirm (or disagree with) my advice.
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nestork


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It is in the slab not going to ever be able to get under it :)
how do I get it out now so i can replace it all...the stuff is hard but not completely. We are the first owners so it has been there for 17years and is like the pink car bondo stuff before it is cured.
Yes, I agree and I am hoping to try and replace everything while it is open but just wanted to get a few opinions before I start banging and chipping away at the stuff.
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bigredfish


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wrote:

It looks like you must chip away slowly until you can find a point where you can splice in a new pipe. If you can't find a good splice point, a couple of large tubes of silicon rubber should provide a leakproof seal around whatever you do come up with at the junction. SInce this is on/in the slab, small leaks are not a disaster, and I have used silicon rubber in similar situations without any problems. Just slather the silicon rubber on the pipes before you join them, keeping it out of the actual inside pipe water path, and use lots of silicone rubber around the outside of the joint. You don't care what it looks like, so be overly generous with the silicone rubber. An extra $3.00 for the silicone rubber you slather around is worth it if you never have to open it again. And, if for some reason someone ever opens the tub area again, the silicone rubber wiill make it possible to undo what you are doing.
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Save some pieces of that blue/black stuff to see if you can find a solvent that dissolves it, but doesn't dissolve PVC.
That way, if you do get most of that stuff out of there, you know what solvent to use to dissolve the rest of it so that it doesn't interfere any joint connecting new PVC to the old piping (if that's the route you decide to go).
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nestork


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The hot mop was done in an attempt to provide a water barrier for the large hole cut in your slab for the drain under your tub in case there were ever problems with the water table level in your area...
The best way to try and work with tar is to chill it so it becomes more brittle and is less flexible... Obtain spray cans of the industrial gum remover that janitors use and spray it onto the tar you want to break off immediately before you try to work it...
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*With the exception of the color, it looks as though it was hot mopped to seal over the dirt. I don't think there is an easy solution here. Maybe a chipping hammer would break it up. When it is clear enough, I think that you will have to dig down to where you can cut the pipe and attach a coupling to install the new drain assembly. Wear knee pads.
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John Grabowski;2934521 Wrote: > I had an old fiberglass bathtub that cracked so am replacing and > noticed- > that the drain seemed to have a small leak as there is a little bit of > build up at the joint as you can see in the photo. So I figured it > would > be best to just replace this at the same time since the tub is out of > the way. But there is this plastic like hard compound stuff all over > and > nothing can be removed... Can anyone tell me what and how to remove > this > stuff and can I just break it free and yank everything out and then > replace it?- > > > *With the exception of the color, it looks as though it was hot mopped > to > seal over the dirt. I don't think there is an easy solution here. > Maybe a > chipping hammer would break it up. When it is clear enough, I think > that > you will have to dig down to where you can cut the pipe and attach a > coupling to install the new drain assembly. Wear knee pads.
picture came out blue but it is black as best I can see... I did some searches on "hot mop" after your comment and yep that looks pretty much like what I have but seems to be used on shower basins mostly why would they do this to my tub guess they figured no one would ever need to fix it?
and that's what i figured someone would say... chip away :) I did test a section and it seems to break fairly well with a chisel and hammer.
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bigredfish


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bigredfish wrote:

Since you later posted that the stuff is mostly black, not blue, and it is probably tar, it does seem like you could just chip away what's there. And, if you chip away all of the tar in the hole, I assume that you should be able to dig out the dirt around the drain and see what's there.
It looks like maybe the drain line goes horizontally from there into the next room under whatever that floor is. Maybe there is a trap further down the line, or maybe it is near the drain.
One thought I had is that the new tub has to connect to the old drain. If the new tub is not an exact match of the old one, then maybe the new tub drain won't exactly line up with the drain that you have. So, I'm not sure how you are going to be able to match up the new tub to whatever drain you end up using. You may have to dig out around the old drain and install something new to match up to the new tub.
I can't tell for sure from the photo what the floor in the next room is. If it is the same concrete slab, maybe you could break part of that out to get to that part of the drain to do the new tie-in. But, it looks like maybe there is wood or something else on top of the slab in the next room. Another photo would probably help.
As far as fixing the possible leak...., if you end up leaving the drain as-is, you could probably fix the possible leak by chipping all of the tar off, then using lots of PVC cleaner to completely clean up and soften the PVC around the joint, and then slap lots of PVC cement on there to re-cement that joint without taking it apart.
Also, in case it helps, there are tubs that are designed to be higher up off the floor underneath so that a drain line can run under the tub but still above the floor below.
One place to look is at http://www.bootz.com . They have models that are sometimes called "raised outlet" tubs, so you could use the search function on their website and search for "raised outlet". They also call them AFR (Above Floor Rough) models. I mention this in case you end up finding that you are better off tying into the vertical pipe of the drain with the new tub instead of trying to tie into the horizontal drain underneath. I am not sure if that is possible or a good idea, but its a thought.
For all of their tubs, you can look at the spec sheets and it shows the exact location of the drain hole from the two walls (so you can locate it in relation to the drain you have now). And, the spec sheets show how high off the floor the drain is -- some are 1-5/8 inches, some 1/2 inch, and some raised outlet ones are 3 inches, etc.
Here's one example of a raised outlet or "AFR" model:
http://www.bootz.com/?q=content/bootzcast-afr-above-floor-rough .
Good luck.
Let us know what you ended up doing and how it all turned out.
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Well, thanks to all. I do believe it was the "hot mop" tar stuff was a little brittle at the thinner edges but in the middle it was still stretchy. Anyway a couple whacks with the hammer and chisel and I crow bar I was able to pull it up in three large chunks... dug down a few inches and cut it off. Then replaced it with new pvc.
All finished and filled with water and let drain does not appear to be any leaking so I guess I did it :)
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bigredfish


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bigredfish wrote:

Excellent. Thanks for the follow-up.
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