Jaquzzi tub info needed

WE have a jaquzzi tub, it was here when we bought the house. The brand name is novi, we have aproblem with the caulk bead retreating from the tub when filled with water. I can caulk it and it will last for about a month then it will start to peel away thus allowing water to get behind it then trickle down to the kitchen ceiling. WE are renovating the kitchen (read toilet supply rupture thread) and while I have great access to the bottom of the tub I thought maybe I should look into this fix. As I looked at how the tub is sitting, first there is the t/g floor boards, then a layer of what looks like cement then a piece of plywood, a piece of styrofoam another piece of OSB. All this looks like it is attached to the bottom of the tub with the same resin that was applied to the underside of the tub. Is this normal or is only the OSB attached at the factory to the tub as a platform. What I am thinking is that the styrofoam is compressing causing the cualk to separate.
Any ideas before I hang the new ceiling?
SD
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wrote:

That stackup sounds about right. The foam is for insulation. The ply and OSB spread the load, and the mortar bed provides the firm support.
I'd be more suspicious of your caulk job. I assume you are talking about the bead around the top of the tub? It shouldn't peel away unless the tub is moving a *lot*. When you caulk it, are you positive you are getting the old film off? Do you clean the area with alcohol first? Use a good silicone or urethane caulk with mildewcide, and fill the tub with water before you caulk it.
HTH,
Paul
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Oh yeah, I'm getting it nice and clean. You can actually watch the tub "sink" as it fills with water, that in turn pulls on the caulk rippingit away from the surround.
SD
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Call the manufacturer for information on your specific tub's construction.
As far as the caulk, there are caulks that can stretch more - Big Stretch is one, but they're not the typical caulk used in bathrooms and might not hold up. Lexel might be your best choice.
Paul has the right idea about filling the tub before caulking. Probably a good idea to take your shoes off so they won't get wet. ;)
R
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So, is the 'sinking' due to deformation of the tub, or flexing of the floor joists? What is the size, spacing and span of the joists?
T
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The tub and/or substructurecould be a poorly made design, assuming that your floor itself is not the culprit. You might try to check for floor movement by simply placing a regular carpenters level on the floor and watch for a shift in the bubble as the tub fills. If you are convinced the floor is quite rigid, then the 'jacuzzi' might as well be put out on the curb and replaced with something more robust. Good luck.
Joe
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OK, I think the substructure is pretty strong, the joists are 2" thick rough cut (type, I'm not sure). I'm looking for a reason to get rid of it!!! I would much rather take it out and replace the whole thing. I will try the more flexible caulk. Iwould like to get behind that surround and see if there is any support for the tub wall back there. The front is well supported with a 2x4 frame, but I'd be willing to bet that there is nothng on the back side. The previous owners cut MANY corners in this house. Using a drop ceiling to hide electrical wiring for one!
SD
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If you decide to replace it consider Sanijet. They have no pipes to collect water and gunk. Each jet is a tiny pump and cleanable. www.sanijet.com
Many hotels are switching to them.
I just ordered one.

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Bain makes air jet tubs that are excellent. Plenty vigorous and no water sitting in the pipes - an air blast automatically clears the pipes ten minutes after exiting the tub.
R
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If you see flex like that then something is wrong, it would be helpful to know if the joists are flexing or if the underlayment is compressing...
In the kitchen under the tub hang a plumb bob from the joists while tub is full so the bob is touching the floor, then pull the drain plug and run downstairs to see if the plum bob rises off the floor with the joists. If it does then the joists are flexing... so sister the floor joists under the tub with more wood (while tub full) till no flex.
If the joists are not flexing then the underlayment is, in that case you will probably have to live with it and cauck the tub with butyl rubber window caulk instead, that stuff has an enormous amount of flex and adhesion.
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Great idea, I will do just that with the plumb bob, I knew that tear drop hunk of steel my grandfather left me would come in handy one day!
I think that since the joists are thick and heavy as well as having t/g flooring above that it really shouldn't be moving, but I will check and let you know, thanks again.
SD
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I have a real Jacuzzi brand jacuzzi. No foam underneath. I bet it was packing material.

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