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How to Remove a Cast Iron Tub

Cast iron tubs are either attached to the wall or freestanding on feet. Either way, any handy homeowner can take one out. Depending on the old tub’s condition and style, you may want to investigate its resale value. If that is not a concern, break it into pieces as described in the directions for how to remove a cast iron tub which are listed below.

How to Remove a Cast Iron Tub Directions

  1. Shut off the water supply to the tub.
  2. Open tub faucet to drain water remaining in supply lines.
  3. Remove screws securing the plate covering the overflow assembly.
  4. Work loose the lever hook and take it out.
  5. Take out the drain stopper.
  6. Loosen the drain flange by twisting it counterclockwise with needle nose pliers or a drain flange removal tool.
  7. Disconnect drain pipe.
    1. On a freestanding cast iron tub, cut the pipe with a reciprocating saw 2 or 3 inches below the tub.
    2. For a built-in cast iron tub, twist off the pipe with a pipe wrench.
  8. Unless you have a freestanding tub, learning how to remove a cast iron tub requires cutting the tub away from the wall.
  9. Carefully cut through wall 6 inches or less above the tub with a reciprocating saw.
    1. Do not cut studs, wiring, or plumbing inside the wall.
  10. If you have a tile tub enclosure, cut away the first row of tile with the angle grinder along the grout line.
  11. After exposing the tub flange, unscrew the screws holding the flange or pry everything loose with a claw hammer.
  12. Cut through caulk around edges of the cast iron tub with a utility knife.
    1. Heat tough caulk with a heat gun if necessary.
  13. If you plan to break the old tub into pieces, set up a work area for that task by laying down plywood.
  14. Have a friend help you pull the heavy cast iron tub away from wall and set it on plywood.
  15. Plug the exposed drain pipe with a wadded rag to keep sewer gas out of your home.
  16. Cover the old tub with a blanket and smash into manageable pieces with a sledgehammer.

Tools & Materials

  • Work gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Drain flange removal tool or needle nose pliers
  • Pipe wrench
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Angle grinder
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Heat gun
  • Plywood sheet
  • 16-pound sledgehammer

Choose PJ Fitzpatrick for Professional Bath Solutions

Instead of learning how to remove a cast old iron tub yourself, enlist the help of the bath specialists at PJ Fitzpatrick. We can help install a new acrylic tub in your bathroom quickly and affordably. We can also convert tubs to showers or install baths that accommodate mobility problems. For bath solutions in the Delaware Valley, ask PJ Fitzpatrick for an estimate today.

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