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In this detailed guide, we’ll explain to you how to cut or break a cast iron tub. We’ll also explain how to remove the cast iron tub safely for disposal purposes.
Cast iron bathtubs are generally made of strong metal and usually have decorative feet at the bottom. These tubs are usually quite deep, allowing a person to sit in and keep themselves up using their arms.
If you are planning to change the plumbing holes or wish to reduce the height of your tub, you will have to cut the tub up. On the other hand, if you have to remove the tub from your bathroom and replace it with a new one, you may have to cut it up.
You will have to remove these pieces one by one. However, cutting a cast iron tub is not as easy as you might think. There are several steps that you need to take to cut the hot tub.
How to Cut a Cast Iron Tub
Cutting a cast iron tub requires you to first buy the right tools. You will have to start off by purchasing the right tools, such as a circular saw and a robust blade.
Once you have everything available, here are a few steps that you should take to cut up the cast iron tub. The first step is to place a drop cloth on the surface below to protect the wooden floors.
When you start cutting up the tub, shavings and pieces are going to drop on the floor. You will have to make sure that you turn the tub on the side or lay it down inverted.
This is not a solo job. Cast iron tubs are generally quite heavy, so you may want to bring a few friends over to help you turn the hot tub on its side or over on its back.
Once you have inverted the tub or laid it down on its side, you need to mark the points from where you are going to cut the tub down. You can make use of a marker to cut the tub down properly.
This is only needed when you want to modify the plumbing holes. If you are going to cut up the tub to throw it away, there’s no need to mark anything at all.
Now that the markings are done, you need to set up your tools. You should fit a diamond-tip blade in a circular saw, and plug it in. This is a pretty risky tool to use, so you have to make sure that you take appropriate protective measures.
You need to make sure that you put on your safety gloves and your goggles. Also, make sure to get rid of distractions. The blade is going to cause the iron to heat up, so it’s imperative that you do not hold it without your gloves.
You also need to know that when the blade cuts through the tub, sharp metal shards will be released as well. These are very sharp to touch and can lead to injuries if you are not careful.
Once you are ready, just start cutting along the marks that you made. If you didn’t make any and just want to dispose of the tub, you can just start cutting it in small pieces.
You can start by cutting from either end of the tub to ensure that the tub is cut properly from either side. Once you have made the required cuts, you need to shut off the saw and remove the electrical plug.
You can remove the cut pieces if you can. For the rest, you can just take a hammer and hit the lines with it. This is going to cause the iron to break into different pieces along the lines.
You can then just pick up each piece and chuck them into the garbage bin. Take care to cover the sharp edges before you put it in the bin.
The garbage collectors won’t know that there’s something sharp in the bin, so it’s best to use some tape to cover the sharp edges.
How to Break a Cast Iron Tub
Breaking a cast iron tub is a great idea if you want to get rid of it completely. Moving a heavy cast iron tub all by yourself is obviously quite difficult, so it’s highly recommended that you break it down into different pieces before you decide to get rid of it.
If you want to break off the tub, these are the steps that you should follow in sequence. The first step is to turn off the supply of water. Close the water valve and remove the pipe that connects to the tub.
Most cast iron tubs are usually freestanding, so they have a water connection separately attached to them. You may have to look around to the side of the tub to find the water supply and close it.
Then, turn on the faucet to get rid of the excess water that’s caught up in the pipes. Now, your tub is not connected to the water supply, and can be removed.
Modern cast iron tubs are fitted with a comprehensive overflow assembly and a stopper to prevent the water level from rising too much. The stopper is simply designed to prevent water from escaping when you are filling up the tub.
The overflow assembly is either rectangular or round and is connected with screws. Once you remove the screws, just pry the overflow assembly plate and then get rid of the lever hook. You can do the same with the stopper.
You will then have to remove the drain flange. For this purpose, you are going to need pliers. The flange is usually found at the bottom of the cast iron tub, and you will have to twist it to get it out.
There are also dedicated removal tools available from local hardware stores, so you may want to hit a neighborhood store and find a removal tool for cutting out the drain flange.
The next step is to get rid of the drain pipe. The drain pipe is usually located on the side of the tub. You can either cut the pipe altogether using a reciprocating saw, or you can remove it with a pair of tools.
It’s usually screwed on, so it doesn’t take long to unscrew the drain pipe. If you are going to cut it, you may as well use a strong reciprocating saw.
Move the saw in gentle motions and keep your hands firmly on the handle to ensure that you are able to guide the saw properly. The drain pipe is not very difficult to cut off anyway.
How to Remove a Cast Iron Tub
Now that you have removed all the appendages, it’s time to remove the cast iron tub from the wall. You will want to get rid of the wall strip first. Start prying it open from around six inches above the tub, and that’s going to cut open the flange.
If you have wall tiles installed near the tub, it might be a wise idea to make use of an angle grinder. Install a diamond blade and then cut off each tile on its own.
Again, this is a very delicate piece of equipment, so you have to keep both your hands on it when using it. Make sure you firmly grip the handle of the grinder when you are using it.
Of course, if it’s a freestanding tub, you don’t have to worry about any of this; just remove the connections and start cutting as highlighted in the previous section. Once the tub has been removed from the wall, the next step is to clean the area.
Replacement wall tiles will have to be installed instead, and that takes quite a bit of time. You will have to sand the surface underneath, and then apply the grout before placing the tiles in the wall.
Now that the tub has been removed, you can just follow the steps given above to cut it into different pieces, cover them up, and then throw them into the garbage bin. It’s as simple as that.
But what about all of the space that’s left on the back? You can hire a professional handyman to clean up the area and cover up the surface, so that it seems that the cast iron tub was never there.
You may have to call a plumber as well to close off the valves and pipes, provided you are not going to install a replacement cast iron tub.
On the other hand, if you are going to install one, the installation crew is going to fix it in place and connect the pipes accordingly.
Hello, my name is David Zal and I’m a plumber with more than 20 years of experience based in Englewood (Florida). I like to teach normal people how to make easy fixes in their homes. I believe that a lot can be achieved just with DYI and that’s why I started this blog.