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removing an old cast-iron bath
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Removing an old cast-iron bath

A cast-iron bath may weigh around 100kg, so you will need helpers to move it. A pressed-steel bath is lighter. It can usually be moved intact.

Before you start: Unless you want to keep a cast-iron bath intact, it is easier to break it up after disconnecting it than to remove it whole. Be careful when you break it up, as the pieces are often jagged and very sharp.

Tools for removing a cast-iron bath: Tools Torch; adjustable spanner; safety goggles; ear defenders; club hammer; blanket; protective gloves. Possibly also padded pipe wrench; screwdriver; hacksaw.

  • Cut off the water supply.
  • Remove any bath panelling. It is often secured with dome-head screws, which have caps that cover the screw slot.
  • With a torch, look into the space at the end of the bath to locate the supply pipes connected to the tap tails, and the overflow pipe. In older baths, the overflow pipe is rigid and leads straight out through the wall. In more modern types the overflow is flexible and connected to the waste trap.
  • Check the position of the hot supply pipe: it is normally on the left as you face the taps. Use an adjustable spanner to unscrew the tap connectors from the supply pipes and pull the pipes to one side. If unscrewing is difficult, saw through the pipes near the ends of the tap tails.
  • Saw through a rigid overflow pipe flush with the wall.
  • Disconnect the waste trap from the waste outlet. For an old-style U-bend, use an adjustable spanner. A plastic trap can normally be unscrewed by hand, but use a padded pipe wrench if it proves difficult. Pull the trap to one side. Disconnect a flexible overflow pipe from the overflow outlet.
  • If the bath has adjustable legs - normally brackets with adjustable screws and locking nuts - lower it to lessen the risk of damaging wall tiles when you pull it out. But if the adjusters on the far side are difficult to reach, lowering may not be worth the effort.
  • Pull the bath into the middle of the room ready for removal or break-up.
  • To break up the bath, drape a blanket over it to stop fragments flying out, and hit the sides with a club hammer to crack the material into pieces.

Connections to an old bath and new bath: As when replacing a washbasin or bidet, add a service valve on each of the supply pipes before connecting them to the new taps. This allows them to be isolated easily for future maintenance.

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