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darsunt 02-07-2012 12:19 AM

breaking a cast iron tub?
I was surprised to find out an old problem bathroom of ours has a cast iron tub!
I really don't want to touch it. But if someday I have to, I read you can break it up with a sledge hammer. If we have to really whack it, is it possible the studs around/under it could be damaged? It would be TERRIBLE to drag that thing down some narrow stairs.

joecaption 02-07-2012 12:30 AM

The tub weighs about 400 lb. and was most likly installed before the walls were in place.
It's not attached to the studs, the weight holds it in place.
A few wacks in the middle toward the bottom and just keep hitting it to break in half.
It's not going to hurt the studs. Even if it did you talking about a $3.00 item to replace.

oh'mike 02-07-2012 06:21 AM

They crack easily enough----Firm thumps--not brutal blows---just keep thumping the same spot with a sledge--a crack will start--then 'chase' the crack with your hammer and the crack will grow--

Goggles and gloves--that thing is covered with glass---

I usually start on the inside -front---easiest place for me---About 30 minutes--start to finish---

Just Bill 02-07-2012 06:37 AM

Hammer away from the surrounding walls. The tub is not anchored to the walls but is against them. Beating the iron toward the wall can move the wall, words of experience. As suggested, start at the outside inner wall first. Once it starts to crack, it get easyier.

jasesun23 02-07-2012 03:58 PM

I'm redoing a bathroom. Have a thread a little lower that I will be updating shortly. Anyway only thing left to demolish is 300-400 pound cast iron tub. You guys already answered the question of hitting it and maybe pushing the studs. It seems like that is no big deal.

Other question is how is the drain of the tub attached to the waste pipe. I unscrewed the overflow valve and a chain connected to a cylinder came out. The drain only has a screw to remove the screen. I don't want to start banging this thing if its is screwed to the drain pipe. Last thing I need to do is damage the pipes.

Total Tool 02-07-2012 05:21 PM

Would scoring or perforating with cut off wheel help any? I have been think about replacing mine and that was an idea I had. I'm thinking like a dremel or something.

ben's plumbing 02-07-2012 08:33 PM

we throw a old drop cloth over the tub while breaking it ..keeps glass from flying around:yes:

joecaption 02-07-2012 08:41 PM

Ridged makes a better one. Any lowes or HD will have them.
Waste of time using a dremal tool. By the time you got it set up and pluged in I could have it 1/2 way out.

Total Tool 02-07-2012 10:04 PM


Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 847322)

Ridged makes a better one. Any lowes or HD will have them.
Waste of time using a dremal tool. By the time you got it set up and pluged in I could have it 1/2 way out.

Oh, I meant the tub in general, not the drain. Would it be worth any effort to score some spaces on the tub? My tub is surrounded on three sides and I would want to keep drywall repair to a minimum.

oh'mike 02-08-2012 05:31 AM

You will want to remove the chrome drain in the bottom of the tub--or unhook the drain set from under the tub.

You will need to remove some drywall in order to slide in the new tub---

jasesun23 02-08-2012 01:22 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Got the drain tool from home depot for less then 10 bucks. Drain came right out. Took the sledge hammer to it and broke it up in about 30 mins. Could only really take half swings but a couple hits to the same spot and it just started cracking. The porcelain shards shoot every where so used a towel to cover as well as gloves, eye protection and ear protection just like everyone said.
Included some pictures for dramatic effect. Man clean up is the worst part.

Thanks for the help guys.


oh'mike 02-10-2012 08:20 PM

Nice pictures---Thanks for the update!

JumpinJW 02-11-2012 10:07 PM

Sell it
Easiest way to get it out is to sell it on Craigslist, preferably before demolition starts. I got 2 old tubs out without lifting a finger.

My brother installed a new cast iron tub like this one by himself. Dragged it up the stairs with a rope.

darsunt 02-11-2012 11:27 PM

Were they ancient tubs? How much did you sell them for? And did you have to keep an eye on the buyers to make sure they did not destroy your bathroom in the process?

oh'mike 02-12-2012 06:18 AM

That old iron is worth money at any scrap yard---if its not worth your time to scrap it--that will vanish off the curb in short order--a scrapper will pick that up for you--

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