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Old 09-11-2009, 09:53 AM   #1
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


PLEASE HELP - I AM DESPERATE!

I recently learned that my tub is leaking in a master bedroom of my rental property. The home was built in 1998 and is a stupid design for the plumbing. The tub backs up to the shower and there is no access panel for either. The subfloor beneath the tub is a little wet. my dilemma is

1) Do I pull the whole tub out to find and fix the leak, and replace the sub floor?

2) Do I attempt to cut a whole in the side of the fiberglass tub to make an access panel. How difficult is this? Has anyone done this before?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-11-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


Guys I am desperate for some advice. Can anyone help please?

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Old 09-11-2009, 01:42 PM   #3
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


what kind of foundation is it on? unless it's sitting on concrete, you should be able to access it from below. you might have to do some drywall but that's better than installing a new tub.

you CAN cut into a fiberglass tub. i hacked my whole unit apart with a hammer and recip saw. i doubt it's a good idea though if you want to keep it. you'll have to be exact about where you cut and will need to find an access panel cover to fill the hole. do you know what is leaking? you might need access to different spots depending on if it's the drain, valve, or other. also, you'll compromise the strength of the tub if you cut it. i'm not sure if where you want to cut is critical. any cuts or cracks could propogate though.
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:48 PM   #4
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


Thanks that gives me a whole new pespective. Its on the second floor of the house. If I go in from below, I'll have to cut the subfloor that the tub is sitting on. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:49 PM   #5
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


A picture of the area/tub/shower would help
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:51 PM   #6
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


I'll try to post one later this evening.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:42 PM   #7
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


suggestions for cutting the subfloor? a circular or recip saw. watch your blade depth. i wouldn't want to do it that way though. if you need to cut the floor to get in from below, it's probably just better to go in from above. you would still need to replace the floor and i don't know how to do that from below. yes, a pic would help.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:02 PM   #8
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


the problem as I see it is your not sure what exactly is leaking.If its the drain pipe then that normally connects under the sub so comming in from the bottem would be the thing to do but now if its the suply lines then you kind of need to determen where they go and try to get access from their.So first whats leaking ????? I would not cut the tub its a rental your going to have to replace it if the owner says so.Its cheeper to replace some drywall then to replace a tub
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


I am the property owner. Its one of my rental units. Its definately not the drain, its in the supply lines. The problem is that there is not drywall to cut to get into the tub. You either have to go in under from the ceiling below or take the tub up.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:36 PM   #10
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


AS A PROFESSIONAL I WOULD START WITH THE LEAST DESTRUCTIVE

START BY CUTTING OPEN THE CEAILING BELOW !
THEN TAKE A "POWERFUL" FLASHLIGHT OR GOOD DROP LIGHT WATCH
FROM BELOW AS SOMEBODY ELSE RUNS WATER TO MAKE IT SHOW THE LEAK, THEN YOU WILL HAVE A WHOLE BETTER IDEAL WHERE TO CUT THE TUB "IF" STILL NEEDED,

IF IT IS LEAKING FROM THE TUB/SHOWER VALVE,
THEY MAKE A TUB VALVE REPAIR PLATE FOR CHANGING OUT THE VALVE
WHICH YOU WHOULD NOT BE DOING BUT WOULD GIVE ACCESS TO REPAIR
ANY LEAKS THAT SHOW UP BELOW ! !
THE PLATE GIVES YOU A GOOD WATER TITE SEAL WITHOUT A LOT OF
DAMAGE TO FIBERGLASS !

WRITE BACK OR POST PICTURES AND WILL BE ABLE TO GIVE BETTER ADVICE IF NEEDED !

ALSO YOU WILL WANT TO OPEN DOWNSTAIRS ANYWAY TO BE ABLE TO RUN A HIGH VOLUME FAN AT THE CEAILING TO HELP DRY OUT EVERTHING THAT GOT WET BEFORE YOU HAVE "MOLD" START GROWING IN BETWEEN THE WALLS AND FLOORING !
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:44 PM   #11
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


I would go from below first as it was stated the least destructive and find the leak then determin whats the best way to get to it.Maybe once you open it up you will get lucky and it will be right in front of you.I know wishfull thinking but IT COULD HAPPEN
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:21 PM   #12
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


Quote:
Originally Posted by plou View Post
Its definately not the drain, its in the supply lines. The problem is that there is not drywall to cut to get into the tub.
okay, two things.
1) are you sure it's the supply lines? that means upstream of the valve to me. it could be the valve itself. in that case, start by taking the trim off so you can get a good view of what's going on.
2) no drywall to cut. is it on an exterior wall?
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:02 AM   #13
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Installing an access panel in a Fiberglass Tub


Something very similar happened to me this past week, wet spot on the ceiling, tub is above, I cut out a section of the wet spot, the tub drain was visible, also could see both supply lines, shining a flashlight up into the ceiling area. In this case after checking everything, it "appears" that the water was leaking back from the tub spout. Cleaned and taped up spout, left the ceiling open, been dry for two days.

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