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shawnebaby

05:25PM | 01/06/05
Member Since: 12/18/04
6 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
My bathroom is small, My tub is very old and would like to replace it with a whirlpool tub. I measured and it is 5 ft. I found a tub. My question is the pump I think would be on the other end of the tub. Looking at the diagram on line,Which needs accessible to maintain. My walls have tile. which the new tub would just fit in. The only accessablity would only be to the faucet. In the front. Its a older home. Would you know if there would be a way??? Do you understand what I'm trying to convey??? I really want this tub I need to find a way, any suggestions would be great. Thanks shawnebaby

Jim D

11:53PM | 01/06/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
Shawnebaby - hi, the last house I was renting had a whirpool tub in it that I repaired for the landlord. It wasn't working when I moved in, and the place was quite rural so he was hesitant to try and get a repair person out to the house (75 miles from Richmond and Hampton, VA). The walls in the bathroom were tiled as you described. I gained access to the pump through the other side of the bathroom wall; he showed me where it was. (I ended up repairing the pump and adding a small water tank/lint basket to it...the old pump wouldn't keep its prime.)

So, what you can do is look and see what's on the other side of the walls around your tub and see where you may be able to install an access port that's not obtrusive or unpleasant to look at. You'll want the access port large enough to get the pump in and out, allow enough room to connect and disconnect the hoses to the pump, and also to unplug the pump from the electrical line you'll need to run to that location. I'm not an electrician (I do work on electronics though) and don't know the code on this, but my pump had a dedicated circuit for it.

The other thing I'd try and be sure of when installing the pump is to make sure that when the tub is filled with water, the water that enters the whirlpool tubing actually reaches the top of the pump. That's what will insure it's primed before you start the pump. The problem with my landlord's system was the water that did reach the top of the pump wasn't enough to keep the pump primed at startup...the hose had an upward "hump" in the middle of the line. Whoever had rented the house before me had burned out the impeller inside the pump. I fixed that and still had priming problems, so I switched out the front of the pump to add that water tank/lint basket. It would hold about 2-3 quarts of water which would be enough to keep the pump primed until its suction kicked in to circulate the water. If we went away or didn't use the whirlpool portion for more than a month, I'd quickly check that tank for water before I started the pump.

The sales person should be able to explain pump placement, priming, and all that to you so you'd be able to install it at the right location around your tub. I don't believe it matters if it's near the faucet end or the back end of the tub, as long as it gets water to it. Good luck - and Happy New Year! Jim D/West Point, VA

LonnythePlumber

05:47AM | 01/07/05
We usually gain access from the front 5 foot side. If your tub comes with a skirt it is usually removable. We don't require access to the faucet although it's a good idea.

The 60" pocket is usually from stud to stud. The tile walls come down over the tub. If you are saying you have 5 foot from finish to finish then you will need to think about sealing the tub to wall edge, particularly if you are also going to have a shower.

Usually we have to remove some of the wall to get the tub installed.

shawnebaby

08:22AM | 01/07/05
Member Since: 12/18/04
6 lifetime posts
Thank you so much for replying!!! Now my other questions are: When the new tub is put in and the tile is cut, would you be able to put other tile or suround half way down and then seal it??? Also I wan't sure on the pump, are most pumps on the front of the tub where the plumming is??? Or would it be on the side where you said the sides come off??? Also, my neighbor was going to replace their tub with just a regular and the old would not fit through the door they would have to break it so they just reglazed. So Our houses are built exactly alike, Would I have a contractor first come in a widen the door???? I'm in Pennsylvaina where would you recommend buying this tub, where I won't be ripped off would you know ???? Thanks shawnebaby

LonnythePlumber

01:30PM | 01/07/05
I've not heard of a tub that won't go through a door. A one piece tub and shower unit yes but you cut it up with a sawsall. The highest tub I have heard of is 18" and the smallest door is 24". Were they not tilting the tub on its short side? A lot of us just take a sledgehammer and bust a cast iron tub in half (watch out for porcelain flakes). A steel tub can be cut with a sawsall but why bother?

Pumps are usually on the end of the tub opposite of the drain opening. Some others we specify where we want the pump when we order. Taking off the 5 foot panel almost always gains access. Remember you need a dedicated electrical circuit with GFI.

If you buy your fixtures from a box store and have problems then you have to pay the plumber to take it out or repair or whatever warranty is involved. It almost always entails going to the store and major delays in time. When you buy from a plumber then they almost always guarantee their labor and the manufacturer stands behind the unit. It's your gamble. If you have no problems then you have spent less money. If you have problems then you will spend more than you would have by buying from a plumber in the first place.

Look at the units your ***** store may have or can order. ***** is much better than a box warehouse type store. And it's not the number of jets that reflect quality or comfort. A leading line only has two jets. It's the size of the motor and other factors.

Cut your tile wall up at least a foot and a half above the tub. Small patches have a limited life where larger pieces of wallboard are more stable.

Please give me the measurements on the old tub and your door if you care to. I can't imagine not getting a tub through a bathroom door.

shawnebaby

07:03AM | 01/08/05
Member Since: 12/18/04
6 lifetime posts
Thank You so much for your help!!! I did measure, and I guess I shouldn't listen to my neighbor, I will go to a plumber type store, that guarantees. I did go to ***** to look. and price. What do you feel the best brand is??? They had Kohler and American standard. I'm not for the real expensive as I can only go 5 ft, they are so pretty the octagon ones ect, if I had the space. Thank You again!!! shawnebaby

Jim D

12:45PM | 01/08/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
Shawnebaby - hi, Lonny's right about the pump placement - my pump was at the rear of the tub area. However, the surround in the bathroom area had been tiled over, so the only access to the pump was through the wall as I described before. It actually was a very handy way to do it...

Sorry, I have no recommendations on tubs...I never even determined what brand tub the landlord had in there. He installed it when he built the house - and he bought it from some company in California. He didn't have a local plumber install it, according to him. He was very happy when I fixed it and the parts came to less than $50 - which I covered.

Good luck with your project - regards! Jim D/West Point, VA

shawnebaby

04:40AM | 01/09/05
Member Since: 12/18/04
6 lifetime posts
Thanks for all the imput on this tub, it was so help ful. You all are so kind to help out, I'll be asking again on my next project. Thank You shawnebaby
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