Replacing a bath may seem to be an ambitious do-it-yourself project but it is well within the capabilities of the determined home handyman prepared to tackle the job carefully and logically.
Here is what is involved. As with many other plumbing projects the most difficult part is likely to be the removal of the old fitting rather than the installation of the new one.
Plumbing In A Bath - Checking It Out First The old bath will almost certainly be made of enameled cast iron. The once-white enamel may be discolored and wearing away, and may even reveal rusting bare metal underneath, Green or brown colored stains beneath the taps indicate a long-neglected need for rewashering. The taps may look out of date and have worn chromium plating. The finish of the bath may be old and unattractive and the bath itself not paneled in.
Checking it out First have a look at the existing bath. If there are sides or end panels, strip them off and examine, with the aid of an electric torch, the water supply pipes and the waste and the overflow arrangements in the cramped and badly lit space between the foot of the bath and the wall. You will see that the water supply pipes connect the threaded tails of the taps by means of brass ‘swivel tap connectors’ or ‘cap and lining joints’. Check whether the water supply pipes are made of copper or lead by scraping their surface with the blade of a pocket knife. If this reveals the characteristic grey sheen of lead you should think of replacing the piping. If you do want to retain the lead piping you will have to call in a qualified plumber — it’s not an easy task. If the pipes are of copper you should be able to tackle the entire project without professional aid. The overflow from a modern bath is taken, by means of a flexible pipe, to the waste trap. In the past, the overflow pipe often simply led through the external wall, and was the source of incurable bathroom draughts. If your bath’s overflow is like this, you’ll have to cut it off flush with the wall.