Most mobile home bathtubs are made of plastic or fiberglass to keep the overall weight of the home as light as possible. They can be difficult to repair or touch up, because it's harder to work on a plastic basin than it is with the ceramic or porcelain models often seen in standard homes. Any cracks, dents or leaks may mean the entire tub will need to be removed and replaced. The bathtub in a mobile home is installed somewhat differently than a standard tub, so removing one is a different process entirely.
Getting Started With Bathtub Removal
The first step is to shut off the water supply to the tub. To do this, use the access panel to close the valves for hot and cold water. Disconnect the water supply lines from the tub using a wrench.
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There will be some drainage, so be sure to have towels ready. Then, disassemble the piping as well as the drainpipe and remove all associated parts. Remove the faucet and valve handles plus any piping that goes to the overflow drain, if there is one. Everything should be disconnected from the tub before moving on.
Removing the Tub
Next, check the tub. If it's attached to the surround wall with rivets, simply cut the heads off with a utility knife. Score and then cut through the caulk sealing the tub to the wall.
At this point, start to carefully remove the surround walls, pulling them away from the walls of the bathroom. Cut through any additional caulk as needed. Once the surround panels have been removed, the edges of the tub will be visible.
There will be screws securing the lip of the tub to the walls. Remove these screws with the proper screwdriver. Once the screws have been removed, you should be able to pull out the tub. This step may require more than one person to maneuver the tub and then remove it from the mobile home.
Installing a Tub or Shower
If you're installing a new tub or shower in the place of the old one, you'll want to make sure that the supports in place are the right height. A replacement tub of the same size can be installed right over the existing supports.
In a mobile home, most tubs are supported either by plastic legs or by a polystyrene foam piece that fits into the bottom of the tub. Plastic leg support can cause noise when the tub shifts, but they leave the space under the tub open for piping.
The polystyrene foam models are much quieter, but they leave no space under the tub. Often the support comes with the tub, but make sure your new model has suitable support that fits into your space.
Check Existing Plumbing
Before dropping in the new tub or shower, take a look at the plumbing; if the pipes show signs of aging or clogging, now is the time to replace them. Check the drainage piping and install a new drain in the tub if it doesn't come with one. Shutoff valves can develop leaks over time, so check and replace these as well while they're more accessible.