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Thread: Replacing Rubber Gasket

  1. #1

    Default Replacing Rubber Gasket

    I posted a week ago about a black ring around the shower drains in the home we moved in to. Not knowing that was causing it, I tried using Tilex on a couple occasions in an attempt to clean it up. When that didn't work, I posted on this forum board and was informed that it may be the rubber gasket deteriorating. I am now concerned that with all the bleach, I may have caused the rubber gasket great harm. So, now I need to figure out how to remedy this. I really am nervous that I may have caused a minor leak by trying to clean it. Regardless, my husband nor myself have experience in replacing rubber gaskets. My husband is quite handy and has worked on plumbing on a ship when in the Navy, but he has never dealt directly with this problem. His original inclination was to seal it up with caulk, but I admit that I was hesitant. I am unsure that sealing it with caulk will help the situation if the rubber gasket is destroyed. I guess what I am trying to ask, should we hire a plumber? Is it possible to do it ourselves? How much would a plumber cost to do two tubs? How do I know if I have created a minor leak? I am going to post this in the shower/bathtub forum as well. Thank you all so much.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Sealing with caulk is a temporary fix. If scrubbing it caused it to leak it was in very bad shape, you should be able to scrub it all day without a problem.

    Do you have a basement, slab or crawl space and how old is your home/tub?

  3. #3

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    The house is five years old. The tub is on the second floor, so I know we'd be able to see a major leak if it happened. I am more concerned about the potential of a minor leak that is not as obvious. I have no clue why the gasket would be worn so much. If the black is not the gasket, I am not sure what else it could be. I can scrub it away, but as soon as we Tilex the shower, the bleach accumulates around the drain and the black comes out from the drain; however, the black will come out even when we immediately wash the bleach away. We also have the black ring in one of the sinks. I am not sure if it could be the metal, soap scum or if it is the gasket. I know it is difficult to diagnose without actually being there. We really don't know what the next step is. I want to hire a plumber, but we really are financially tight. So, a gasket in good shape shouldn't break down with bleach? What would you say our next step is? Is there any way to find out if there is a minor leak? Oh, and thanks, Cass, so much for your help!

  4. #4
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    In most instances there is no rubber gasget...normaly plumbers putty is used...

  5. #5
    I teach guitar:You call that a job? Howard Emerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twilitemoon View Post
    The house is five years old. The tub is on the second floor, so I know we'd be able to see a major leak if it happened. I am more concerned about the potential of a minor leak that is not as obvious. I have no clue why the gasket would be worn so much. If the black is not the gasket, I am not sure what else it could be. I can scrub it away, but as soon as we Tilex the shower, the bleach accumulates around the drain and the black comes out from the drain; however, the black will come out even when we immediately wash the bleach away. We also have the black ring in one of the sinks. I am not sure if it could be the metal, soap scum or if it is the gasket. I know it is difficult to diagnose without actually being there. We really don't know what the next step is. I want to hire a plumber, but we really are financially tight. So, a gasket in good shape shouldn't break down with bleach? What would you say our next step is? Is there any way to find out if there is a minor leak? Oh, and thanks, Cass, so much for your help!
    You said that these are showers, correct? So I'm assuming that they are the kind of drain cover that just pops off, or has a couple of screws to remove, as opposed to a tub drain with overflow which usually is a more difficult removal.

    If you can pry them off, or easily remove them via the screws, it may be the metal they're made from is rusting if they're not chrome plated brass.

    If not..........?

    HE

  6. #6

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    Now I am really confused. Ok, here are the pictures I posted before for identification. The black around the drain is remarkably better than typical, since it was after a lengthy session of scrubbing. Whenever we Tilex the bathtub, it gets worse. I have no clue if it is the rubber gasket, corroding of the metal or soap scum.
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  7. #7
    I teach guitar:You call that a job? Howard Emerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twilitemoon View Post
    Now I am really confused. Ok, here are the pictures I posted before for identification. The black around the drain is remarkably better than typical, since it was after a lengthy session of scrubbing. Whenever we Tilex the bathtub, it gets worse. I have no clue if it is the rubber gasket, corroding of the metal or soap scum.
    Is that a Toe-Touch, pop-up drain stopper?

    If so are you referring to the gasket that is under the moveable piece?

    In fact it looks like the Moen unit shown here:

    http://65.118.245.21/product/90521.JPG

    HE
    Last edited by Howard Emerson; 10-07-2008 at 07:52 AM.

  8. #8

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    I am not sure what a Toe-Touch, pop-up drain stopper is, since I am really inept at anything plumbing, but I can tell you that every plumbing item in this house is made by moen. Because I am so horrible at explaining anything in terms of plumbing, I'm going to show you via picture where the black is coming from. I don't think I am referring to the gasket under the movable piece -- the part that pops up and down? I am referring to the part that is in direct contact with the tub. I hope my picture helps!
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  9. #9

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    I've looked up toe touch stopper, and I don't think that is what we have. In order to pop the stopper up and down, you have to push and pull a lever on the spout in the bathtub.

  10. #10
    DIY Hillbilly Southern Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twilitemoon View Post
    Now I am really confused. Ok, here are the pictures I posted before for identification. The black around the drain is remarkably better than typical, since it was after a lengthy session of scrubbing. Whenever we Tilex the bathtub, it gets worse. I have no clue if it is the rubber gasket, corroding of the metal or soap scum.
    There should be a gasket between the flange and the tub, but some plumbers use putty to seal that joint. (Either they lose the gasket or putty saves them 15 seconds- screw the owner.) The black is the cheap metal that Moen and others use on "builders" quality fixtures. My guess is that its a "pot metal" like aluminum- magnesium. Tilex is accelerating the corrosion.

    Bleach isn't going to effect a 5 year old rubber gasket.

    Here is a blow up of a typical Moen drain assembly: http://www.moen.com/shared/pdf/90410pt.pdf

    The drain fixture can be replaced with a better quality brass or stainless steel one from the tub side. It is screwed to the rough-in plumbing below. The problem is that there is no place to apply torque from a standard wrench to remove the part, and the putty makes it harder to remove. Maybe that's why plumbers use it- so they can get paid to come back and replace it with a special tool.

    I suggest that you take out the poppet assembly and look down in there to see if there is something that you can grip with pliers. If you have tye right size pliers sometimes you can wedge them in and use friction alone to turn the piece. You can duct-tape the tool to prevent major scratching. Turn counterclockwise. If you can get it out, then you can go to Ace, Slowes, Depot of a local plumbing supply and get a decent quality replacement.

  11. #11

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    How much would it be to replace it? It's so frustrating. The fixtures in the house are very cheap. We were going to replace all of the faucets, but we never fathomed we'd replace the bathtub drain. My husband has never replaced a bathtub drain. He's very handy though. I'm not sure if he should give it a go or if we should hire a professional.

  12. #12
    DIY Hillbilly Southern Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twilitemoon View Post
    How much would it be to replace it? It's so frustrating. The fixtures in the house are very cheap. We were going to replace all of the faucets, but we never fathomed we'd replace the bathtub drain. My husband has never replaced a bathtub drain. He's very handy though. I'm not sure if he should give it a go or if we should hire a professional.
    Ask around and find a reputable plumber. You don't want to hire someone who's going to install the same crap that the builder did.

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You say the black comes off if you scrub? It sort of looks like the finish of the tub is damaged, but pictures can be deceiving.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #14

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    I'm not sure if it is the finish. It seems to be coming from under the silver part of the drain that is in direct contact with the tub. At this point, I really don't know whether to contact a plumber, or have my husband attempt to take apart the drain. It's tough to know what to do on a tight budget. I also have no clue how to find a reputable plumber where we live!

  15. #15
    DIY Hillbilly Southern Man's Avatar
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    If he can take it out then he should be able to put a new one in. The hardest part of doing a job like that is getting the old part out. The second hardest is finding a replacement.

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