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Thread: Installing a Kohler Villager Cast Iron Tub

  1. #31
    DIY Junior Member Why did I try this?'s Avatar
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    Hi,
    This thread has been very helpful. I am in the process of removing a "harvest gold?" cast tub and was thinking of putting in a Kohler Villager since it looks exactly the same, except being white. Does it matter that the diagonal of the tub is longer than the room, or does it not since the tub is open underneath? Any thoughts on how I might remove mine? I was thinking of taking the panel off of an adjacent closet, tipping the tub on the side and sliding it out through the closet ;*) If I could spin it on the it's side in the bath I would. The skirt has a copper/fin heat pipe running through it!

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  2. #32
    DIY Senior Member jch's Avatar
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    That gold tub is definitely a Kohler Villager -- can't miss that Nike swoosh on the apron...

    The complicating factor here is that finned copper radiator pipe buried inside the apron--a clever way of hiding the radiator in the room.

    I'd say that the first thing you need to do is remove the finned copper piping. Are there removable fittings where the pipes meet the floor/walls? Or did they solder it in?

    If you can't get at those fittings (or if they don't exist), then I'd say you have no option other than to continue breaking the tub into pieces. Then (at least temporarily) remove the radiator pipes before you put a new tub in. The toilet is going to have to come out, and it would probably make it easier (more room to maneuver) if the vanity came out too.
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  3. #33
    DIY Junior Member Why did I try this?'s Avatar
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    I could have an hvac guy cut & splice the pipe in the basement but that would probably be too $$$. I have guys quoting $200-$350(in labor) just to swap out water heaters!!!???
    Anyway... If I were somehow to get this tub out, could another Villager be installed by tipping it over from the skirt over the pipe? Or would Terry's method be the best? The pipe actually comes up through the floor 1-2 inches inside the skirt from the end and does the same from the drain side.

  4. #34
    DIY Senior Member jch's Avatar
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    Based on how tightly-fitted those radiator fins look inside the tub apron, I don't think you'd stand much chance getting a new tub over top of it unless you dropped the tub straight down on it. And I can't imagine doing that with a cast iron tub.

    Perhaps you could install the copper unions on the radiator pipes below floor level yourself??

    Regardless, I think you need to bust up the old tub first.

    Then post a picture of the finned radiator piping so we can see what you're up against.
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  5. #35
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    What temp water do they circulate through that? The tub could get hot enough to burn someone. I'm not so sure that was clever...more like irresponsible!

    They make some decent looking wall panels. Some of them are designed to also hold towels...now, a nice warm towel at the end of a shower or bath is a treat. I'd look at relocating that.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #36
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    Here is the radiator.

  7. #37
    DIY Senior Member jch's Avatar
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    Are there unions already installed on the radiator pipes above floor level?
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  8. #38
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    Appears to be soldered all the way This DIY project has become a major PITA. Another rant, why don't plumbers put shutoff valves on showers? I have to shut my whole house down, and as a 1st time DIY it could take days.

  9. #39
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    I don't think you can get very much heat out of that setup. Copper fin heat is based on convection. You won't get much of that from the section of copper fin. It would be like closing the damper on the baseboard.

    John

  10. #40
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If their boiler is pumping 180-degree (or higher) water through it, the tub surface could get higher than you'd want. Most people don't sit on or in a radiator! Keep in mind that even 120-degrees can cause a second degree burn on young or older people that have thinner skin.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 08-31-2012 at 04:11 PM.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #41
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    The copper fin doesn't come in contact with the tub. It's not like a cast iron radiator were the water is running through it. There is no air circulation under the tub to produce heat. That set up wouldn't have even heated the room.

    John

  12. #42
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Humm, a light bulb's filament doesn't touch the glass, but the glass gets plenty hot. Heat is heat...while there isn't much air in that cavity, what's there will circulate. Yes, my example isn't as extreme as the hot water in there, but even a convector that is closed up will get hot - it just won't warm the room as effectively.

    It would be good to hear from the OP to see how warm in real practice the tub got. Course, if they're running something like 120-degree water through it, it's not an issue.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #43
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    In the winter I did notice a slight warmth to the top of the skirt at times.I never thought I would find a radiator in it

  14. #44
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    You can't touch a light bulb that's been on but you can handle copper fin that has 160-degree water running through it.

    John

  15. #45
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    Ok, I'm going to take out the panel in the closet on the left hand side of the picture. The 2x3 is going to be cut and then we will drag/walk the tub out through the closet. From there we will use either a dolly or slide it on the skirt.

    Ledger: this tub has no ledger and no shims and the feet rest on plywood, been here for 36 years! If I wanted a ledger would the cast tub need to be set in place and then marks put on the wall? Or would I measure based on the specs and put on a level board and set the tub in once?

    Thanks much
    Last edited by Why did I try this?; 09-02-2012 at 11:57 AM.

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