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Thread: concrete foundation hole? where are the pipes?

  1. #1

    Default concrete foundation hole? where are the pipes?

    we have removed our cast iron tub and found that the foundation basically has a square approx 12 x 12 cut into the foundation with the pipes down in the hole. The pipes look as they are approx 1 to 2 feet below and there is nothing else! Am I missing something? I was expecting the pipes to at least be flush with the concrete foundation at the top. There is just a hole! Does anyone have any suggestions. Should there be some type of flang or extention there? Would love any website that can show photos of what I am describing. Help please!!!

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    You can post pictures for free at www.photobucket.com

    This will help, since I am not clear right now on what you are describinb. Are you saying that the tub just drained into a hole in the ground?

  3. #3

    Default hole in the foundation

    pretty much , yes! it is deep enough that the drain from the bathtub goes down into the hole. It just looks like something is missing to me!

    I am sending the pic so you can see that I am not crazy
    Last edited by stephaniesuer; 08-06-2006 at 04:51 PM.

  4. #4

    Default pic of the hole!

    here is the link to myspace. http://s101.photobucket.com/albums/m41/stephaniesuer/

    I was thinking there should be more there. the white is the pvc pipe from the bathtub and the rest is the pipe sticking out of the "hole".

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    So the tub actually is going into a drain pipe, correct?
    That's a real hack job, with that tar and electrical tape, though.

  6. #6

    Default concrete hole!

    You got it. So anyone have any suggestions. I am wanting to put a clawfoot bathtub and the way it is set up now, I am not sure what to do from here. Anyone have a really nice pic of what it SHOULD look like. Shouldnt there be something coming from the pipe in the hole up to be at least flush with the foundations? As you can see , I really need some help here!

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It is not uncommon to have a hole like that , but the way they have things connected is less than ideal!

    There should be a p-trap burried somewhere down there. The hole is big enough so that trap can be moved around when installing the drain from the tub, since when the foundation is poured, they may not know the exact location of the drain.

    It gets a little more difficult with a claw-foot tub if you want the new finished floor to look good under the tub. If you have a little bit of leaway, I think it would be a good idea to dig down a little, see what the actual drain line is made of, assess the condtion of the p-trap and decide if you need to replace it. Then, you can figure out where you want the new tub to sit, and build up a new drain. The part that goes through the top of the floor would likely want to be either polished brass or chromed. Since you might need to get down there again some time, you might not want to fill in the hole with concrete. If you are using tile, you might want to fill it in with sand, and then caulk a tile on top to the adjacent ones so you could cut the caulk out to get down there. If you did it right, and used a color matched caulk to the grout, it should be nearly invisible.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8

    Default concrete foundation hole

    Thank you so very much. I will be putting tile so I guess I am going to have to invest in some sand and pretty chrome pipes. I hate to sound stupid but what is a ptrap? I am very sorry but I need visual help. I knew it looked pretty tacky and just did not look right. Is there some type of connection that would come off of the pipe in the hole? I was thinking there should be and adapter or extention that would go from the pipe in the hole to the drain on the tub. Should I talk to a real plummer or is it possible for me to do this. Even though it does not sound like it I really am a very smart and handy woman.

  9. #9

    Default concrete foundation hole

    when we took out the old tub there was a lot.....i mean a lot... of dirt. Not sand or just messy, dirt under the tub. I looked as if they were trying to grow mushrooms under there. The "hole" has a lot of dirt in it also. Is the ptrap possibly under all of the dirt? Honestly I thought the dirt was coming from under the house and under the foundation. Hopefully if we clean it out and get all of the dirt out we will be able to find that everything we need is there, just a hidden treasure.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A trap is what keeps sewer gasses from coming up from the sewer back into the house through the drain. Take a look under a sink and you'll see a p-trap. There's one (or at least should be) in the dirt under your tub. It sort of looks more like a c on its side, but is called a p-trap because it always has an arm coming off of it. Think of the P with the vertical part of the loop not there, and then layed on its side.

    Can you do this, maybe...depends on your skill level.

    For some ideas on tiling, suggest you go over to www.johnbridge.com and see if they have some alternative suggestions.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    Hopefully if we clean it out and get all of the dirt out
    Make sure you stop when you get to China, cuz that's Mother Earth you're lookin at inside that hole.
    I'm surprised you didn't have ants or other creepy crawlies coming out of there.
    You keep asking about something that should be even with the foundation, or running along the top of it.....
    There is not. The drain is just a pipe that comes straight up out of the slab (or in your case, what used to be a slab)

  12. #12

    Default foundation hole

    Thanks guys, your the best. I have been learning a lot lately about plumbing, ptraps (shaped like a sideways c) and the like.

    If you look at the picture, the pipe that is coming up from the dirt is not pvc. It is heavy steel. The home was built in 1969, could this be the ptrap?

    It looks in pretty good shape considering.

    And yes there have been many many "critters" coming through. Ants, lizards, june bugs, toilet snakes and many many more.. It has been interesting! Good thing I am related to Elli Mae , critters don't bother me.


    The ceramic tile website is great!

    One more question , from the pipe that is in the hole, is that where I would bring the chrome drain pipes from the bathtub ?

    The question that I keep asking is , what connects the two?

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You need to determine if there really is a ptrap in there in the dirt. It is probably cast iron. They make adapters to go from cast to finish plumbing, but you need to dig out in there and see what the real scoop it. Take a picture of what you find in the hole. The trap should hold some standing water (that's what keeps the sewer gasses from coming up through your drain pipe). You should be able to see it once you disconnect the drain from the tub. See how far down it is, since that is probably where you will need to make a new connection. Once you have a nice picture, one of the pros can more easily and accurately tell you how to do it, or if you should have it done.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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