Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Porcelain for Strong Stomachs


If you don’t like seeing hard-water deposits and rust from a several-year leak in the bathtub, then this post is not for you. You need a stomach of steel to handle what we will see today. And apologies are in order for such dark pictures. Our guest bathroom is the only room in the house with no windows, and it fully lives up to its dungeon potential.


When we moved into this house, the guest bathtub had a small trickle coming from the shower spout. Somehow, it was missed by us and the home inspector. We bought the house in complete ignorance of the mess taking place in there.


The constant, slow leak has caused the drain to become corroded and caked with hard-water deposits. Do you have hard water? If not, consider yourself a blessed person!

After we re-grouted the shower, it was time to make the drain eyesore disappear. But it didn’t make sense to replace the corroded drain, only to leave a leak trickling down to make it all happen again.


With company coming next month, I didn’t want bare feet in that tub worrying about what diseases may be present. How can one feel welcome when a drain looks twenty times its age? Something had to be done.

Since we needed a special tool to pry up the old drain, and since I know nuttin’ about plumbing techniques in general, if was time to call in a professional.


After literally a month of trying-and-failing to contact friends’ recommendations for plumbers, I decided to use Service Magic last Monday morning to get a plumber to our house. The best part? By that same afternoon, the drain was replaced, the shower spout was replaced, and the leak was repaired by replacing the hot/cold water cartridge.


You see this? This build-up was stuck inside the old cartridge, which was causing the leak. This propped open the pipe enough to allow a constant stream of water to fall down the tub wall into the drain below. Corroding as it went, by the way. So we put a new cartridge in so all parts were opening and closing properly. Leak is fixed!


I love how it looks. It not only functions properly now (they had even installed the cartridge wrong years ago, so hot was cold, and vice versa. It was always a fun discovery by our guests…), but it also looks amazing. I am not a huge fan of chrome since it requires a lot of scrubbing and maintenance to keep it looking clean and bright. But this entire shower is now stunning.


Except this…despite using my best elbow grease, and a Magic Eraser from Mr. Clean (amazing tool, by the way…I use it everywhere!) the hard-water deposits are still left near the drain of the tub. I need some suggestions of how to get this stuff up. Despite being scrubbed, it makes the entire tub look less-than-pristine. And you know I go for pristine in showers, people!


Any ideas on how to get rid of these deposits? You can actually feel them. *Shudder* And want them out!


  1. Wow! Amazing how such little things make a big difference. Makes me wish I was a handy man, I mean woman.

    1. His name was Oscar, and he was a great plumber to call in for help. Sometimes spending the money for a pro is worth it...and now I wonder why I waited so long!

      Do the email notices work, by the way?

  2. Micah we had the same gross build-up in our downstairs bathroom. The only thing that worked for us was to scrub it with a pumice stone. (you know the ones that you use on your feet). I was really nervous at first thinking that it would totally destroy our tub but, it was the only thing that worked. It realy did not even hurt the tub at all. I hope that helps!!

  3. http://seeshellspace.blogspot.com/2012/03/clean-shower-anyone.html

    My sister just cleaned her showers with a vinegar, water and dawn dish soap. Her showers look amazing. Got off all hard water deposits.

  4. I've heard Bar Keeper's Friend will do wonders for just about everything. You can find it at WalMart. I found some at Fry's.


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