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My tub is rotting from the top and I'm not yet ready to replace it. Water collects along one of the short sides of the tub (not the end with the faucet, the opposite end) and that is rotting and now has a large hole.

How do I patch this hole?

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When do you think you will be ready to replace it? I think it said (tub) it is ready to be replaced! – shirlock homes Feb 9 '13 at 22:42
Q: I have a chunk of metal about the size of my palm, which is all that is left of my bathtub. I'm not ready to replace the tub. How can I re-create a vessel around this chunk of metal, which will hold enough water so that I can take a bath? – Kaz Feb 28 '13 at 8:40
A: Let me introduce you to user11515 on diy.stackexchange.com. He has a bathtub with a hole of exactly that size ... maybe you two can work something out. – Kaz Feb 28 '13 at 8:40

What may have happened is the porcelain top coat has been compromised to the point that it exposed the cast iron metal to the water. It has oxidized so much it has disintegrated and left a hole. If you are adamant about repairing the tub for the short time until it is replaced the best repair would be with fiberglass cloth and resin. This is what is used in the boating world to repair holes in fiberglass hulls. Wire brush any loose material from the tub wall wipe surrounding area with a solvent like lacquer thinner to remove contaminants. Cut an over sized piece of fiberglass cloth so it covers an extra 2 inches beyond the repair area. Mix the resin as per label. Brush the tub surface to the cloth outline. Place cloth over repair and brush liberally with more resin making sure to saturate the cloth completely. Build up with more layers of cloth letting each layer cure first. May want to do this on the other side of the hole. Sand with progressively higher grits until it is smooth. Paint if desired to match existing color. 2 part epoxy would also make a strong repair material.

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Two and a half years later I wonder if @user11515 fixed his tub or replaced it! – jqning Sep 14 '15 at 0:44
Hopefully he finally got a new one! – ojait Sep 14 '15 at 1:32

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