I have a roughed-in bathroom in the basement of my 1969 home. There is a 1.5" metal drain pipe coming through the slab. It is capped with a metal cap.

I am looking to install a bathtub and use this drain. However, due to the age of the home and the fact that it is metal pipe, I am concerned that the drain pipe may be corroded or leaking under the slab, which may be the reason there is no bathtub there to begin with (possibly the previous owner simply removed the tub rather than breaking up the slab and repairing the pipe).

What I want to know is, how can I test/inspect this drain pipe before installing the bathtub to make certain it is not leaking or clogged under the slab? Can I just pour some water in it and make sure it drains? Do I need someone to camera-snake it?

Thanks for your advice.

  • 1
    Based on your description, it doesn't sound likely that there used to be a tub there and it was removed. It sounds like there is some pipe sticking up above the slab, and you didn't mentioned that the concrete looks patched around it. Drains would typically be pretty well flush with the floor, so if there was a tub there, you would probably see some evidence of it now. Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 17:01
  • Right, I don't see any evidence of an old tub such as concrete patching or marks on the bare concrete floor. The pipe is actually surrounded by a cinder block that is embedded in the slab and comes flush with the floor. The pipe cap itself actually site below the floor line.
    – Sam
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


I would start by pouring water down that drain. If you have a cleanout outside, remove the cap and have someone pour water down the drain and try to observe the water flowing. If it's been capped for a long time, which it appears to have been, you'll probably have to snake it as stuff has probably settled in that pipe. Again, observing down the cleanout, if available, helps. If all this investigating pays off, you can go with it. If you really need "peace of mind" you can rent one of those drain camera's for a couple hundred bucks.

  • I would probably do the same, it is possible the drain was roughed in and never used, if water flows I would give it a try also.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 16:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.