Ask the Remodeler: Reader’s tub issue may be more than a clogged drain

A.Kudos to you for tearing into the drainage assembly and clearly solving what I think is part of the problem. I’m glad that it worked, but I hate to say there is still another problem lurking in there somewhere. If you think about it, a tub and the entire drain assembly should be completely watertight. If the drain is plugged or sluggish, it should just back up into the tub, not come down into the ceiling below. I think you need to call in a plumber and have that section of ceiling opened up below the tub so they can look at the drain, P trap, and any other connections in that area.

Ask the Remodeler: Reader’s tub issue may be more than a clogged drain

Q. Please tell us what this green tank is? I live in my great-grandparents’ home, and this must be very old. Someone wrote “Do not remove” in chalk on it.


A.That green tank is an old hot water heating system expansion tank. They were often put in attics or top floors. I’m assuming that the house has a newer heating system, and if so, it should be safe to remove it. However, I would try to get a peek under the attic boards first to check for old piping tied into the strapping or wallboard so you don’t have a plaster repair job to do after pulling it out.

Mark Philben is the project development manager at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge. Send your questions to homerepair@globe.com. Questions are subject to editing. Subscribe to the Globe’s free real estate newsletter — our weekly digest on buying, selling, and design — at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @globehomes.