Advice for jetted tub problem (and critters?)

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Jonathan David Coffman, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Jonathan David Coffman

    Jonathan David Coffman New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Hi! This week was perfect timing for me to discover this forum (I was googling toilets and this seems to be the authority ;)).

    Anyway, I bought a house about 6-months ago -- and for the first time tried to fill the big soaker/jetted tub in the master bath. Guess what? It leaks! The tub pretty much refused to fill up, and once the faucet was turned off I could hear water running somewhere behind the facade on the front of the thing.

    Sooo, naturally I put in a request with my home warranty company to have a plumber come out and take a look at it. Of course, said plumber doesn't seem that reputable (imagine that!) and says they won't let him touch the front facade (it's just fake plastic which looks like marble) so I have to remove it myself. Luckily, I had already started that process on the off chance the problem was something I could fix.

    Well, we get that front piece off and start shining our flash lights down underneath the tub. The problem becomes pretty apparent, pretty quickly. It seems the main supply line coming off the whirlpool pump has a huge crack in it. As in, if you touch any of the smaller tubes there's a 3-4" crack right there at the pump (also dangerously close to the electric outlet where said pump is plugged in!).

    Now, this plumber sent out from the warranty company says he doesn't have the parts or tools to work on jetted tub problems so will probably have to call the warranty company to have them reassign to a "specialist". Of course this would have been nice to know before he came out. Anyway, alright I'll let him try to do that and make someone else fix this thing (the crack is in what looks like a large nut/connector from the motor which later branches to the individual jets).

    That's a lot of background information for what my question really is (also your commentary on the situation I'm sure will be comical).

    My question now is -- should I be worried that despite this huge crack in the plumbing under my tub next to no water actually came into the bathroom itself? In other words, all that water (probably 30 gallons??) disappeared.

    A few facts
    - The tub is on what you might call the "back, outside" corner of the house, so I suspect the crack could be related to a pipe having froze since of course there isn't a ton of insulation stuffed down there around the tub
    - My house is on a slab, so the real drain is routed through the slab
    - I have seen numerous spiders inside my tub (I get regular pest treatments, but still I see spiders in the tub, which I always thought was curious)
    - Once we cracked open the facade, there were spider webs with spiders still in them underneath there
    - There were also acorns on the floor (this could have been from construction 10 years ago I suppose...)

    So, I'm sure you can tell where I'm going with this. There is no hole on the exterior of my house that I can tell where spiders, or some acorn snacking critter could get in, I caulked and painted the house a few months ago so any gaps would have to be pretty tiny at this point. BUT given the live spiders and webs, there must be some sort of pray getting right? Where could this hole be... This hole which allows 30 gallons of hot water come out of a cracked pipe but not end up on the bathroom floor, and which allows spiders (and presumably their prey) inside the house?

    Also, since this tub is on an outside wall should I consider putting some spray foam of some of those little pipe insulation things down there either on the supply line or near the jet pump or something?

    Anyway, thanks for any advice you can provide! :)
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,920
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    What a pickle.

    These jetted tubs need to be tested before installing them. A crack in a line most likely means there is a leak and the tub should not be used as a tub again until fixed.

    The fix would be a tub removal, repairs, inspection and then re-installed. If the fittings that are cracked can be reached from the access panel that's great but what about the ones around the back side?

    I hate spiders. Not because I'm scared but because here in North Vancouver they grow huge and in the early morning one scooting across the floor looks like a bigger bug or mouse. I hate mice.

    When dealing with the repair company make sure that the tub is filled overnight to the overflow mark. It should hold easy 24-72 hours with no leaks. Once this is done I would say you have a repaired tub.

    I would also run the system as well to make sure all pieces are working.

    They make a chemical cleaner to clean the lines and this would be another good step.

    As for spray foaming the underside be careful - spray foam can wreck havoic on those lines and piping - even cause a new leak if poorly done!!!

    Good Luck. If you where in Vancouver I would try and convince you to rip it out, buy a nice ACO shower drain and turn that tub into a steam shower for two!!! :)
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