Advice Needed - What could be causing this?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jprez1980, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. jprez1980

    jprez1980 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Hi Gang--

    I need some advice/input please. I recently purchased this home and noticed the baseboard was a bit soft. I have since removed the baseboard and occasionally water is seen filling up the area. Not a lot, but enough to swell the door jamb. In an attempt to find the link I capped off the shower head and turned the water on for 24 hours. There was no leak observed so I'd assume the plumbing itself is ok. My friend seems to think it could be the rubber around the drain line (pic attached). I have also recaulked and touched up the grout and it still occurs from time to time.

    I have attached two pictures. Please give me some suggestions.

    Thanks!

    Picture 1 - Water Damage next to Pan
    Picture 2 - Drain Pipe
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    I can't see the pictures, might be my machine. But, sounds like you need to dig around a little more. Can you get to the subfloor under the shower? Might be a good idea to take a look there. The pan might be leaking. There are a couple of ways to check...assuming you can get the grate off of the drain, get a long party balloon or buy a drain plug made for showers. Ensure the plug is at least 4" or so down the drain to ensure you have the weep holes covered, and inflate it fully. Fill the pan up with water...mark the level and let it sit overnight. If it drops any, you have a leak in the pan. that is, assuming it actually has a pan. Older showers had them made out of lead. Newer ones are often a pvc membrane. Lots of things can cause them to leak (they last a long time installed properly, though), if they ever were watertight. Note, a common fault in installing a liner is to put it on the floor. While this might work for awhile, it inevitably leads to a smelly shower. The liner needs to be applied over a pre-slope so any moisture that gets below the tile (and it will), can flow down to the drain rather than just sitting there and becoming a swamp. My unprofessional opinion.
  3. jprez1980

    jprez1980 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Thank you for the advice. You may want to try the pictures again, the server was having problems. As for the shower pan, its one of those plastic pans so I assume that wouldn't be the case of it leaking. I checked the grout as well, nothing there. I was thinking of recaulking the gap between the tile and the shower pan but I doubt this is the source as well. I wish I could get beneath the subfloor but no can do. Its a single story home with no crawl space.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    It could still be the drain leaking. Does the floor on that thing flex as you walk around? It is often recommended to set it in mortar so that it is fully supported, doesn't flex, and feels more substantial. It also helps keep things from leaking...a flexible floor stresses the seal on the drain.

    If you have a door on the shower, it could let water by, as could the shower curtain, if that is the case. It doesn't take much of a gap in the caulk to let things get damp. Especially if the floor flexes when you are in there taking a shower, a gap may be hard to see if looking at it from outside.
  5. jprez1980

    jprez1980 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Bingo, I think you are correct. I noticed something earlier today, only seems to leak with two people in the shower :D . Would it be a bad idea to put plumbers putty or silicone on top of the black rubber flange? I don't want to block anything.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    That damage could be caused by water leaking out at the corner of the shower door. I know with 2 people in the shower, you are probably not paying attention to the plumbing! But have one person stand outside and see if they see where the water is coming from. If is from UNDER the pan, that is a bigger problem. Silicone caulk ( NOT putty ) might help temporarily, but in the long run you will need to take out the pan.
  7. jprez1980

    jprez1980 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    So just to confirm, if I put silicone on top of the black rubber gasket I won't be blocking anything? I noticed that there are little indentions around the rubber gasket (like a place to insert a flat head screw driver) will blocking these with silicone block anything? I am not sure if they are weep holes or if they don't really serve a purpose. Also, what is the name for this black gasket and should it just be replaced?

    Thanks!
  8. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    leak

    The first picture looks like a bath tub. Looks like the previous owner slopped water all over.
    The second pic. is a 2" shower drain. You can check the pan by sealing the drain and let water stand on the floor of the fixture.
    Come back a few minutes lter and see if there is more water showing.
    You are not going to find an easy fix.
  9. jprez1980

    jprez1980 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Hello Plumber1---

    Yep, thats the way I identified the leak. There are no cracks or anything in the pan, it appears to be leaking around the black gasket when the shower has weight on it. I was advised to put silicone around the gasket and try again. However, there appears to be 4 indentations around this black gasket and I want to make sure that blocking them won't cause me any problems. I am not sure if they are weep holes or not. Any advice for me? The second pic should show what I am talking about, the indentations are big enough to put a flat head screw driver in.

    Thanks!
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,297
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    IF those four openings go all the way to the bottom of the rubber gasket, then they are the cause of the leak. That drain does not have "weep holes".
  11. jprez1980

    jprez1980 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Ok, well I attempted to silicone the black rubber seal but it still is leaking! Would it be a bad idea for me to remove the rubber seal entirely and take a peek? I am not familar with this seal and am not sure if it requires a special tool or not to install. The pan is made by a company called Florestone. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,297
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    seal

    remove it and get a new seal. You might want to put silicone in the opening BEFORE pressing the seal into the groove.
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