Bathtub copper pipe leaking?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Whellow, May 29, 2010.

  1. Whellow

    Whellow New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario
    I pulled off the spout of our second floor bathroom bathtub because water was dripping out of it. The copper pipe (the "nipple" as I've read it being called) is also leaking a couple of drops of water. Is this normal? Is the spout supposed to keep those drips from coming through into the bathtub?

    Thanks - bigtime plumbing newbie here.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The thing that is supposed to "keep those drops away" is the shut off valve for the tub/shower. You need to have the valve repaired. The spout dripping was a symptom NOT the problem. Put everything back together the way it was and call a plumber.
  3. Whellow

    Whellow New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario
    Thanks hj. Are there shut off valves in each bathroom? Just wondering why my other second floor bathroom doesn't have any leaks.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    A tub shower combo will drip for 35 minutes after use.
    It takes that long for all the water to dry up in the pipes that are behind the tile.

    Does it continue to leak two hours later?
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You are a bit confused about shut off valves. The one HJ refers to the one you turn the water for the tub and shower on/off with. There normally are two other valves that are not as visible or used very often. These are small valves in the hot and cold lines prior to their meeting at the main on/off valve. These valves allow the water to the tub/shower to be turned off so the other big valve can be worked on without turning off the entire house. Normally, all sinks, toilets, and showers have these valves. Look under your toilets and sinks and you will almost certainly see them. As HJ and Terry point out, there are two possibilities for you problem. The big valve could need new internal parts or the water you are calling a leak is just normal water draining from the shower pipe. If it continues after a couple of hours, it just the normal draining. If it continues, then you need the big valve serviced. It is easy to be confused when the term, "valve" can be used in different contexts.
  6. Whellow

    Whellow New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario
    Gary - thanks for the explanation! You're right I was confused about the two meanings.

    To answer Terry: Yes, it continues to leak two hours later. It hasn't stopped leaking yet. Taking Gary's explanation into consideration, this means the valve that turns the water on/off for the tub and shower needs to be serviced. I've already contacted my plumber about the problem.

    Thanks guys!
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    VERY FEW tub/shower valves have the secondary shut off valves Gary was referring to. And the other bath/shower is not leaking because its valve does NOT need repairing at this time. Your plumber will know what to fix and how to fix it. All YOU have to do is show him the valve, you do not have to give him any advice as to how to fix it.
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