Bathub/Shower/Tile Leak?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by MarkPritchard, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. MarkPritchard

    MarkPritchard New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Dallas,TX
    Hi,
    I ran across this forum while looking for answers to a problem. We just moved into a new condo and everything was redone. In the master bath we have a whirpool tub/shower combo surrounded by tiled walls on three sides. There is a unit below us that has started to see water stains on his bathroom ceiling(right below our master bath) as well as this morning there was water dripping from his light. This has alerted us to the problem of leaking water. I've inspected the grout/sealant between tub and tiles and found that the tub had settled about 1/16th of an inch since installation causing there to be a small gap between the tub and tile in some places (majority of tub still sealed, or looks like it.) None of the tile closest to the tub is spongy, its still solid and in tact. I have a few questions

    1. Does it sound like this is a leaking pipe? The problem has progressed over the course of 2-3 weeks.

    2. Would sealing all the tile solve the problem?

    Oh, and, the wood covering pictured doesn't have an access for the tub and doesn't remove, it's pretty well secured. This presents a problem for access for under the tub.

    3. Any thoughts on the access to underneath the tub?

    I'm really at a loss and have no idea where to go with this. Anything you could help me out with would be great.

    Attached Files:

  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,944
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Your jet tub

    There has to be a pump somewhere near by with an access panel. If it is not in a closet on either side of the bathroom walls then it most likely was buried.

    A slow leak is the hardest to find. water dripping from the light is generally a sign of much water leaking.

    Start a series of test with help from your neighbor. First get a large bucket or two and fill them with water from the sink or kitchen - not the shower and start dumping them down the tub. If you have drips below you know that your P trap is leaking and that can be fix with ease from your neighbors suite (he/she will not like this).

    If this produces no leaks you have ruled out the waste line. Next run the tub filler not the shower. This can isolated a faulty tub filler and may be an easy fix.

    Next run the shower with a piece of hose so that the water doesn't hit the tub deck or any tile.

    If no leaks you are down to 2 options. Leaking pump or jet or water making it's way in through the cracks.

    You can buy/rent a small camera and drill a hole from the other side and try and see under the tub.

    This will get you started.

    You need your neighbors help.

    Good Luck.
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,944
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Tub

    Looking closer at your picture it looks like that tub is a Deck mount tub.

    It also looks like your plumber hasn't installed many fixtures before as they are all squished to the bottom.

    I think you have an improper instal here.

    If you choose to instal a deck mount tub and use it for a shower enclosure you are asking for trouble.

    A standard tub has a flange that allows the tile to come down and provide a dam behind it so water doesn't get behind it.

    Grout is not waterproof and simply chaulking this tub will not solve all your problems.

    Sorry for the news.

    Good Luck.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    Industry standards call for caulk at all changes of plane and materials, so there should be caulk at the tub. If the tub wasn't installed with the add-on tiling flange, or wasn't installed properly, there's probably no good way to prevent water migration. One other thing to do is check the level...if it slopes one way or the other and isn't plumb, water will pool, and if there's a leak, give you more problems. That wood panel may come off - how is another story!
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I think jad is on to the possible root of the problem. That tub looks like a drop in, so proper install would require a manufacturer-provided optional tile flange, properly installed. A simple caulk joint between vertical wall and horizontal tub deck WILL FAIL PERIODICALLY throughout the life of the bathroom. That is unacceptable as the only means of keeping your water out of the downstairs.

    NOW, based on your description of downstairs having water in your light fixture, that amount of water may be coming from a leaky drain, a leak in your mixer valve, or something in the whirlpool piping. You should have an access panel somewhere. Removing escutcheons will allow you to inspect shower connection and water valve. Ultimately, this may involve opening the ceiling downstairs for inspection. Frankly, if he has water in the light, it is TIME to open the ceiling for proper drying out and inspection. You need to notify your insurance company ASAP, because the damage done downstairs, including mold remediation, may very well have at least 3 zeros attached to the price tag. And if you tell me you don't have condo insurance, I will report you to the dumb &^%$ hot line!
  6. yrthesneakerhead

    yrthesneakerhead New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    US
    Hi

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