Cannot find bathtub leak. Please help!

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Ceccon9, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Ceccon9

    Ceccon9 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    CA
    Hello everybody!

    I found this forum from searching for solutions to a current problem I am having and hope somebody may be able to point me in the right direction. I am dealing with a leak in one of my rental units and can't find where it's coming from to save my life.

    The bath is leaking and going through an adjoining wall into the master bedroom. The leak was discovered as a result of wet carpet. Water seeps through whether it is the shower or bath that is running. Leak will show regardless of hot or cold water.

    The shower is a bath with tiled walls all around.

    What I have done so far:

    I started by pouring water through the drain in a funnel to bypass the drain. I poured about 6 gallons of water and saw no leak.

    I stopped the drain with a test plug and let it sit for an hour. No leak or decrease in water level.

    I inspected the seal all around the tub and it seems to be fine. Is there a good way to test it to rule it out definitively? Also, since it leaks when the tub is running and no water comes in contact with the seal I am inclined to think that this is not the issue.

    There was water coming out of the faucet stems so I replaced all of them. No more water coming out of them but there is still a leak. I believed the problem to be solved after this due to running the water for a few minutes and not seeing any leak. The leak showed up again the following morning after my tenant took a shower.

    At this point I'm thinking that it could still be the drain pipe. Maybe I did not pour enough water? I only see the water seeping through after several minutes and 6 gallons would not be nearly enough.

    I also believe that it could be a leaky pipe in the wall.

    Is there something else I need to do to troubleshoot? What should my next step be? I would appreciate any help that you can give to direct my progress! I am prepared to start cutting holes in the wall but hope that I can avoid that if at all possible.

    Michael
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,159
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Try removing the trim plate around the Thermostatic control valve. Many times there is enough room to shine a small light inside the wall.

    The light will make water droplets flash when you see them.

    You might also rent a Thermal Imaging Camera for a couple hours. These are pricey so have everything good to go and get in and out quick.

    How much does your renter weigh? Might be there size that is the issue. Many tubs flex. The tub's drain might not be set well. If your only a buck fifty then go get a couple bags of mortar and bring your weight up to 210. This might show the weak link....

    Good Luck.
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