Leak from 2nd floor bathtub through ceiling

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by krowton1, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. krowton1

    krowton1 New Member

    We moved into this town house 3 months ago in july of this year. Turns out this place isn't very well kept up..

    Just yesterday we noticed that the ceiling was leaking...a bubble of water was forming and started to drip water, we poked a hole in it and a stream of water came out. It looks like it's coming from the bathtub from upstairs. It stopped leaking til today after I took a shower. So I'm pretty positive it's from the bathtub.

    Basically what I'm tryin to figure out is what should be done to fix the problem. I noticed that it looks like they had patched up the same spot before on the ceiling. So it seems as though they knew there was a leak and just covered it up without properly fixing it. I want to make sure they do the job right...and don't just surface fix it.

    Also...is there any possibility that this could have caused mold to form because of being ignored for a while? I'm pregnant and worried about anything that could harm the baby.

    thanks for any help. Kassie. :)
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    Given the long term duration, yes I think you need to open the ceiling. In terms of the leak, it can be coming from the tub/shower valve....and almost any leak in that arena can be fixed just by removing the chrome trim pieces and replacing necessary parts. By the way, you can search for such a leak, also, by removing the handles and trim, then turning on the shower or tub and watch with a flashlight.

    The leak also can be from the tub drain, or the overflow plate on the back of the tub. Both of those also involve gaskets which can be replaced from inside the tub.

    Finally, the leak can be from a pipe or fitting under the tub, and that can only be fixed from below.

    Don't be afraid to open the ceiling. You really do need to at a minimum get air circulation to dry out the wet areas. Patching drywall is not difficult at all. Getting it to LOOK GOOD takes a little practice, but you can get plenty of advice on that part, here and on many other forums. If the ceiling is in a high visibility area, you might just pay a good drywall guy to do that, especially if we can save you a ton of money and help you fix the plumbing yourself.

    By the way, pictures of the valve, and anything from underneath when you open the ceiling, will be immensely helpful...helping us to help you.
  3. krowton1

    krowton1 New Member

    thank you very much for the advice. the maintenance person is supposed to take care of it. i just want to know that he's doing it the way he is supposed to. now i have to consider what i'm supposed to do while he is doing this because i'm pregnant and don't think i should be around when they are messing with the drywall in the ceiling.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    There are MANY possible sources of the leak and depending on where yours is, it could range from replacing the overflow gasket or shower arm, to opening the ceiling and replacing a cracked fitting. Without a proper diagnosis there is no way to tell what has to be done, but I would not start cutting the ceiling until I knew for sure that it was necessary.
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