leaky stall shower

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by rockcore, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. rockcore

    rockcore New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Maine
    Hello

    I am a homeowner looking for some DIY advice on a leaky stall shower drain. I have owned this house for close to 20 years. I am relatively handy but plumbing is not my forte. The drain in the upstairs fiberglass shower recently started leaking. Tearing down the ceiling to get out the shower from below would be a bit of a challenge. I am hoping that this might be solved from the top. This is what I have done so far: I took off the drain cover and cleaned out a lot of caulk behind it (well it sure seemed like a lot). The 2-inch PVE pipe is level with the floor of the shower. I took some sandpaper and cleaned the area around the drain and found that there is is a brass drain and between the brass and the 2 inch PVC pipe is filled with grey hard material that I cant identify. See attached picture. I have, of course, been searching the internet and this does not look like the other installations that I am seeing. My search, however, found this forum. Can anyone help with the next step? Should I grind out the grey material and try to remove the brass fitting? I would appreciate any help and thanks in advance! showerdrain.jpg
  2. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet New Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    How are you sure it is the shower drain that's leaking? Although that would be the most likely thing, plastic shower pans can leak from cracks that develop
    elsewhere. The "gray material" may or may not be the source of the leak. How is the joint between the brass thing and the pan sealed? I really think
    you are going to have to access the bottom of the pan to do a proper diagnosis and repair.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,143
    Location:
    New England
    If the shower floor moves at all when you stand on it, eventually, it won't seal well and it may generate some microfractures in the fiberglass. Shower doors are a common source of leaks as can be a leaky valve from behind the wall. If the nut holding the drain has worked loose, it can only be accessed from below.
  4. rockcore

    rockcore New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Maine
    I don't know that it is the shower drain that it is leaking but I figured that it is the most likely. I replaced the doors a few years ago and used silicone which still seems in good shape and I am not seeing water on the floor outside of the shower. You are right in that the shower pan does flex and there are some small cracks in the base of the shower. They have been there for awhile and I'll look at that further. I can't really tell what is \under the brass fitting nor the condition. The fitting seems tight, but there is no way to remove it. The outside edge does seem a likely spot to leak. This is fortunately a second bathroom, but we have a bevy of visitors coming so perhaps I am hoping too much for a quick fix. Thanks for the comments and suggestions.
  5. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet New Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    So all that caulk you had to remove was probably an earlier owner's Quick Fix, and seems to have lasted 20 years or more.
    Just redo it. I recommend a good polyurethane sealant. Very sticky stuff, works good. You'll need mineral spirits to clean up with.
  6. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Pour a couple buckets of water down the drain (filled somehere other than the shower) to make sure you are trying to fix the right problem. If it doesn't leak doing that, it may well be the packing on the stems or the showerhead squirting backward up the arm into the wall. If the grey stuff is hard it may be epoxy putty from an earlier patch job.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That is normally my thought too. I'm replacing quite a few shower drains that have become loose and started leaking. I put the new ones in with Silicone under the flange. Plumbers Putty seems to dry out and get loose over time.
  8. rockcore

    rockcore New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Maine
    I should have mentioned that we had some construction work on the side of the house that the drain is on and all that action could have loosened things up as many of you suggest. Sounds like we are in for a bigger job than I was hoping for so we'll limp through the next couple of weeks and then start cutting up the ceiling to get the right fix underway. Thanks all.
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