Mustee shower pan drain leak ?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by edobrowansky, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. edobrowansky

    edobrowansky New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Hi. I have a Mustee 32x48 shower pan which is leaking water down thru a recess light fixture in my kitchen below. I suspect it is the doughnut gasket around the 2" drain pipe, as the ceiling area where I am seeing the leak is right below it. The shower pan itself, while scratched up a little from use, shows no signs of visible cracks.

    The dougnut had been raised a little high for a few months to the point where the strainer would not sit perfectly flush. Then the other day the leak started (or it got worse enough to where we just noticed it). So after reading a little, I decided to tamp the gasket back down to where it should be, so I can now have the strainer sitting flush. I still have a leak, but it doesn't seem to be as bad as before.

    Are these gaskets known to go bad? Mine is about 3yrs old, and my water is a little hard, as I get a lot of calcium/lime builduo on my shower head (I think that's what it is!).

    Has anyone else had similar experiences?

    Thanks
    Eric
  2. edobrowansky

    edobrowansky New Member

    Messages:
    4
    As a further test, I plugged the 2" drain with a Dixie cup, then filled the pan with an inch or two of water, and marked the water line with a pencil. After an hour or two, the water level stayed at the pencil mark. Likewise, no drip down below. I then released the cover to let the water drain out. Checked down below again; no drips.

    When a human body is using the shower, the shower pan does creap and squeak from flexing. Is it possible that the seal of the gasket between the pan and 2" pipe is opening while in actual use, thus the reason I am seeing water drips after an actual shower?

    From your experience, will a new gasket solve this?

    Thanks
    Eric
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,023
    Location:
    New England
    Probably...it is highly recommended to bed the pan in mortar of some other sturdy moldable material when installing it. This keeps it from flexing, helps keep the thing from getting stress cracks, and makes it feel much more substantial. It can also make it last longer.
  4. edobrowansky

    edobrowansky New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I changed the gasket yesterday, and thought I had it solved. :confused:


    If I fill the shower pan with water and let it sit, no problem. Even when I let the pan drain, no problems below.

    My wife used the shower this morning, and no problems. I took a shower, and towards the end, there was water dripping down below again. I am much heavier :( than my wife, and I hear the pan creaking and squeaking more when I use it than my wife.

    Are these pans known for stress cracks and leaking via cracks that aren't visible? I can't see any cracks. There are plenty of scratches from two years of daily use, however.

    At this point, I'm thinking its either the pan leaking or the catch elbows below
    have developed a leak. Unfortunately, I'm starting to suspect the pan more because it seems to be worse with a heavier person in the shower. The thing has squeaked from day one, but only started leaking last weekend.

    Has anyone heard of similar situations, where it leaks under stress, but if simply plugging the drain and filling with water, it holds the water level?



    Thanks
    Eric
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,023
    Location:
    New England
    It may not be cracks, but the area around the drain may be distorted, depening on the weight and positioning of the person standing in the shower. This is why embedding the pan in a solid support such as mortar is suggested...it does not move because it is sitting on a firm substance, and not relying on the fairly weak fiberglass material. basically, squeaks=bad=movement. It's hard to make a good seal in those circumstances. As the rubber ages, it also loses some of its resiliancy (it gets hard) and doesn't expand to keep the seal when things are moved around.
  6. edobrowansky

    edobrowansky New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Well, I feel like a total idiot.:eek:

    After changing the gasket, testing the pan by marking the water level with no water loss, and scratching my head a little more, I grabbed the tape measure and measured the exact spot where I had the water leak, and measured the same distance upstairs. The leak area was actually the outer corner of the pan. Come to find out, the caulk around the area where the shower door frame meets the pan was not sealing properly, and water was collecting in the door frame, then working its way behind it and thru the grouted area of a tile. Thus the reason the severity of the leak was dependent on who was using the shower.

    Needless to say, I spent the next day cleaning up the damage, re-grouting a number of tiles while I was in "grout mode", then re-caulking the door frame.

    So far, so good.:D
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