Setting a Shower's Flood Test

Setting a Shower's Flood Test

The single most important step in a shower renovation is the flood test. Only after this test is done do you have the piece of mind and knowledge of how well your shower was built.

In any shower renovation it is required to preform a soak test, leak test or flood test. This off course if you have proper building permits and are building a new home.

In a renovation of permits are not needed. No inspectors around. Your builder or tiler might say they are not needed. Regardless - the only way to do it right and to inspect the work is to flood the shower.

This is easy. Requires a small investment of a test plug and offers up the piece of mind the efforts made to make the shower water proof in fact worked.

After this - we check that the shower drains and that the showers weep holes and drainage system work. Only then do we tile and grout.

Above is a variation on my tipped coin technique. With a 1" scratch in this 12"x12" Slate Tile I tipped the slate so the water lined up exactly on the mark. The two tile in the shower on the floor help hold the tile still and keep it from sliding.

The process is simple and can be done one of many different ways. I think any technique that breaks the surface tension on the water is the way to go.

Lets look at all the possibilities and make sure you set your test right.


Above you see a simple 1.5" inflatable test plug. These work with an extension hose and bike pump. You can also use a plug that looks like this.


The yellow thing is an extension hose for the inflatable test plugs. Lying on it is a 2" inflatable test plug. At the top left a blue and orange twist and set plug.

All work. Getting the right plug is the key first step.

Many showers have different installation set ups. Regardless of the shower type or drain type testing the waterproof connection is so key.

This week I will be flood testing a solid stone shower base. This is very much like any fiberglass shower base and these showers like custom showers should be checked.

The discussion and materials needed to complete a successful flood test are continued here.
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