1920 Tub and Piping

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TsOldHouse

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I cannot seem to find anything on this set up. I have called plumbers out but they have no idea how to fix it without taking out the tub, flooring, tile, and wall.

About a month after moving in and multiple baths (no showers) we had no problems. The shower part was added on about 40 years ago by the previous owners. Shower was used by a guest and I noticed water on the wall directly below (downstairs) the bathroom. I assumed it was from not keeping the shower curtain in and continued using it. Child was taking a bath few nights later (no water on since tub was full) and next thing we know, water is coming downstairs in the light fixture. The light fixture is just below the outside of the tub. So almost center of bathroom.

Plumbers keep telling me that the water damage is caused by a leak on the cold/hot knob connections. I have seen the leak and it’s hardly anything to cause that much damage. However, when the shower is turned on, the pressure causes it to look more. Makes complete sense but still doesn’t explain the water coming from light fixture downstairs which would be on the side of the tub.

We have a “waste” knob as well which is in between the hot and cold. This is where I’m having trouble figuring this out. I believe the guest turned the knob, not knowing that it is left alone. So without understanding how this works exactly, I can’t figure it out. I don’t know if this is piping from the drain, the drain can, or something to do with the “waste” knob. The tub hasn’t been used in over a year now. The toilet and sink is used in that bathroom but we no longer use the tub.

Maybe someone in here can help or has encountered this. I have tried researching this set up to understand it, but I have not had any luck.

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Fitter30

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Hundred year old plumbing. Anybody that may of worked on that type is probably not around anymore or the parts. Have you happen to noticed any plumbing companies working in your neighborhood or restored houses can knock on their door. Old time mon & pop plumbing or hardware stores. Just trying to think outside the box. Wonder if a scope for drain pipes would see anything.

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Marlinman

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That's a fairly common tub shower set-up. From your description I would guess the leak is from the packing nut which is the top nut shown on the generic stem below. If you can remove the handle and escutcheon and then turn on the hot or cold looking for a leak from around the stem. Their is no reason for any drastic demolition. All of the valve parts are accessible from the tub side of the wall. Parts are still available for this era tub shower system. You just need to know where to look.

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Reach4

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I would pull the packing nut, and wrap packing cord around the shaft. Then put that nut back. I prefer the white PTFE and many others prefer the black with graphite. Both good.

There is also the possibility that the child just got exuberant and sloshed water over the rim.
 
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