Completely Puzzled...The drip from nowhere?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by daddylogan, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. daddylogan

    daddylogan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Location:
    California
    Hi folks...been a while since I been here but I have an issue that is eating me up. I will start with a summary and then go back what lead up to everything.

    Basically I have a very small drip right now coming out of my tub spout. The water forms a slight puddle around the drain lip in the tub. Nothing major, but it is there. I have your classic 80's rough in plumbing with the 3 valve stems (Price Pfister) of Hot-Diverter-Cold and your up route to the shower nipple and the down route to the tub nipple (spout). Basically I replaced the hot water valve and seat, the diverter valve and seat and the cold water I replaced the washer at the end (where the screw holds it in) and the seat. Everything tightened down nicely to hand tight and then just a good snug until tight. Ok...so after all that I still have a slight drip...no sound of an open valve or any noise to indicate something is flowing. So I don't get it...how? The tub should be dry as a bone and everything should be sealing up nicely...right? And yes, I installed all those in the fully open position.

    Ok...you have my end point right now but let me tell how this evolved as it may help in some sort of diagnosis.

    1) First indication of something wrong was I noticed water dripping into the tub from behind the knob on the hot water valve. I figured since it was dripping into the tub that is was no big deal. Been doing that for a year or more. I know it was probably the packing washer but as long as it was coming into the tub I blew it off.

    2) A couple weeks ago while working in my garage I looked up to the ceiling and noticed a very small spot that had formed. I climbed up and touched it and it was damp. That part of the ceiling is directly below the tub upstairs. Now I am worried.

    3) As of this point, the tub spout is NOT dripping any water into the tub when not in use and it is bone dry at the drain.

    4) I also noticed my overflow cover was upside down so I turned that 180 degrees to put it into the right position. Years of oversight on my part but water could have been getting into the wall and dripping down that way. I don't know or you would have thought I noticed a wet spot on my garage ceiling long before this?

    5) So I decided to tighten down the packing nut a bit on the hot water valve. The leak stopped for about 30 minutes and as soon as I put it all back together it was leaking again. I really could not tighten any more or the stem would not turn.

    6) I decided to buy a new valve (since they are only $12) and a new set of seats. I removed the old hot water valve and seat and installed new ones. This solved the leak from the packing washer of course but now that drip has started in the tub. So I removed everything and redid it just in case I didn't get something right...and I did it right and tightened everything down but still have the drip (mind you...it's not a tradition drip...it drips maybe once every 3 or 4 minutes and the end of the spout is always wet now).

    7) So now I decide to buy a new diverter valve just in case and since the cold water side was working fine I just replaced the washer that fits against the seat and the seat itself. After all that I still have the slight drip.

    8) Now I have noticed when I shower there is no wetness on the garage ceiling below, but if I run the tub solid for any length of time, then the ceiling in the garage gets slightly damp. Not a major leak but small amount is getting in the ceiling.

    So I guess I have 2 problems. The slight tub spout leak and water getting into the ceiling when I run the tub but not the shower. Oh...and BTW I had a plumber come out and reset the drain in the tub just in case something was leaking there. The only thing I can think of for the garage leak is that maybe the nipple the spout screws onto is leaking behind the wall where it is joined in? Other then that I am out of ideas....but as for water escaping into the tub when everything is shut off...that is a mystery to me and I have no other answer or solution I can think of.

    Sorry if this is long...but I want to list all the conditions that might help in figuring this out, so with that all said.......

    Any ideas?????? ;-)

    peace out,
    daddylogan
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    You are talking about threaded pipe? Those should have good PTFE tape and/or good pipe dope and preferably both.

    Then the tightening should be more than "snug". I don't think I can overtighten the metal into metal 1/2 inch pipe tapered threads with an 8 inch wrench. I am not a plumber.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. daddylogan

    daddylogan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Location:
    California
    Hi Reach4 and thank you for your reply but I think you misunderstood my post. I never said anything about 1/2 inch pipe thread except for the possibility that the tub nipple might be leaking behind the wall at the joint.

    The parts I replaced were the shower valves and diverter and trust me, I have watched probably over 50 youtube videos on this procedure and never once did I see any plumber use PTFE tape or pipe dope on those threads. At the very most I saw a couple guys who suggest maybe putting on a light layer of silicone grease and that is all. These parts you are not suppose to crank down on either....you screw them in until hand tight and then come in with the wrench and get it to where you feel resistance. At that point I then give it one last 1/4 turn.

    Now, I am definitely NOT A PLUMBER and have very little skill, but that is how I have always replaced the shower valves. If I am wrong on the procedure I would sure like to know ;-)

    Thanks again

    peace out,
    daddylogan
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    I normally put a little pipe dope on the seat threads, though I doubt it matters much.
    The stems go in clean, they have their own seals.

    [​IMG]

    I normally have to snug the bonnet nuts just a bit on the new ones.
     
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Have you replaced the seats for those valves?

    At this point, I'd seriously consider replacing the entire valve with something that meets current safety codes. There are remodel plates in various sizes and finishes and styles that would cover up the existing holes while allowing you access to the plumbing to make the change. My preference is to use a thermostatically controlled valve, but any modern one would work. There are generally three types: single handle, two-handle with volume control and temperature mix, two-handle with volume, thermostatic control. The prices go up as you go right in that series but the functionality overrides that, IMHO.
     
  7. daddylogan

    daddylogan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Location:
    California
    Hi guys-

    As much as I appreciate all your answers here - as it takes your time, I have a feeling nobody is reading my entire original post. I have replaced ALL of the seats and replaced 2 of the valves (Hot water and diverter) with brand new ones and put a new seating o-ring on the cold water valve. The picture that Terry posted is exactly what I just went through and replaced everything and checked everything. That is where my mystery is...I still get a very intermediate drip at the tub spout which means water is getting through somewhere. I don't know what else to do.

    As for the leak into my garage ceiling from the tub...as per above I replaced all the valves and seats, had the drain removed and reset with plumbers putty and checked the shower head and connection for leaks...nothing. So I have this suspicion the leak might be on the pipe that connects to the tub spout but on the inside of the wall where it attaches to the fitting coming down from the rough in. BUT, I am not sure. Trying to avoid ripping out the ceiling in the garage or even worse the tile in my bathroom. THIS leak only happens when the water is turned ON and the diverter set to tub mode.

    Now...I am not complaining so don't get me wrong, but please read my original post all the way through before replying. The reason it is so long was to give a full background on what I have done already so we could move forward with other solutions and ideas ;-)

    Thank you and I appreciate your time.

    peace out,
    daddylogan
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    It may not be as clear as you think. What is a "drain lip"?

    Is your leak coming out of the faucet tip (which "coming out of my tub spout" says to me), or is the water coming from an unknown spot in the wall (which the title implies). If it is coming out of the spout, then that would not have impacted the ceiling.
     
  9. daddylogan

    daddylogan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Location:
    California
    Ok....I pointed out I have two issues.

    Problem 1) My spout on my tub is always wet at the end and drips some water like every 3-4 minutes. I call the drain lip where the drain in the tub sits and there is a slight downwards grade to it. I probably am using the wrong terminology. Anyhow, I replaced everything meaning valves, seats and washers. One would think the drip would not be there at this point...but it is. Usually after about 4 - 6 hours a tub is bone dry if everything is sealed up nicely...mine has water sitting around the drain of the tub because of the drip. I called the thread " a drip from nowhere" because technically I have gone through all the steps to stop the drip.

    Problem 2) When I take a shower I have NO leak down to my garage ceiling. However when I switch the diverter to the tub, the leak goes down to my garage ceiling. Not much, but enough to make the drywall in the ceiling feel damp.

    Ok...hopefully I have been clear on everything at this point. I am learning but I have a good grasp on the dynamics of how it all works, which is why I am especially puzzled with the drip from the spout in the tub after everything is turned off....since everything is new?

    peace out,
    daddylogan
     
  10. MKS

    MKS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    Illinois
    Did you replace cold valve?
    Sounds like it is time to cut some drywall open and have a look.
     
  11. daddylogan

    daddylogan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Location:
    California
    The cold valve was fine so I kept it. I did replace the o-ring washer that sits against the seat though and put a new seat in for the cold. You might be right on cutting open that drywall. That will be naturally last resort.

    peace out,
    daddylogan
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Water when you run the tub drain only.
    Either it's the tub spout, or it's going down the overflow. The overflow should have a rubber washer behind the tub that seals the drain to the tub.
    Sometimes it's a bad spout connection. I would guess something like that would be a threaded nipple for the spout.

    A tub faucet can drip for 35 minutes after use. If it's dripping after 60 minutes, then you have a leaking washer or seat.

    The tub drain should be able to hold water up to the overflow without a leak.
     
  13. daddylogan

    daddylogan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Location:
    California
    Hi Terry,

    Now we are making sense here!!! I have not checked the overflow washer behind the wall. If I do replace it does fat end go up or down. I think fat end down would make most sense...maybe?

    Yes...your last suggestion is one I thought of. The threaded nipple for the spout. What if it is leaking where it connects inside the wall? I know their has to be a "U" joint back there but does the tub nipple just screw into it or is it soldered on? If it is just screwed in can I remove it, clean it and wrap it with tape or sealer and screw it back in? I know nothing about this part of the plumbing.

    Well, it seems like it would have to be one of those two for the ceiling leak because I just had my drain reset with new plumbers putty, BUT I don't think my plumber replaced the seal down there cause he was in a hurry...which kind of pissed me off.

    peace out,
    daddylogan
     
  14. SAS

    SAS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would turn off the hot water in the house. If it still drips it must be coming from the cold. If it stops, it's from the hot side.
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    and then open a hot faucet to release the pressure.
     
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    There are two general ways to attach a tub spout, and you can't tell without looking carefully.
    1. Threaded on...some use a special adapter, some just use a tapered pipe thread. The fitting may be a nipple, or a fitting soldered onto a pipe stub.
    2. Slip on...these rely on O-rings to make the seal, and a setscrew to hold it in position (there would need to be a slot or maybe a visible setscrew, typically on the bottom).

    It's possible that the fitting in the wall has cracked. Once you get the tub spout off, you could cap the end, turn the water on, and see if there's a leak in the wall.
     
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You put the beveled gasket in WHICHEVER way it fills the "gap" properly, which means the 'thick side" could be up, down, or anywhere in between.
     
  18. daddylogan

    daddylogan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Location:
    California
    Solution found: It turned out a combo on the drain. The drain before had only silicon to seal it and then today it was discovered that there was no seal at all on the underside of the tub...so when I would shower the mass of water hitting the drain was minimal and the leak would not be severe enough in the short amount of time I showered to really penetrate the ceiling in my garage. However when I ran the tub, the mass of water hitting it got through all the cracks. That is how it was explained to me and it is now fixed. Also replaced divertor valve and no more drip at the spout neither.

    peace out,
    daddylogan
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
Similar Threads: Completely PuzzledThe
Forum Title Date
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Sterling Ensemble, New Guy who is completely lost... Nov 1, 2015
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog clawtubs for sale completely refinished Jan 22, 2005

Share This Page