Diagnosing Tub Leak

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by larryleveen, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. larryleveen

    larryleveen Member

    Oct 20, 2008
    • Older home (1897), ceramic-coated cast iron tub on second floor (set into a tiled cabinet/surround)leaked during and/or while draining a bath.
    • Leak made its way through the ceiling of the kitchen below, dripping from a recessed light fixture.
    • No leak was detected while filling the tub — someone was in the kitchen at that time.
    • The shower that sprays into the tub had been used recently without any leak detected.
    It seems like the leak is either from the tub or the drain, but not the "supply side" plumbing. What would account for the leak only happening during tub use and not the shower? A crack in the tub seems rather unlikely, don't you think? Could shower water hug the drain plumbing in a "different way" than bath water because of the difference in head/pressure (i.e. free flowing vs. loaded)?

    Any ideas on how to diagnose what/where the problem is? I know water can travel a good deal sideways, but I think it's heading pretty straight down. Perhaps we go through the light fixture and get a look? Alternately, since we don't want to destroy the tile and cabinet/surround the tub is set in, we could potentially go through the wall from the adjoining room, which is a closet -- less aesthetic/financial impact?

    Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    Water getting spilled out on the floor during a bath from sloshing around could account for that.

    Water leaking from the overflow pipe top area as the water rose to the overflow could account for that.
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