Drain Leak Advice Needed

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Terry Wire

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We smelled mold in our bathroom and are in search of the cause. We recently remodeled it one year ago and replaced all plumbing -- we live in TX and installed new PVC drains under foundation, and new incoming PEX lines coming from attic.

Everything was new, but the foundation shifted and caused major cracking in some of the tiles. The shower was curbless and lots of water began to leak out of the shower and onto the tile floor when the shower was in use.

Overall, the bathroom was ripped apart to find the mold. When taken apart, water was found under the bathtub and the slab was wet under the tile floor. The drywall/baseboards of the wall between the bathroom and closet were damp and moldy.

The plumber we hired attributes the mold/moisture/water problem to the cracked tiles in the shower leaking water under the floor and throughout the bathroom.

We find this explanation plausible, as the tiles on the floor were very small and had a very large amount of grout so we think it is possible for a large amount of water to have seeped through them, especially given the amount of water that was spilling out of the shower. Additionally some of the tiles in the shower had lifted so lots of water could have been getting between the tile and the slab that way.

To be sure, we also asked the plumber to do a drain leak test with the balloon. The results of this test are what are puzzling to us.

The first time he did the test, the balloon was faulty. But when he re-did the test, within one hour the water level in the drain cleanout had dropped about 2 inches. It then held at that lower level for days. His assessment was that this is normal and we do not have a drain leak.

We wanted to be sure so asked him to go in with the camera. He did and said all is normal and there is no leak.

We are trying to decide if we need a second opinion. Can anyone advise/provide any insight to why the level might have dropped initially? No water was leaking past the balloon.
 

AOK

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I am following this- as we also recently upgraded our bathroom - just b4 Covid - and now the shower drain is leaking water onto the front porch below this second story shower. Fortunately we discovered it for that reason so mold is not a problem. The new shower has tile walls surrounding a shower basin kit. I tested the drain by pouring two gallons of water through the drain with the Oatey drain cover removed- via a funnel. No leak. Then ran water into a large bucket via the new shower fixtures. No leak. As such, it appears to be a faulty seal in drain- which was covered with cracked plumbers putty. (After two years:( I have removed most of the old putty… still working on that… and unscrewed the tooth-like ring that bridges the drain pipe and the drain hardware. Now I am stuck ISO a new gasket that is compatible with an Oatey brass shower drain. I would appreciate guidance out there… as a shower drain should not leak after only two years. I hope Terry and I find a solution that will stand the test of a bit more time…. Thank you.
 

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Reach4

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Are you saying that you think the leak is not around the outside of the brass?

Looked up some stuff. I have never seen one, myself.

https://www.oatey.com/products/oatey-brass-plastic-nocalk-shower-drains-533794798
I think the big chrome-looking thing is a wrench.

file:///C:/Users/t/Downloads/raw_09_140%20Series%20-%20101%20PNC%20Series_SUBMITTAL_001.pdf has part numbers for replacement gaskets. Sometimes if you call the maker, they send replacements free.
 
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