Leaking Shower Drain - Why can't I have normal things?

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Greetings all,

Quick Read:
Drain parts appear to be all located below the floor of the shower. Concrete that was put in as support blocks ability to lower drain from below to remove.

Long Read:

After discovering a nice good wet spot in my ceiling the other night I opened up the ceiling to confirm that my shower was indeed the culprit.

I started by taking the metal drain cover off the shower to discover a small black plastic ring sitting on top of what feels like a silicone putty like substance (1st photo). Below the shower floor is a threaded plastic male piece that threads into the female plastic portion below it making up the drain. The metal cover plate itself is held in place with two screws that thread into the male piece.

Two things that look like they probably are the cause of the leak are one of tabs that the metal cover plate screws into has broken off (2nd photo, near green dots). The other is a 1" stress crack in the shower floor itself (3rd photo).




Having read through a dozen or more threads on drain leaks on these forums everyone seems have drains that thread together sandwiching the shower floor in between. Mine relies on just the screws in the metal cover plate to hold everything together (compressing a rubber gasket below the shower floor to make the seal).

Easy enough to just pull it all out from below right? Not so fast. When they built the house they also added concrete to support the drain area. This concrete actually makes it impossible to pull the drain down from below. If I try and unscrew the drain from above it just pushes up on the shower floor.


I'm eager to try things myself but also know my limitations. Should I be trying to cut the whole darn thing out just above the elbow trap? Get a chisel and pound away on the concrete? Is that 1" crack in the floor (which is basically the entire shower) gonna be a dealer breaker regardless of installing a new drain?

Any advice is welcome!!


Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx
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New England
Many shower pans recommend that they be embedded in mortar to ensure they are supported well. This prevents them from flexing, and eventually, causing stress cracks. Course, it still has to be done right.

It looks like the lip there is cracked, so it may not be easily repaired. Maybe someone will have a good suggestion, I'm not sure. It also looks like the hole through the floor might actually be a bit larger than optimal, and can mean that if you were to step on the drain itself during a shower (not unusual, since it's in the middle of the shower!), it could flex.

Many of the drains for that type of shower pan utilize a nut underneath to sandwich the sealing gasket in place. Relying on only the two screws means that it will be really hard to get even pressure and remain water tight.
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