Leaky shower...not in the expected spot?

Users who are viewing this thread

RVBraq

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
New Jersey
Hey guys!


Reaching out for a little advice. I have an upstairs bathroom that has been on-off leaking for about 3 years (i assume). I noticed the wall underneath the bathroom was wet one time, scoped around the bathroom, caulked a few things and then I never really saw it again. Until last night, when the paint started to bubble off the wall slightly. I cut it open the wall to investigate. Pictures and video below. It definitely has been leaking all this time.

Video - Looking at the drain and trap under shower from where leak originated. https://streamable.com/dy2lhw

Pics: Drain from inside shower.

rvbraq-01.jpg


I assumed this was a leak where the drain had met the tile floor given the pattern of corrosion on the pipe. I ran the shower directly into the drain (mostly, was hard to run it that precisely). I watched to see if there was an active drip from one of the welds but nothing, all good. The drip actually took about 5-10 minutes to appear and did so by soaking through the wood surrounding the pipe (Here: https://ibb.co/mGtCXnn). I turned the water off and it dripped for about 20 minutes after, when the wood was no longer saturated. I popped the drain cover off and frankly, I've never seen this particular setup as the bathroom is significantly older than the other ones. It seems to all be sealed with a cement of sorts. Either way, everything looked OK but was thinking to pop some caulk around where it meets the copper P trap (Here: https://ibb.co/9bWrkph) and see if that does the trick...But I still sense the leak is starting higher...Any thoughts? Is this likely seeping through the grout? The outer edges of the shower definitely have some cracked grout (which were haphazardly caulked by the previous owner) but the leaks don't really appear along those edges..It all comes down to where the drain is. Here's the state of the shower floor. https://ibb.co/wsJmPyv
 
Last edited by a moderator:

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
1,888
Reaction score
477
Points
83
Location
Iowa
It looks like its either the tub drain, or thr tile around the tub drain.

I would think about installing a shower base if I were you.

You could try a new tub drain, but you may go through all of that too find its the tile.

At minimum you'll need to remove all of the grout and give it a new grout job. But that's likely to leak again over time.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
34,587
Reaction score
3,504
Points
113
Location
IL
I assumed this was a leak where the drain had met the tile floor given the pattern of corrosion on the pipe. I ran the shower directly into the drain (mostly, was hard to run it that precisely).
Using a garden hose to supply the water for your test is precise.
 

jadnashua

Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx
Messages
32,668
Reaction score
1,146
Points
113
Location
New England
People think that the tile and grout are waterproofing materials...they're wrong. Tile and grout are the wear surfaces that allow you to clean the surfaces...they do not prevent moisture from leaking out of a shower. You should be able to shower without the tile installed, but it would make installing it later difficult to impossible because of the contaminated surfaces. Cement isn't waterproof, either, but is not damaged by being wetted.

A shower of that age should have a pan liner...old ones tended to be made out of copper or lead. Newer ones, out of pvc. If you happen to live in CA, they seem to like hot mopped, felt paper with hot asphalt mopped over the surface.

Plumbing code requires the liner to be sloped to the drain. The surface is sloped because the liner is (or should be). That helps direct most of the water down the drain, but whatever penetrates, and some always does, uses an alternate path (to the weep holes of a clamping drain) unless you're using a more modern surface applied waterproofing membrane that allows the tile to be installed directly on top of it.

Check out www.johnbridge.com for help with your shower. Here's great for your plumbing questions. https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/tiled-showers-101.65140/
 

oldVermonter

New Member
Messages
19
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Vermont
I'll defer to the experts on how to fix the leak. But if you have had a leak for that long, you are at serious risk for black mold. Hate to say it, but you need to open up the walls and replace 100% of damp wooden and sheet rock material.
 

RVBraq

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
New Jersey
Thanks for all the input guys. Suspected I would be headed for a a new shower anyway. However I'm not quite in the position to get that going at the moment (I rather wait till we do the whole bathroom to put major work in on the shower). With that in mind, if I regrouted using an epoxy grout, would that buy me a year or two till I redo the bathroom? It's not a primary bathroom, just one the kids use.

As for the mold - yes, was concerned about that. I opened up the walls and while they're stained, the drip was confined to one wall which seems to be doing OK. Thankfully the shower was used only occasionally.
 

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
1,888
Reaction score
477
Points
83
Location
Iowa
Thanks for all the input guys. Suspected I would be headed for a a new shower anyway. However I'm not quite in the position to get that going at the moment (I rather wait till we do the whole bathroom to put major work in on the shower). With that in mind, if I regrouted using an epoxy grout, would that buy me a year or two till I redo the bathroom? It's not a primary bathroom, just one the kids use.

As for the mold - yes, was concerned about that. I opened up the walls and while they're stained, the drip was confined to one wall which seems to be doing OK. Thankfully the shower was used only occasionally.
Possibly. Get a new tub drain even if you re grout. Your old one will be in the way. It's a bit odd a gamble bit it could work. Not saying for how long.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks