Shower leak problem

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KineticoUser

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I'm having a challenging intermittent leak from a second floor bathroom at my rental. Nothing leaks when hot or cold water runs either from the tub spout or the shower head, but sometimes when people take a shower a few tablespoons of water leak to the powder room below. This leak has also occurred when the young kids were taking a bath. There is no leak when the toilet is flushed, and the floor to tub and wall have been caulked. I haven't been able to diagnose the problem, so I'm hoping the experts here have run across a similar situation and can offer solutions.

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Tuttles Revenge

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Kids taking baths? Perhaps the overflow seal between the back of the tub and the overflow tube? Pretty common for those gaskets to be misaligned, dry and crumbly.
 

KineticoUser

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I believe the problem was the bolt holding the overflow in place. It was 2" long and couldn't be tightened down very tight without slipping. I switched to a 2-1/2" bolt and am able to snug it up. I did replace the gasket, though the old one wasn't cracked or broken.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Hopefully the simple fix solves the issue. I often smear some silicone on the inside of those gaskets where the gasket meets the overflow and the tub. Not the faces of the gasket, but on the edges when its installed. It prevents it from becoming permanently attached and unreplaceable but just enough sealant so any misalignment doesn't become an issue.
 

Jeff H Young

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I do the silicone as well on overflow gasket on the demands of our Superintendant doing tract homes around 1999. its a very common leak point
 

KineticoUser

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This is very frustrating. It is still leaking? What other recommendations do you have? I put a bead of silicone on top of the spout, after reinstalling it, and overflow, after replacing the gasket. I also added a Watco 38516-CP drain stopper with silicone sealant underneath.
 

Jeff H Young

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I thought it was diagnosed? might not even be a drain leak it could at the tub spout or shower arm water when valve is on or even around the handle and leaking back in wall.
 

KineticoUser

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As I previously stated, nothing leaks when the tub spout runs hot water or cold or the shower runs hot water or cold. It only leaks when people are taking a shower or bath, but it doesn't always leak when that happens, either. Inconsistent problems are the worst. Everything is sealed, so I don't see how water is leaking. Also, what would cause a leak when kids are taking a bath?
Also, I placed a piece of plastic behind the spout before I reinstalled it and sealed that with plumber's putty against the wall.
 

Jeff H Young

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if you are not positive its a drain leak , Cap off tub spout and shower head turn water on for a half hour if no water leaks then you know its drain water.
if you know its a drain leak and you are confident in the work youve done, time to tear out drywall in cieling below or room on otherside of wall hopefully a closet
 

KineticoUser

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Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I only go out there on Tuesdays, and he didn't notify me of the leak till Monday. She requires 36 hour notification to enter the house, so I may have to wait till next week to do this test. I hope it is the copper feed lines and not the cast iron drain line. If I don't see a leak after 1/2 hour, I'll fill the tub to just below the overflow, see if there is a leak and then watch below while the tub drains.

The tile floor to tub and wall has all been caulked with silicone.
 

Reach4

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Since the overflow is a potential source of leak, you should fill higher to let water go down the overflow in your test.
 

Jeff H Young

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splash it around on the overflow cover , btw does the tub have plastic overflow piping or brass? the glue in plastic almost never leak anywhere but the gasket at top or bottom.
sounds like you dont live there and have no idea whats going on maybe they splash water all over including the floor use the sprayer and play around who knows?
 

KineticoUser

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Everything is brass. I figured installing a longer bolt would allow me to torque it down tight and stop the leak, especially with a bead of caulking covering all but the openings on the bottom.
 

Jeff H Young

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problem is we dont know if any of what you did was leaking befor or if any of it leaks now
 

GReynolds929

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When I'm testing a tib/shower for leaks like that I start low and work my way up. Run the tub, stop up the tub, splash water on the overflow, use the handshower to spray the overflow, splash water on the tub spout, splash water on the valve faceplate. If that doesn't work it's not a plumbing leak and water is most likely getting outside the tub and leaking.
 
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