Tub leak / not drain…

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Qball

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A tub above our kitchen started leaking. I removed the ceiling and replaced the tub drain gasket and it was good for a couple months... however, now it is leaking again… I slowed down and took a much closer look this time…

The leak looks like it is not coming from the drain! the water seems to be coming between the steel tub and Styrofoam than is adhered to the bottom… I see no cracks in the tub…

Our tub has Styrofoam under it and was sprayed with a black plastic coating to protect the foam. the first time I repaired the drain I actually cut the black plastic back because it was under the gasket and I figured I needed a smooth surface….

That got me to thinking about the overflow…. what if water is running down wall (shower mode) and getting between the black plastic coating and the steel tub and gravity is pulling the water down near drain hole….

I can't think of any other explanation and I am having trouble googling for related issues… ideas?

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T
 

John Gayewski

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You have to experiment and shoot water at the overflow and see if that's the cause. In any case there is a s seal that's not sealing somewhere. Just need to find it.
 

Terry

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For testing leaks on a tub, I start low and work myself up high.

Water in the tub
Water splashed onto the overflow of the drain, either water high enough to drain down it, or water splashed on it.
Is it the tub spout, sometimes when water gets diverted upward a bad O-ring on the spout can force water back into the wall.
Leaks around the face plate
Leaks at the shower arm

I had no idea that was a large rock there.

 

Jeff H Young

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over4flows are a common source , improper install combined with many tubs and overflow kits aren't quite compatible exasberated by inexperience on the install
 

Qball

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Thanks guys!

I really do think the overflow was the cause. When I took it apart, it didn't look like it was installed correctly, which doesn't surprise me...

I went out and bought a new schedule 40 drain kit. I just installed it, and it went well, but for some reason I see plumbers putty pushed out the bottom around the rubber gasket... I am tempted to disconnect the drain and redo it... Not sure if I used to much or what... I also bought a beefier gasket than what came with the kit, and smeared a bit of silicon on both sides before I screwed the drain in. Kinda messy...

I haven't reconnected the trap yet, so I can't test for leaks just yet...
 

Reach4

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Plumber's putty extruding is not bad. I think you want that, don't you?
 

Jeff H Young

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Too much putty not good.
I definitely wouldn't use putty and silicone on the drain. just putty, on overflow gasket I'll use silicone
 

Qball

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Too much putty not good.
I definitely wouldn't use putty and silicone on the drain. just putty, on overflow gasket I'll use silicone
yes I took it apart and redid it.

i read on this forum that putty under the drain gasket can shrink and result in leaks down the road.

SO much easier without silicon on the drain gasket (it was sliding around on me the first couple times as I tightened the drain). I used a new one that was almost 1/4” thick. i will loosen the overflow and add a bit of silicon there just to be safe.

still not 100% sure I understood the original leak but things are looking good and I am hoping this problem is behind us. thanks for all the help!!!
 

Reach4

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Too much putty not good.
I definitely wouldn't use putty and silicone on the drain. just putty, on overflow gasket I'll use silicone
I have never put in a tub drain.

I always thought that when you had a drain with a thin bezel/ring that contacted the metal tub, there would be putty put there, and that as you tightened some would be extruded. No? Was it different in the old days?
 

Qball

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I have never put in a tub drain.

I always thought that when you had a drain with a thin bezel/ring that contacted the metal tub, there would be putty put there, and that as you tightened some would be extruded. No? Was it different in the old days?
Hey Reach

I am probably the least qualified person on this forum to answer the question, but I will give it a shot. I am sure someone will correct if needed...

Maybe the confusion relates to the location of the excess putty I asked about. My first attempt at connecting things resulted in putty coming out under the tub (around the rubber gasket). Yes there was also excess putty in the tub. As I understand it, putty around the rubber gasket under the tub is bad. The putty will eventually dry out, and shrink. This can negatively impact the seal between the shoe and the bottom of the tub...

What I have gathered is that between the drain shoe and the tub, there is only a rubber gasket. Many folks also add a bit of silicon to that rubber gasket. That rubber gasket is all that keeps the tub drain from leaking. The putty on the top side, under the screw in drain, just keeps water from traversing the threads into the drain (in other words, keeping water in the tub while you are taking a bath).
 

Jeff H Young

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qball and reach4 Yes putty seeping out at top is ok or even good but so much that it oozes and prevents the rubber washer underneath from contacting tub and shoe tightly is bad. I never heard of putty and silicone on the drain maybe someone else does it that way?
 
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