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How to locate a shower leak - Best plan of attack outlined.

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My buddy Tom called me today to wish me a happy Father's Day and ask for some advice. I was heading to work for a short spell and after hearing about his shower leak I told him I would be by in an hour. I helped Tom build his shower and wanted to see first hand the problem. When I got there the ceiling below the master shower was opened up and upon inspection we could see that the water leaked trough the hole where the hot water ran up through the floor in the stud wall cavity. The leak was only when the shower was in use so we started to look for answers.


"No leaks from the shower drain"

First task is to check the shower drain for leaks. Having built it myself I was quite confident it was not this. The shower pasted a 36 hour flood test if I'm not mistaken and I set the linear drain myself and prepared the cement tile base. With water from another source we tested the shower drain and found there was no leaks.

Next we removed the trim on the shower valve and looked in with a flash light. I could see a drip on the bottom of the shower valve just hanging and assumed it had to be coming from above.



I used my camera snake to look up inside the shower wall for more signs of water. I found staining on the backer board.





Once we ran the fixture for a second water poured down the wall. So we found the leak and now to fix it. I had hoped it was just a poor shower arm connection and was relieved to find this was just the case. The shower arm had a very short nipple and was hanging on with just one reveloution.



I switched out the brass nipple after double backing to my shop and with the new nipple we had the shower back in working form!





I ran the shower for ten minutes and inspect the wall cavity again for drips. None found. Another happy camper. The plumber who installed this for my buddy is sure going to get an earful - Tom called him on Friday!

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Updated 06-17-2012 at 04:43 PM by johnfrwhipple

Categories
Leak Detection - Bathroom Showers

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