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Thread: Help! Tiled shower drain leaking

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  1. #1

    Default Help! Tiled shower drain leaking

    I finished my large walk-in double shower last year. Today was under the house and noticed there is a leak. Removed some insulation and see that the subfloor around the shower drain is black with moisture. The area around the drain appears to be the only wet area. I really hate to tear up the tile. Any suggestions on what might be causing the problem. My only guess is a bad seal from the PVC liner to the drain. Any chance i can repair this from under the house instead of tearing up tile?

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
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    Talking installed correctly???

    Are you sure you installed it correctly????

    I recently went to inspect a 10k bathroom remodel

    where the "plumbers" actually used a normal pvc
    shower drain and simply lapped the membrane into the crawl space..
    and the n poured concrete right up to the shower drain...
    and it leaked in less than two months....

    did you use the right type of shower pan drain with the
    locking clamps to lock down the membrane??

    if you didnt , then you are screwed

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default drain

    No way to reseal the membrane to the drain, but there should also not be a leak in the tile that would allow water to get to that point this soon after construction was finished.

  4. #4

    Default Tear up the tile

    Installing tiled showers for a living I can tell you that about the only way to correctly fix the problem is to start removing tile to get at the root of the problem. Installing tiled showers with tiled floor in the shower leaves no room for shortcuts!
    1. The drain that was installed should have a thin base of concrete underneath it to create the pitch for the membrane along with the base of the drain containing 4 bolt holes.

    2. The membrane should then be installed over the first layer of concrete, over the drain and up at least 4" along the walls before the concrete board is put on the walls. Feeling for the bolts on the drain, cut outs are made for each bolt and the top portion of the drain is bolted over the membrane cutting out the center of the membrane over the drain hole itself.

    3. Before the final layer of motar is applied over the membrane, pea gravel should be placed around the weep holes of the installed drain so they dont clog up with concrete. The weep holes are there in the event water penatrates the surface anywhere on the floor which in turn allows leakage to continue to drain through the drain and not back up on top of the membrane.

    4. Using grout addmix to give the grout strenth and flexibility prevents cracking down the road.

    5. After grouting a premium gold sealer is ALL I use to ensure the grout NEVER alows water to penetrate it.

    Who ever installed your shower should have followed these basic procedures or your always going to have trouble down the road as is evident already. I do agree that the shower should not be leaking at all if the grout job was done properly and sealed properly. Have you taken the trap apart under the floor to see if the installer piled grout, concrete or other debris into the drain as part of the installation causing it to slightly back up and water is maybe entering a crummy job of joining the top flange to the pipe going into the trap?
    Last edited by tonykarns; 06-09-2007 at 03:51 PM.

  5. #5

    Default leak

    I did the install myself and followed all the correct procedures that you listed. The only thing I can think of is that there is not a good seal from the liner to the drain. If i start removing tile, how do i get up the mortar under the tile to get to the liner and drain without tearing up my liner?

  6. #6
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold


    to answer this question and any other question, we need to know more. PVC liner is all we know so far. Which drain, did you clamp it, how do you know you did it right, etc.



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