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Thread: New/tub shower drip problem.

  1. #1
    DIY Member thinkly's Avatar
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    Exclamation New/tub shower drip problem.

    EDIT: I have concluded that the previous info was incorrect. The tub DOES leak during the entire shower now, not just at the end!

    Recently we remodeled our main floor bathroom. We gutted the place and the only thing we left was the whirlpool bath. We tiled around the entire bathtub to create a surround.

    Below the tub/bathroom is our unfinished utility room in the basement, so i have some visible access to the bottom of the tub via an 8" X 8" hole cut into the subfloor.

    Recently i noticed that there is a small amount of water dripping out of the hole (obviously coming from the shower) at the CONCLUSION of a shower.

    I have used a flashlight to monitor the area from below, while someone is showering in it and there are NO leaks. Yet shortly after the shower is turned off, a few drips of water will roll off of the front tub lip directly below the valve/shower head etc.

    I obviously can't see the top side of the tub lip from below so I am at a loss to figure out where this water is coming from. The valve and shower is all new, including the water lines and drain.

    Why does it only drip at the end of a shower???
    Last edited by thinkly; 05-22-2008 at 06:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Was the tub intended to be installed in an alcove, meaning did it have a tile lip around 3 sides? IF not, and you did not install the optional tile flange, then that is where the leak is.

  3. #3
    DIY Member thinkly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Was the tub intended to be installed in an alcove, meaning did it have a tile lip around 3 sides? IF not, and you did not install the optional tile flange, then that is where the leak is.



    The tub had no sort of flange and i didn't know that it needed one. Before the tub had a plastic surround and come to think of it, i think it leaked in a similar fashion.

    Still i wonder why it would just leak AFTER the shower was over. I was wondering if it was the water coming out of the shower pipe that is supposed to be released back into the tub after the valve is turned off.

    I did caulk the bottom of the tiles with silicone so would assume water couldn't get back there?
    Last edited by thinkly; 05-22-2008 at 07:07 AM.

  4. #4
    DIY Member thinkly's Avatar
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    (this is a picture before new shower valve was installed)
    Last edited by thinkly; 05-21-2008 at 02:08 PM.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Tile and grout should not be considered waterproof and yes, you should have added the optional add-on tiling flange, or bought a tub with one built-in. In addition, behind the cbu, there should be a vapor barrier that should come down over the tiling flange so any moisture that gets behind there can drain into the tub. If the tub is not perfectly level, water will pool and could allow it to leak.

    Drips could be from water around the valve or from the shower arm threaded connection, if it leaks a little, it could show up anywhere along the pipe, dripping off of a bump or protrusion.

    Another possibility is the tub spout not fully sealed...assuming the divertor is in the tub spout, the additional backpressure could cause a little water to leak out back through the wall. Depending on the length of the shower, it might not accumulate enough to show up until after.

    So, there were some installation mistakes that could give long-time problems. One thing that will help is if you wipe the walls down after a shower.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Member thinkly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Tile and grout should not be considered waterproof and yes, you should have added the optional add-on tiling flange, or bought a tub with one built-in. In addition, behind the cbu, there should be a vapor barrier that should come down over the tiling flange so any moisture that gets behind there can drain into the tub. If the tub is not perfectly level, water will pool and could allow it to leak.

    Drips could be from water around the valve or from the shower arm threaded connection, if it leaks a little, it could show up anywhere along the pipe, dripping off of a bump or protrusion.

    Another possibility is the tub spout not fully sealed...assuming the divertor is in the tub spout, the additional backpressure could cause a little water to leak out back through the wall. Depending on the length of the shower, it might not accumulate enough to show up until after.

    So, there were some installation mistakes that could give long-time problems. One thing that will help is if you wipe the walls down after a shower.
    I appreciate the info. Figured i made some mistakes even though i tried awfully hard not to. I did put up the vapor barrier but the flange is all that i know i am missing.

    Here are a couple more pics: Note-Plumber did this install, not me.


    Might need caulked better?



    View from bottom of tub spout. This shows that the waterline is not caulked around where it goes through the tile. Also i need to update this post and reflect that the shower NOW leaks all of the time, not just at the end.
    Last edited by thinkly; 05-22-2008 at 06:19 AM.

  7. #7
    DIY Member thinkly's Avatar
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    I have since concluded that the shower is leaking all of the time while it is on, as opposed to just at the end of the shower. I have also posted a couple of new photos. Does anyone have any comments on the pics I have posted?

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It is normal for the spout and the fill valve to have a gap at the bottom. While there should not be any moisture getting behind there, a gap at the bottom would allow any that might a path out so things can dry out.

    Might highest probability is without the tiling flange added on, you have a small gap somewhere that is allowing water to get behind and drip out. The second choice is a leaking el fitting where the showerhead arm attaches in the wall.

    If that wall is an interior one, you may need to open up the drywall from the back and look around.

    Note, if the tub isn't well supported, it can look fine, but when it is filled up with someone standing in it, or you've filled it with water, things can flex and gaps can open up.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Member thinkly's Avatar
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    UPDATE: Problem was a lack of sufficient caulking. I ran a thicker bead of silicone and shazam! The problem is gone!

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