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Thread: slow shower leak from supply/valve

  1. #1
    DIY Member nc8861's Avatar
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    Default slow shower leak from supply/valve

    I have no clue about plumbing, which you may notice from my lack of proper terminology and poor explanation, but I'm relatively handy and hope I can do this myself. We're redoing our bathroom and I've redone electrical and framed out a wall, and put in a pocket door.

    Anyway - after removing all wall material and tile, etc., there is a small drip-every-half-hour-or-so leak coming from where the hot water supply hooks into the shower valve/assembly/thing-a-ma-jig that the shower handle used to attach to. This is upstairs - I have of course a hot & cold coming up through the plate, then they bend towards each other and join at this valve/assembly/thing-a-ma-jig, which heads up towards the shower head.

    First - does the whole valve thing need to come out for new shower fixtures (the old one is about 30 years old).

    Second - if not, then what is the best way to stop the drip leak?

    I'll post another question in another thread regarding the drain/flange.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Can you post a picture(s) showing this thingamajig and where its leaking.

  3. #3
    DIY Member nc8861's Avatar
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    I can do that but I'll have to wait until I get home.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Allrighty then we'll be watching for it. What was the problem with the drain? You don't really need to start a new thred on that.

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    DIY Member nc8861's Avatar
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    The old shower was tiled, and the drain/flange just has so much concrete & crap around it. I was just going to play it safe and have a nice new drain put in since everything else in the bathroom is going to be new. I wasn't sure how hard this was.

    I know part of the floor will have to come up to get to everything, if I choose to do this. This is OK, though - I have to get part of the floor up to make sure there's no mold from the leak anyway.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Ohhh.... If that tile floor comes up we are talking big time job. That floor is a mud base with a pan and it is very normal to have cement around the drain. Here is sort of what you have although I'd be willing to bet you might have a lead pan instead of the membrain.



    I'd see about opening up the wall behind the valve and see about drying out below from there. If you take the pan up I'd just replace the leaking valve. You are in a sense heading for a bath remodel job.

  7. #7
    DIY Member nc8861's Avatar
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    Oh maybe I didn't explain fully - we have ripped out everything already. Down to the studs and subfloor, including the shower pan. It was indeed a mud base - there didn't appear to be a membrane in it, however, hence the shower leak. The grout lines had disintegrated, and the mud wasn't solid anymore and was wicking water.

    So - we are down to the subfloor. And yes there is concrete around the drain.

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Then pick out a nice new shower mixer and install it in your new bath.
    May I recomment a Moen or, Delta pressure balanced unit?

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Don't try to use a valve that old. It almost certainly doesn't meet current codes, and since you've torn out the shower, the inspector may very well require a new one anyways - plus, whenever you sell the house, it would be a ding by the inspector (well, should be anyways!).

    Even if you don't plan to put the new shower in yourself, check out www.johnbridge.com. They specialize in showers and tiled stuff.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10
    DIY Member nc8861's Avatar
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    Here is the thingamajig. Also pictured up close is the area where the leak is - you can actually see a small bead of water if you look closely.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Time for that new bathroom.

  12. #12
    DIY Member nc8861's Avatar
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    Right. That's why I'm posting here.

    Any recommendations?

  13. #13
    DIY Member nc8861's Avatar
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    Moving back up to the top -any recommendations.

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I'm partial to Moen & Delta myself. The Delta 1700 series is a good one and the R-10000 universal mixer is a good choice as well.

  15. #15
    DIY Member nc8861's Avatar
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    Thanks for those recommendations - can anyone offer any guidance on how to switch this out for a rookie? Or should I just call a plumber?

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