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Thread: Shower Head/Spout Leaks after remodel

  1. #1

    Default Shower Head/Spout Leaks after remodel

    First time DIY'er and I have a few questions that I hope you can help with. My wife and I just finished remodeling our shower and put in a new spout and shower head. We made no changes to the pipes. I screwed on the new spout until it was tight, with the white tape around the threads, same for the shower head. When the water is running from the spout for a tub, no leaks. When I pull up on the lever for the water to come from the shower head, after a few minutes there is a slow drip from under the shower spout where the hexscrew is, it's a little hole under the bottom of the spout.

    Also, as soon as I turn off the shower head there is a slow drip for about 10 minutes and then it stops. There are not consistent drips.

    Is this normal or do I have a cause for concern. My biggest fear is leaks behind the walls, because I can see it and will never know?

    One last thing if I may. We also got a new shower trim kit, the old PP with the little extended back on the face place for the shower handle. I must have mis-calculated the measurement when putting up the backer board and tiling so now with that little back extension it does not fit flush to the wall and there is a gap, about an 1/2 inch. I really don't want to go through knocking down tile to make is bigger because we are now done completely and don't have an leftover tile. Is there anything that can be done here (Gap filler, caulking?) Please say yes, this is becoming very stressful, to the point where I cannot enjoy our knew bathroom/shower remodel until I can get it fixed.

    Please help.

    Thanks,

    Joey
    Last edited by rjboykin; 08-20-2008 at 05:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have a slip on spout that is leaking. Replace it and make sure to file off any burr on the end of the spout to prevent o-ring damage on the new spout.

    The water dripping after the shower sounds like water retained on a large shower head... Probably normal and nothing can be done about it.

  3. #3

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    Redwood,


    Thanks for the reply. The spout is brand new. We replaced it during our remodel. The old spout did not have this issue, now I put on the brand new one and the issue comes up, nothing changed and it's the same spout but newer looking. From your expert opinion, what damage if any, can be caused by it dripping under the spout at the whole during a shower? Remember if I just run a bath it doesn't leak at all.

    Also, do you have any suggestions for the shower escutcheon not fitting flush to wall and being unable to make that look good with ripping out all the work we just did?

    Thanks again, I really appreciate and I feel like some stress is gone.

    Thanks,

    Joey

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Manufacturers often make kits to extend a valve if it is too far inside the wall, but not the other way around. Unless you can make or find something that would look good as a medalion with some thickness to put around, then install the eschution plate.

    If there was any burr on the end of the pipe, you may have damaged the o-ring seal on the spout. Also, it is possible that you actually dislodged it. When using the tub, there is essentially no backpressure, so it wouldn't show up. If the spout has a set screw to hold it in place, it is probably just a push on and it should just be pushed on straight, then tightened down with the setscrew. If it was tight going on, you may not have backed off the setscrew and scored the pipe...the o-rings would have a hard time sealing with those grooves in there.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5

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    Thanks!

    I will see if there is anything we can do to feel the space, while making it look good. It's too big of a gap in my opinion to just caulk because it would just fall right down. I will see what I can do.

    As for the spout. I will check out the o-ring, etc. Worst case I will just get a knew one if need be, they're not that much.

    Let me ask you this - can back spray behind the wall causing damage happen if we use the shower as is for the time being? I'm about to go out of town for a while for work and I just want to make sure my wife won't have any major issues if it's left as is until I get back and change it out?

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Does the face plate hit the valve before it touchs the wall or it touchs but you cannot secure it?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Does the face plate hit the valve before it touchs the wall or it touchs but you cannot secure it?
    Again, thanks for replying.

    It touches and I have screwed it in and it is tightly secured, but it's about 1/2 inch gap between the tiled wall and the face plate because of the little round extension on the back of the plate. I have not tried it, but I have the feeling that it's too big of a gap for the caulk to latch on and stay in place. Any ideas?

    Here is an image of the plate trim I am talking about. It's the older style. You can see on the front the oval shape is indented thus leaving the same oval shape extended on the back.

    Last edited by rjboykin; 08-20-2008 at 08:11 AM.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If the spout is spraying water behind the wall, you've got a problem.

    I had a similar problem with my install. The plumber relocated the valve from where I asked them to put it and it was too deep in the wall. When I bought the extension kit, it ended up being a couple mm too far out for the adjustments available, so it was either too far in, or too far out depending on whether you used the extension kit...very frustrating.

    The tile on the wall is granite. I made a decorative plate to get the thing to fit properly. Tearing into the wall would have bee a big pain, as would going in from the back, so I made do. Depending on what is on the other side of the wall, it might be worth it to cut a hole and move the valve where it is supposed to be.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9

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    I'm confused. Nothing with the valve or pipes behind the wall have changed. All I did was put up new tile, failing to cut a big enough hole for the back extension to fit flush. Then I just change the spout to a different finish. So nothing has changed and there where no issues before, just ugly tile I changed. So I have a hard time understanding why all of a sudden I would need the valve moved or there could be spraying behind the wall. I'm not sure if it is. All I can say is when the board and new tile was going up I did turn on the shower to look at the pipes and there was no spraying, but that was with the old spout on, not the new. Please educate me because that last thing I need is a leak behind the wall. Is a slow drip out of the hole under the spout when shower a symptom of spray behind a while? Also would it be correct to assume that if straying was occurring behind the wall the water flow from the shower head is weak since not all the water is diverting up? I can say that the water flow from the shower head is strong as usual. Since I now have tile on the complete wall up to the top, I can't just look at the walls for stains. It's a one story house too, so how can you tell? I think people would not be happy if the only way they could tell was to knock down the wall and look, only to find nothing have have to pay money to put up knew board and tile. If I take off the face plate I see the little valve box looking thing. I pull out the handle to turn on the water and left for the shower and I don't see any water spraying or leaking from that valve box.
    Last edited by rjboykin; 08-20-2008 at 09:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Assuming we're talking the same things, if this is a push-on spout where the set screw locks it in place (verses one that threads onto a fitting), if the o-ring(s) are damaged, and you pull up on the divertor knob, water going through the thing is now pressurized as opposed to just falling into the tub. Because it is pressurized, if there is a leak between the spout and the pipe, it can travel back along the outside of the pipe into the wall. It's not the pipe leaking, it's the spout leaking. If you only wanted to use it as a shower in the interim, you could take the spout off, buy a Sharkbite end cap and temporarily just plug that outlet. You need to examine the pipe sticking out of the wall. If it is no longer round, or has some scratches on it, the o-ring of the spout may not make a good seal. The process of removing the old one and installing the new one could have distorted it, as could knocking it while removing and installing new tile.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Assuming we're talking the same things, if this is a push-on spout where the set screw locks it in place (verses one that threads onto a fitting), if the o-ring(s) are damaged, and you pull up on the divertor knob, water going through the thing is now pressurized as opposed to just falling into the tub. Because it is pressurized, if there is a leak between the spout and the pipe, it can travel back along the outside of the pipe into the wall. It's not the pipe leaking, it's the spout leaking. If you only wanted to use it as a shower in the interim, you could take the spout off, buy a Sharkbite end cap and temporarily just plug that outlet. You need to examine the pipe sticking out of the wall. If it is no longer round, or has some scratches on it, the o-ring of the spout may not make a good seal. The process of removing the old one and installing the new one could have distorted it, as could knocking it while removing and installing new tile.

    Gotcha, my apologies for making this more confusing then it probably should be. The copper pipe for the spout is round but with no threads. I used a white plastic item that just slide on the copper pipe and tighten it at the base with a hex screw. At the end of the white plastic item it has threads. I put the white tape around that and screwed it into the slot in the spout. I tighten it as far as it would go, making sure it did not sit on the on the tile to stop me from screwing it further. I just got home so I decided to remove the caulk around the spout and unscrew the spout, loosen the white plastic item and slide it off. Within the what plastic item that are two black rubber washers (O-Rings) the one at the top, closest to where the screw tightens it the the copper pipe, closest to where the water is dripping from the hole is cut. I'm hoping that's it. Does HD or Lowes sell these separate or is a new spout needed? Man I was glad to see that cut rather then it being a leaking issue behind the walls.

    Thanks so much to all for you replies!
    Last edited by rjboykin; 08-20-2008 at 12:27 PM.

  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You might find the proper sized o-ring at HD, but may have more luck at a good hardware store. You could also just tell them it leaks and ask for a new one. You must be careful in installing the new one as any burrs or sharp edges on the pipe can cut a new o-ring as well. If you don't wrap the tape properly and have too much or too little, it can leak from that threaded connection, too.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    You might find the proper sized o-ring at HD, but may have more luck at a good hardware store. You could also just tell them it leaks and ask for a new one. You must be careful in installing the new one as any burrs or sharp edges on the pipe can cut a new o-ring as well. If you don't wrap the tape properly and have too much or too little, it can leak from that threaded connection, too.
    Can you just sand down an rough edges, if so, what type of sand paper?

    Now I just need for figure out a solution for my Shower Trim not fitting flush to the wall without cutting out all my hard work.

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sandpaper will work, emery cloth will work, a file will work, a deburring tool will work. Wipe it off after done and don't cut yourself in the process - the slivers can be a pain.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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