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Thread: Tub drain shoe leak

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Default Tub drain shoe leak

    Ripped out our Lyons tub after 6 months or so. When we installed it, my wife stood/sat in it to set it in the mortar bed. I think it flexed so much it pushed the mortar down and popped back up some when she got out. So it was flexing all the time, and I knew it wouldn't get any better being a cheap fiberglass tub.

    So, we spent the $400 and got a Kohler Devonshire. Acrylic tub.

    Installed it and that went OK. Installed a new brass drain, since my wife wanted to switch from the toe touch to the lever and plunger style plug, and the new one's drain was in a different place, as Murphy would dictate.

    Used silicone between the drain spud and the tub, as I've been told putty will stain an Acrylic tub.

    Anyway, let it sit for a couple days. Went to test the drain tonight and connect it to the rest of the drain piping. Put a bit of water in. No leaks initially, but 10 minutes later had a leak about a drop ever 5 seconds from around the drain shoe gasket.

    Looking at this site: http://en.all experts.com/q/Plumbing...-tub-waste.htm (Remove the space between all and experts to get it to load.)

    You need a plastic or teflon washer to go between the rubber gasket and the shoe ell to keep it from distorting the rubber if it moves while tightening the drain into the shoe.
    This was a suggestion given to someone else.

    What should I do? Remove it, clean off the old silicone, re-silicone it, and install it w/ the gasket tighter so it compresses to fit the bottom of the tub better? Or should I get some sort of plastic washer, too?

    The bottom of the tub looks like it should be able to seal, but it's not a perfect surface. It's been ground flat around that area, but it feels like there might be some very slight variations.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Default

    No one? Suggestions?

  3. #3
    DIY Member psolutions's Avatar
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    Default Plumbing tub shower

    Well there are only a handfull of reasons why it would leak.

    1.) The silicone seal did not seal. This is either because it pushed out or the tub shoe did not tighten enough.

    2.) The tub shoe is not tight enough.

    3.) The rubber gasket is pinched or against a surface that is not smooth.

    In any case the only real way to fix this is to remove the tub shoe and re-do the connection. Between the tub shoe and the rubber gasket i have seen sometimes a plastic piece to keep the gasket from crimping, but its hardly neccessary.

    Ive never used silicone, always plumbers putty and never had a problem. Maybe someone else can chime in and give you there take on which is better silicone or putty. But ive never had a problem with putty.
    Plumber in Columbia SC
    Plumbing Solutions LLC
    Residential Plumbing & Repair

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    It's an acrylic tub. It's on this forum several times that silicone should be used on an acrylic tub. I believe it may even be what the manufacturer recommends for this tub.

    I believe the thought is to use silicone because normal putty can stain acrylic tubs. But there's non-staining putty out there, right? Should I just use that instead?

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default leak

    If the bottom of the tub is not smooth, nothing will seal against it. With your overflow fitting, water pressure exists inside the bottom tube when the tub is filled. The drain plug threads are not watertight, so unless the gasket seals properly it WILL leak.

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