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Thread: Leaking tub/shower

  1. #1
    DIY Member DIY-JourneyMan's Avatar
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    Default Leaking tub/shower

    Hello all!
    I have a leak that happens when the shower is run in my son's bath? I've removed all the covers to fine bone dry pipes! Could this be a diverter problem? It's a Moen bath tub shower combo. Also the tub has a squeak in it? A handyman told me the tub is fine and to put one liquid nail on it to stop the squeak.

    Please help

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are lots of places for a tub/shower to leak. Could be so many things. If the tub squeaks, it wasn't installed well. That indicates movement, and movement can, over time, create stress cracks, loosen the drain line, open up seams to let water penetrate, and other stuff as well.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    A little bit of diagnosis is in order. If you run/fill/drain the tub only, is there any leakage then? Can you reproduce the leakage by dumping water along the seams in the surround? Are any of the surround/tub joints supposed to be caulked, and if so, what is the condition of the caulking?

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    Hello All,

    The tub use is fine, he's able to take a bath, fill and drain with no leaks. I did notice that the leaking seamed to have moved several inches away from where we first discovered it. Initially it seemed like the water traced down the alarm wiring. Yesterday I ran the shower and had the shower head pointed towards the wall. Could this be the reason for the moving leak? With that said I've caulked the edges around the tub, soap tray, handle, spout, floor and the top of the tiles where they meet the drywall! I'm going to run the shower shortly to see if the caulking helped.

    Please advise

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Check the level of the tub as well - if it is not, then it can flow and pool.
    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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    DIY Member DIY-JourneyMan's Avatar
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    Ok, just ran the shower and eventhough it still leaks, it seemed to take longer to leak. I'm starting to think the tub my be the problem. I will check the level of the tub here in a few minutes, should I check the floor of the tub or a side wall?

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    DIY Member DIY-JourneyMan's Avatar
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    Could the shower neck be the problem?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The top of the tub (the floor is sloped to the drain) should be level both L-R and F-B. If it is, then any water that gets on the top should flow back into the tub.

    The shower arm screws into a fitting in the wall. The shower arm, the sealant (pipe dope or tape), and the fitting itself could be a source of a leak. The fitting might split (but it takes a lot to do that), or there may be insufficient or incorrectly applied sealing material on the end. But, it would be normally possible to see moisture dripping down around the valves from above and if that area was dry, it's probably not from there.
    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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    From yesterdays check the pipes were dry. I'm at a loss

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    90% of the time the leak is the overflow gasket on the front of the tub. Turn on the water and hold your hand in the water stream so the water flows over and into the overflow cover. Leaks are lazy and flow the easiest way, so where the leak appears seldom has any relevence to where the leak actually is.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Member DIY-JourneyMan's Avatar
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    HJ Thank you Sooooo much!

    I removed the shower neck, and inspected the pipe, then I capped the pipe by removing the shower head. Ran it for 15 minutes no leak! Then I poured a bucket and a half down the overflow and the leak showed, so now how do I fix this? Can I seal the overflow, or do I need to remove the tub to fix the piping?

    I'm on my way to pick up another shower head, and possibly a overflow gasket?

    Please advise

  12. #12
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If it's just the gasket, and you know exactly what kind of drain it is, then you can get a gasket and replace it.

    If the overflow pipe needs fittings tightened or seals replaced, one can often cut an access in the wall opposite the head of the tub, or cut the floor from below to access the piping

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    On some, you can replace the gasket from the tub, but if you drop it behind in the process, then you'll either need a second one or cut a hole in the wall! Take the trim cover off and see where it is located...it might just be loose, and tightening it will work.
    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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    Hello All,

    I've just returned from the big box with a new shower head and "Test Plug" kit! They didn't seem to have a gasket that goes on the business end of the tub, so I picked up the kit because it has a gasket in it that I could cut a hole in for drainage. Or would I be better served to just caulk the rusty overflow in place of the gasket?

    What's a ballpark figure to have a professional come in to demo the old tub, install a new one, and address the plumbing?

    TIA,

  15. #15
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The overflow gasket fits on the OUTSIDE of the tub, but using some care, it can be installed through the hole from the inside. If you go to a plumbing supply with the remains of your existing gasket, they would probably be able to identify a proper replacement. Caulk is never a good solution in plumbing.

    Tubs vary greatly in price, as do labor rates and the skill of the workers. There is no way to quote a price without knowing exactly what is there to be done and exactly what you want to replace it with.

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