Leaking shower and tub

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by geoff, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Aug 10, 2010 #1

    geoff

    geoff

    geoff

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    Recently, I was changing the shower head in our 40 year old bathroom tub. My wife then noticed the floor was wet where it met the front edge of the tub. Thinking I must have disturbed the shower head receptacle, I opened the wall behind the shower, which is in the linen closet. After determining that the shower head fitting wasn't leaking, I opened the wall behind the mixing valve- again no leaking there. Then I opened the bottom access panel and looked for water leaking from the drain- not there either but the floor was soaked at the place where the outside edge of the tub side meets the floor. After letting it dry for a few days, I had my wife shower while I watched for leaks.. sure enough I saw some DROPS coming out of the area caulked between the front edge of the side of the tub where it meets the wall. But when I looked into the access panel, the floor was again soaked where the bottom of the front edge of the tub met the floor. I stuck my camera phone inside and snapped a picture which I am pasting below. It appears to show a PIPE that is molded into and under the top edge of the tub and takes a 90 degree bend and follows the contour of the tub to where it meets the floor where it appears to terminate. If this tube is a conduit for water that certainly could explain the amount of water I am seeing but I have NO IDEA what the pipe would be for. It appears to begin in the center of the front edge of the tub. Does anyone have any idea what it might be for? I am guessing regardless of what purpose it was supposed to have, that it has rusted and now is just a major leak. Any information or suggestions are very much appreciated... Thanks for your time. Both pictures are taken from inside the access panel. The first is looking up at the top corner of the tub and the second is looking down at the same corner where it meets the floor.

    IMG_0222.jpg

    IMG_0226.jpg
     
  2. Aug 10, 2010 #2

    kok328

    kok328

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    Cant's say for sure but, if you have the means to cut it and cap it then your problem is solved.
     
  3. Aug 10, 2010 #3

    geoff

    geoff

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    Well this is part of the problem... the ONLY way to get to it is to tear everything down... by then its probably best to just replace the thing.. but the thing is I have NO IDEA what that is??? It looks as if it was part of the tub... any thoughts out there as to what it might be?

    Geoff
     
  4. Aug 10, 2010 #4

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    That piece is a part of the tub itself, not a pipe.
    The tubs all have a support at 45 degrees that is the backside of the apron part. Basically the apron is the part that is the front of the tub.

    Looks like you have a leak at the wall, and the water is between the wall and the tile. Check your caulking around your water control valves, the water when you shower will splassh against the wall and run down behind your controls and leak behind what is called the escution. Spelling?

    Basically try to mave the fancy part around where you turn on and shutoff the water.
     
  5. Aug 10, 2010 #5

    geoff

    geoff

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    Hi and thanks for taking the time to respond. Glad to know that might be a support for the cast iron tub...not some kind of alien pipe!! I did check for leaks around the escutcheon plate and it, as well as the supply pipes are bone dry.. I can feel all around the escutcheon plate and its not coming from there... the only other thing I can think of is that the the caulking between the tub and the wall is defective and allowing water to leak behind it and then it travels down the top of the tub and down inside the inside wall.. nothing else makes sense .... unless someone else has a suggestion..

    geoff
     
  6. Aug 18, 2010 #6

    Puddlesx5

    Puddlesx5

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    The most common problem is the tile has a small crack in it . If you take a glass

    of water from the sink and pour it around the tub to look for leaks. You will be

    surprised as to how small the crack can be to cause a large looking leak by the

    tub .

    Good Luck
     
  7. Aug 18, 2010 #7

    geoff

    geoff

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    Thanks for the information... in fact, I had done something of a similar nature.. I had used the hand held shower portion to play the water along the top edge of the tub, which is cast iron, and sure enough the water came out... I am hoping that its nothing more than defective caulking. I have removed all the caulking and recaulked the entire shower/tub area... while I was doing that, I also ended up having to cut out the support board that held the pipe for the shower head.. instead of a threaded 1/2 inch female fitting, they sweated a copper pipe with a threaded fitting on the end in the shower!!! then they put what looks like a tub spout on that which has a threaded fitting at the end of it, then they put a 1/2 nipple on it and THEN put the shower head. I ended up cutting out the piece whose ends I couldn't access, then cut the pipe riser and put on a new piece of pipe with a standard threaded female fitting, then put in the regular pipe... tomorrow is the acid test..the caulking should be dry enough to test ...keeping my fingers crossed.. a lot of work for nothing if this doesn't work!!!

    Geoff
     
  8. Sep 13, 2010 #8

    geoff

    geoff

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    Good morning,

    Actually that wasn't necessary... as I posted earlier, we suspected it was a defect in the caulking along the front edge of the shower that was allowing water to trickle in and then from there follow the edge of the tub and down the side... after removing all the old caulking and shower door framing and recaulking everything.. we kept our fingers crossed and were rewarded with a nice dry shower floor ever since... thanks for the interest..

    Geoff
     
  9. Jan 25, 2013 #9

    zipper10

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    I have a tea for two tub with jets installed also have a shower in the wall as a double use water goes into walls I just recalled waterproof this time it's a year old tub is there asomething else I can do to ensure water will not come through walls and ceiling
     
  10. Jan 26, 2013 #10

    nealtw

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    Seal the tile.
     
  11. Jan 26, 2013 #11

    CallMeVilla

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    I've been in this situation .... Water on the backside wall leaking along the framing onto the drywall and down into a ceiling light on the 1st floor. I hit the old grout with a grout saw, with particular attention to the soap dish that was tiled into the wall. Re-grouted, sealed three coats.

    Problem fixed. Hope that helps you and others ... :)
     
  12. Jan 28, 2013 #12

    nealtw

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    Villa: Do you have any idea how much water soaks onto the drywall, framing and floor sheeting as well as floor joists before it shows up on the ceiling below.
     
  13. Jan 28, 2013 #13

    CallMeVilla

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    Hey Neal ... you bet. I didn't give you every step I followed . . . In my case, there was a slope to the downstairs celing that allowed the water to run out of the ceiling box to the 1st floor. I cut an access hatch in the closet adjoinging the valve side of the shower through a closet. Close inspection revealed the course of the water while the shower was running. I made the repairs to the shower wall tile and rechecked for leaks. There were none.

    I ran a fan to dry out the backside, then sprayed for mildew. No more leaks, so I installed an access door for future plumbing repairs and called it job done. :)
     
  14. Jan 28, 2013 #14

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Zepper10 was just asking about mainentence after a year from new. Anyone with water showing up down stairs needs to open things up.
     

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