Shower -Leaking down between Walls

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by HOMEFLASH, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Aug 8, 2011 #1

    HOMEFLASH

    HOMEFLASH

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    After shower about 3 to 5 minutes, I could hear water dripping (getting loud lately - so I stopped using that shower) downstairs where the vent (kitchen) is. The question is.. Where would the leak come from?

    1. Would the shower valve (washer, cartridge) go bad and leak down ? (by the way, I re-grouted wall tiles, caulked them, and I did try to cover every single part of the tiles on the shower, so I am 100% it is not the wall) I currently have moen, can I change to different valve if that is the case?
    (There is no visible leak outside, but only hearing dripping inside the wall)


    2 Can I open up the plate (round one) without shutting off the main water line - Of course, I asked this because I just don't want to touch the water line and I won't turn on the water as well, just want to know if leak can be seen or detected by just opening up the plate.

    3. If I have to hire a plumber, is it considered a big job, open up the wall and check the pipes.. how much will it cost me?! Would Plumber normally do the jobs of closing the walls or do I need separate people to do do the job. Is it costly:(? That leads to the next question, if I have it remodeled, would people check for the leak before installing new shower?
     
  2. Aug 8, 2011 #2

    Johnboy555

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    A picture would be helpful...
    If you've redone the walls then there is only a few places it can be leaking from. If the valve is a single handled control then you should be able to remove the trim. Take off the handle, either 2 screws, or a chrome tube that unscrews. You should be able to see if the valve is leaking. Point shower head toward wall (don't laugh!!) and turn on shower. Look in the hole and see if any water is running down the top pipe of the valve.

    If that is dry the next place to look is the drain! Sorry to tell you this, but some times the only way to find a shower leak is to cut the ceiling below it and "put an eyeball on it"
    Any more leaking and you'll probably have to replace the ceiling anyway.
    Look at the valve and then get back to us...
     
  3. Aug 9, 2011 #3

    Redwood

    Redwood

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    You hear a dripping noise yet you aren't seeing any water....

    Just a thought but it probably is a pipe expanding and you are hearing a ticking noise.

    Try running cold water and then hot water and see if the sound changes with the temperature change....
     
  4. Aug 9, 2011 #4

    HOMEFLASH

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    The water dripping came only minuts aftr I take shower, and only be heard down at first floor (vent area)

    When you say, remov th trim... and point shower toward wall, that means I don't need to turn off main water line.. correct, I probably will do that one of these days.

    But my main concern really is, would the valve (washer) or cartridge be bad (when it wears out) and leak downward instead of outside and be visible?

    If the pipe(s) are bad, I guess, it has to be job by plumber becaus the wall has to be removed which will cost m lots of $$$

     
  5. Aug 9, 2011 #5

    HOMEFLASH

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    Correct, there is no visible leak, so it is in between wall, and I don't want to damage come later, that is why I stop using that shower for now.

    The sound is always the same, and if I just us it for a minute or two, I probably won't hear it dripping, but after like 3 to 4 minutes shower, that water dripped again.. I can't see th water on the floor... .Yet.. probably it will be too late if I see them on first floor.

     
  6. Aug 9, 2011 #6

    Redwood

    Redwood

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    Plastic Pipes such as PVC & ABS for drainage and CPVC for water supply expand quite a bit with temperature changes. If they were installed carelessly and are in contact with wood they will make a ticking noise as they expand and contract which many people assume to be a leak with water dripping inside the walls and ceilings. The difference is that there will never be visible signs of leakage.

    IMHO if this is what you have going on it is probably not worth opening the walls to find out or, go through the effort of repairing it.

    I understand your concern about a possible leak and today there are many plumbers utilizing inspection camera's such as the Ridgid Micro See-Snake Inspection Camera which can get into the walls through a small drilled hole for a look without tearing out the walls and ceilings. Looking for dampness from a leak and not finding any may put you at ease.

    It may just be that you are in the shower when the warm up expansion noise is happening so you only hear the cooling off contraction noise after the shower.
     

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