Shower drain leaking!!

Old 04-09-01, 12:23 PM
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I've got a 40 year old shower stall. The supply lines and fixtures work fine and I replaced the trap and drain. They work fine now. Except when someone of my size steps in to take a shower...

When this shower was installed, the tounge-in-groove subfloor was cut in three separate places as the guy who installed it searched for the right place for the drain; he also cut right through a joist to fit the trap in. Obviously, this severely weakened the floor.

The shower and this setup was probably fine for the first 39 years of the house's life, but it was leaking badly by last year. When we bought the house last year, I replaced the drain and trap and it looked like it was working well. Until weight was put on the shower floor and the drain came unsealed and water dripped (again!) into my kitchen.

Here's my question:

Short of replacing the entire shower (it's a two piece unit), what can I do to stiffen the subfloor?

Something that would last a couple or a few years would be great. Oh, the shower is also missing the copper pan -- whoever installed it didn't have a clue.

Anyone got any ideas? Or am I out of luck?

Old 04-09-01, 08:55 PM
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The only way that you're going to stop that leaking is to stop the floor and the shower pan from moving.
Can you get underneath it through the kitchen ceiling to sister the cut joist and put 2X bracing between the joists under the subfloor?
I would use pressure-treated 2X wood supports, and new plumber's putty under the shower drain lip after you've braced it solidly.
Good Luck!
Old 04-10-01, 02:28 PM
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Thanks. I'm going to try bracing. I've already sistered the joist with some plywood I laminated together to make it thick enough.

My only other thought is to find a drain pipe with a wider lip on it (to cover the shower drain hole better) that I could push down from the shower into the trap a few inches. I'd seal it around the shower drain and underneath I would add some additional sealing.

I've got good access to the underside, as it's right over my kitchen -- and it's currently exposed.

Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.

Old 04-11-01, 05:43 AM
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Since you just replaced the trap, I'd build around it on both sides to patch the joist, using decking materials. You gotta get the floor supported ot it'll never seal. Use screws on the braces so they can be removed later if you get another leak. Brace the joist across the drain and then brace to other joists on both sides.

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