Shower drain leak

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  #1  
Old 05-11-03, 05:41 PM
neela
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Shower drain leak

I have a shower drain that I diagnosed as leaking. I was told (at the local home depot) that the best way to prevent the leak is to caulk it. Silicone preferably. So I bought a GE Silicone II tube. Before I got that far, the instructions on the tube asked me to remove the existing caulk. Now here is the rub -- I don't whether the existing sealant is caulk. It looked gray with possibly knife dent like criss crosses, just like what someone would on cement. I put a decaulker on it for 4 hours, and used a knife to try and scrape it off. I realized I am digging into a soft metal like material. Now I don't know what that seal is made of. The seal is a ring about 1/4" to 1/2" wide between what looks like a black PVC pipe about 2" in diameter and an outer metal (thin plate) ring that is about 1" wide which appears to be attached to the molded fiberglass(?) shower basis.

I have several questions on this..
1) Is silicone caulk the best way to seal this off?
2) Do I need to get the existing distinctly metal like sealant off before I use another sealant?
3) If I have to get off the existing sealant off, how do I do this.

The shower basin is not accessible from the the lower floor. I cut out a small portion of the drywall in the lower floor, and all the relevant connections to the shower basin are above the sub floor.

Many thanks in advance

neela
 
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  #2  
Old 05-11-03, 05:51 PM
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You may not be able to fix the drain connection from the top... Many of them have a nut that has to be loosened from the bottom, and you might have to cut the pipe beneath to recaulk the drain... Others do unscrew from the top, and if that is the case, you can unscrew the top, the old caulk will just peel off and you replace it with the new stuff... The regular caulk that you have it just fine... I personally like to use just the regular white lightning since it is easy to clean up...
 
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Old 05-11-03, 05:58 PM
neela
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How can I find out if the drain can be accessed from the top? The gap between the PVC pipe and the outer ring is a mass of what looks like metal. It has two small holes at opposite ends though.

Thanks
Neela
 
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Old 05-12-03, 06:45 PM
neela
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A guy in Homedepot just told me that I have molten lead poured between the pvc pipe and the metal sleeve on the side of the fiberglass shower stall as the sealant. The bathroom could be as old as 19 years. He said the only way to take it out is to drill it out, and probably put a rubber seal after the lead comes out cleanly.
Does this make sense?
 
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Old 05-12-03, 07:22 PM
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You don't have lead... 19 years isn't old enough... (rare case maybe), but it would be rare indeed to see lead poured over pvc... The only way to tell if you can't access the shower from the bottom is to take the grate off of the shower drain and try to unscrew the top portion... If you can't find any way to do that, then you HAVE TO cut into the floor from underneath to expose the drain assembly... How are you seeing the "metal" part if you can't see the bottom of the shower anyway? Post a pic or describe what you see when you open up the sub-floor from underneath...
 
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Old 05-13-03, 04:26 AM
neela
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There is no way to unscrew the seal from the top.
I do have metal (possibly lead) because thinking it was some form of caulk, I hit away at it using a screwdriver and a hammer. The screwdriver dug in and came away with a metallic chip that I then took over to homedepot. The guy at the home depot looked at it and said it was lead. If you think lead is not poured around pvc, I could be mistaken about the pvc part. The pipe is black. I will go home tonight and test if it is actually metal. The setup looks fairly simple.
The pipe comes up from the middle, and is about 2" in diameter. It comes up to be almost level with the floor of the shower. Around it is a metal like layer that has to be the seal (soft metal because the screwdriver was able to dig into it). Outside the metal portion is a another thin circular metal layer that separates the "metal" seal from the fiberglass. The thin metal layer flattens out as it comes to the surface of the fiberglass floor and runs horizontally for an inch around the hole - sort of like a collar. I will try and get a picture together to post.

Thanks for your time.
Neela
 
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