Plumbing Leak beneath 2nd floor

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Old 11-01-13, 08:38 AM
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Plumbing Leak beneath 2nd floor

This week I started having an issue with a leak beneath my second floor.

Upstairs I have two showers back to back. 1 is a tub and 1 is a walk in shower. When we bought the house we knew that the walk in shower was going to be a nightmare eventually. It is ALL stone and tile.... It has two shower heads each with its own handle.

I have two problems with the shower right now.

1) In the kitchen below these showers we noticed a brown circle on the ceiling about 8 inches wide or so and 30-36 inches south on the ceiling is some spots that the previous owners must have had water problems before. No yellow spots but the bubbling look. We started testing the two showers and determined that there is no leak from the tub shower and I am about to start testing the walk in shower.

I noticed that by the handles the grout around is cracking and I suspect that maybe water is getting into there and following the pipes to where the leaks are?

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Picture of the shower
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2) With their being 2 shower heads, one of the shower heads will ONLY give out cold water. I am not a big do it yourselfer type of person so I havent ventured into finding out why there is no hot water but what would be some things for me to look for?

Thanks for your help! I just found this forum and really cant afford to hire plumbers so I am trying to figure it out on my own
 
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Old 11-01-13, 09:02 AM
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The no hot water issue is probably the cartridge... looks like a moen posi temp to me... Change the cartridge and you should be good to go..

MOEN Posi-Temp Pressure Balanced Shower Cartridge-1222 at The Home Depot

As far as the leak INK.. Could be anywhere. I dont think the crack is the issue... Common is the shower strainer, waste line leak like the trap, or even a water line leak in the wall dripping down...

I do not condone opening ceilings up but in a case of a mud tile shower floor that may be your best bet...
 
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Old 11-01-13, 10:13 AM
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Thanks for the Moen recommendation I will try to pull it out and see what the cartridge looks like and order one.

I suppose the best way to find the leak would be maybe to start by pouring water directly down the drain and see what happens then go from there?

It sounds like I may be opening up the ceiling no matter what the solution is unless I can guarantee its not in the floor then I would have to open up the wall and completely tear out the whole tile/stone shower! This doesnt sound good
 
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Old 11-01-13, 12:41 PM
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Not sure why the shower handle is in a recess cove, but the cracked grout can very well play a part in the leak issue depending on how/if a vapor barrier membrane was used. I would start by filling in the cracked grout with a color matching flexible grout. I would also look into the corners of the shower and where the walls meet the floor of the shower. If that is all grout and then it needs to be changed to a flexible caulking. Not knowing how the shower was constructed will lead to some trial and error. Basically, anywhere that two different planes meet (inside corners) a flexible sealant needs to be used. Inspect the hole shower and let us know what you find out.
 
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Old 11-01-13, 03:27 PM
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I'm a fan of the remote cameras that are so cheap now. A small camera with LED lights on the end of 3' long flexible arm. Most can be inserted through a relatively small hole and can be used to spot the source of a leak without tearing open the entire ceiling below.

 
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