Repairing a Plumbing Leak


Old 12-23-01, 04:54 AM
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Question Repairing a Plumbing Leak

I have an intermittent plumbing leak that occurs when the bathtub on the 2nd floor is draining after being filled (the leak does not occur if a shower is taken in the tub). The leak is a small drip/string of water that follows the 4" plastic drain pipe and is only observable in the basement where the drain pipe is exposed. There is no evidence of water dripping onto the ceiling of the room below the 2nd floor bathroom.

I know where in the 4" drain pipe is located in the 1st floor wall, but I'm not sure of the best way to fix it once I expose it.

Is there an effective sealing material that can be placed on the existing joint (I suspect its a leaking joint ...) to make a permanente fix without cutting and replacing pipe?
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Old 12-23-01, 05:20 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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If the leak was from the drain pipe it would most likely leak when taking a shower, too.
I think that you have a simpler-to-fix leak problem.
The extra weight of a tub full of water is probably depressing the tub bottom just enough to allow a leak around the drain itself.
You can fix it by re-sealing the drain with new plumber's putty.
Stick a pair of channel-lock plier handles down in the crosspieces of the tub drain. Unscrew the drain counter-clockwise, using a screwdriver in the pliers for leverage.
Remove the old plumber's putty. (Try not to let it fall into the drain.)
Roll a roll of plumber's putty in your hands, and wrap it around the drain depression hole under the drain lip.
Tighten the drain down on it, and wipe away the excess plumber's putty.
Should do the trick. (If it doesn't, THEN you can go to Plan B with the drain pipe.)
Good Luck!
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