Bathtub leak

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  #1  
Old 03-21-02, 08:48 AM
rosieriveter
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Question Bathtub leak

Our house is 65 years old, I think the upgrades that were done was in the late 70's. The plumbing is in inaccessible places so it makes it difficult to find leaks. We have a 2 story home, if someone takes a bath in the upper bathroom, we end up with a leak in the kitchen ceiling, if we use the shower, there is no leak. I know we have to open up the ceiling to find the source of the leak, is there a place to check in the bathtub first; to find the problem?
 
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Old 03-21-02, 08:54 AM
cfenn
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bath tub leaks

this happened once in a house i lived in. turned out all it was was the rubber seal under the drain. i took the drain apart, ( which will still require access to the bottom of the tub) and i used silicone to seal the drain. never had any more problems with it.
 
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Old 03-21-02, 09:59 AM
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This may be no more than the extra weight of a tub of water and a person in the tub causing the old plumber's putty to leak around under the drain lip. (Apparently, just the weight of a person in an empty-tub shower isn't doing it.)
Get a tub drain wrench:

Unscrew the drain counter-clockwise.
Clean out the old putty from the depression around the hole under the drain lip.
Roll a roll of plumber's putty in your hands, wrap it around the hole, and re-tighten the drain down on it. Wipe off the excess putty.
That will probably stop the leaking.
Good luck!
Mike
 
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Old 03-21-02, 04:29 PM
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Take a glass of water, with the tub empty, and pour it around the overflow . Do this several times, there is a gasket right there that leaks when people, my wife, takes soaking baths, and the water goes into the overflow.
 
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Old 03-21-02, 06:09 PM
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notuboo could be right, too, as usual.
It could be a leaking dried out rubber overflow gasket (#8 on this illustration).

Check that out, also.
(Thanks, boo! Forgot about that one.)
Mike
 
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Old 03-21-02, 06:33 PM
L
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If the leak were occuring during a shower and not the bath, you guys might be onto it. HOWEVER, the way I read the post, it is occuring during the bath, NOT the shower. Pretty sure the leak exists in the bottom outlet of valve that supplies the tub spout. That, at least to me, is the only place that makes sense.
 
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Old 03-21-02, 06:43 PM
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Mike,
You too could very well be right.
Process of elimination.
Good thing I'm not a pro plumber. LOL
Mike
 
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Old 03-21-02, 07:55 PM
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Okay rosieriviter, here's what I think is going on, and what you need to do to fix it. If Mike will post a picture of a tub/shower valve (some of us just haven't learned how to do that yet!), you will see that there is an outlet that goes up to the shower head, and an outlet that goes down to the tub spout, right in the center of the valve.

I'll bet you have a 3 handle valve in this tub/shower combo. Out of the bottom outlet, there will be a nipple, usually 4" to 5" long, then an elbow, then the nipple that the spout is connected to. One of those nipples is leaking, probably where it threads into the valve or the elbow.

What is behind this tub -- on the other side of the wall behind the valve? That is usually the best place to go in to access the valve. If you can cut a 12" by 12" hole at the level of the valve and spout, you should have no problem finding and fixing the leak. Start with a really small hole, say about 1". Then expand that to the studs. That will make patching it easier.
 
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Old 03-22-02, 01:23 AM
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You can see on the right what lefty (Mike) is talking about:

(Mike, please see a how-to reply about illustrations in a post by winslow about them on March 18 here in the Plumbing forum. If you have any questions, just ask. If I can do them, ANYBODY can. LOL!)
 
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Old 03-25-02, 12:48 PM
rosieriveter
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Thank you for the good advice and illustrations, all of you. Our bath/shower combo is three handled. The wall on the other side of the bath is a bedroom(with plastered walls). I guess we'll try a process of elimination. As old as things are around this house it could be all the problems combined, but I hope not!
 
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Old 03-25-02, 04:59 PM
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Hi, Could be the Tub spout plumbing or the overflow gasket. My first guess would be the over flow gasket. Only leaks when taking a bath. To check, put the stopper in the tub fill about 3/4 full but not up to the overflow. Check for leaks may let it sit for awhile. If no leaks show run the water up into the overflow then check for leaks again. Hope it's the overflow gasket, easy fix.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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Old 03-27-02, 05:20 PM
rosieriveter
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HELP!

As a beginning to my process of elemination, I got a tub wrench and began to unscrew the drain as advised. However, it will not come up. What am I doing wrong? Or is the tub not on the style as above illustrated - help!
 
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Old 03-28-02, 01:11 AM
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By "will not come up" do you mean that it won't unscrew counter-clockwise, won't budge at all, or just turns and won't come up?
 
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Old 03-28-02, 10:19 AM
rosieriveter
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It turns and won't come up, it looks to have a curved bottom; I may have broken something - don't know. The tub is not like the illustration above. It uses a rubber plug to hold the water in and the overflow does not have a lever. I don't know the age, but it's not modern - according to todays standards.
 
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Old 03-28-02, 10:42 AM
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Look on the drain illustration above. If it is #22 that's turning, something has broken loose, and you'll have to get under the tub to have someone hold it in order to back out the drain.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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