Tub supply or drain leak?


  #1  
Old 03-20-16, 08:27 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 223
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Tub supply or drain leak?

About a year ago I had new tub faucet/valves installed. Previously, water would leak into the basement when the shower ran. It's been happening again, but not sure of the source. I believe it's not the supply, but not sure because the dripping water is cold. I re-caulked some areas after the installation last year. The photo below shows were the leaks were when my son was taking a shower. Last night I caulked a bit more. There was some water on the basement floor after I took a shower this morning, but not as much as last night. I ran only the faucet, then the shower - went downstairs and did not see any leaks. Based on that More likely there's small leaks around the tub, but I can't see anything obvious. What's strange is the drips appear right where the arrows are - as if coming right through the tub. But - maybe the water is flowing there, collecting, and then dripping. Iíll caulk some more.

I was about to submit this when my son just got into the shower, observed the leaks again. They're now in different spots, a few inches away from where they were. It has to be leaks around the seams.

Name:  tub.jpg
Views: 516
Size:  25.4 KB
 
  #2  
Old 03-20-16, 08:34 AM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
First run the tub not the shower. If you don't see any leaks, the drain is good. Supply lines would leak all the time not just when the water is flowing.

Then pour water in the tub from a 5 gallon bucket. That eliminates the caulking around the edges & the plate behind the valve. Is there a hand held shower head? That throws water behind the plate behind the mixing valve. Many people miss that. It can also bounce off your body & do the same thing.
 
  #3  
Old 03-20-16, 08:36 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,958
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
That slip joint pipe has a crack down the middle. That can't be right. Replace that. Any drain slip joint must be perfectly aligned so as not to leak. I'm thinking the water is pooling at the drain and because that slip joint is not tight it is flowing past the seal ring and following the curve of the tub.
 
  #4  
Old 03-20-16, 08:37 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,059
Received 857 Votes on 790 Posts
It sounds like you know what you are doing and how to isolate the source of the leak. Since none of us can see your shower above or into the nooks and crannies below I'm not sure there is much we can offer for help/advice. Just keep experimenting to isolate the source of the leak.

One thing that might help is a inspection mirror or tape a small mirror to the end of a stick. Stick the mirror under the tub and shine a flashlight onto the mirror. Hopefully you can see exactly where the water is coming from.

 
  #5  
Old 03-20-16, 08:58 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 223
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
"That slip joint pipe has a crack down the middle."

I didn't even notice that crack! Yes that needs to be replaced. Not where the leak is, but still n/g.
 
  #6  
Old 03-20-16, 09:02 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 223
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Thanks for the tips - there has to be a leak around the tub somewhere. Sounds like the best thing to do for now is to re-caulk a good portion of the tub.
 
  #7  
Old 03-20-16, 09:20 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,958
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
Try this test. Make sure all of exposed underside of tub is good and dry. Take talcum powder or flour and coat the underside including that cracked slip joint. Then run water and see where the stream is coming from.

edit...You can also put in some blue food coloring in a full tub and release the drain. See where the blue stream is coming from if in fact it's not from a supply line.
 
  #8  
Old 03-20-16, 10:16 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 223
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Good test to keep in mind. The house was built it 1954, the original setup was of course a separate hot and cold faucet. Took this picture during the installation last year, hopefully nothing wrong there.

Name:  new tub supply.jpg
Views: 150
Size:  17.9 KB
 
  #9  
Old 03-20-16, 11:13 AM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,388
Received 15 Votes on 13 Posts
The usual leak point in a tiled tub/shower combo is in the corners where the two walls meet. Should have a good bead of caulking and not grout in that area. Doubt it is at rim of the tub as there is a tile flange that prevents water from running into the wall cavity. Other suspect areas are when a poor seal is made with the shower curtain and water slips past , runs down the apron and into the floor cavity. Was anything around the valve wet when you inspected it? Is there a gasket on the cover plate?

I think the "crack" is a casting mark on the drain body.
 
  #10  
Old 03-20-16, 12:23 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 223
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
I didn't see any water from the valves, just the tub itself. I don't think I can get my hand up that high from the basement, but may try to. First I thought I'd see a stream of cold water running down the supply since the dripping water was cold, but did not. I know water can travel making it hard to pinpoint the exact origin of the leak. It's odd that it appears to be just dripping through the tub - but then again it's probably running from somewhere else, collecting, then dripping. I don't recall if there's a gasket on the oval cover plate.

Just checked the corner where the two walls meet - it doesn't look too good. Whatever grout or caulking was there seems to have worn away. I'll put caulking there. The shower has sliding glass doors, but I haven't inspected that side of the tub yet.
 
  #11  
Old 03-20-16, 12:44 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,958
Received 341 Votes on 307 Posts
I think the "crack" is a casting mark on the drain body.
I magnified that section and sure looks like a seam that is open. A casting parting line should show raised. Hope you're right.
 
  #12  
Old 03-20-16, 01:38 PM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,388
Received 15 Votes on 13 Posts
With sliding doors, check the seal around that as well. Look closely where the two pieces of metal form the 90 degree angle in the bottom corner usually inside of the track. Water sometimes gets behind that and then can migrate to behind the caulking where it will exist without ever showing itself to the outside.
 
  #13  
Old 03-20-16, 03:35 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sounds like the best thing to do for now is to re-caulk a good portion of the tub.
I don't see how you came to that conclusion.
 
  #14  
Old 03-20-16, 05:42 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 223
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
I magnified that section and sure looks like a seam that is open. A casting parting line should show raised. Hope you're right.
I hope he's right too! Never did see water coming from there. I added some more caulking in the recommended areas, and a few others where it may have been needed.
 
  #15  
Old 03-23-16, 03:23 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 223
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
I added more caulking but ran out. I ran only the tub faucet for several minutes, no leaks. After the overhead shower head was on (no hand held), leaks started after several minutes. I reached as high as I could to feel the pipes while the shower was running, they didn't feel wet. Removed the sheet rock around the shower head, no water there. After I get more caulking I'll check around the sliding doors. Where the leaks are, or at least where it's dripping - the seal above appears to be good between the tub and wall. Maybe the drip location doesn't necessarily indicate right where the leak is. What I don't get is why there are drips where the two arrows indicate in the photo, water from the shower isn't hitting above that area (the front wall) when no one is in the shower. I wonder if grout on the tiles that wore away somewhere else could be part of the trouble.
 
  #16  
Old 03-30-16, 10:49 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 223
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Finally no leaks. I applied more caulking between the tub and wall in the area where the drips were noted last time (left side), but there was no visible sign of an opening where water could drip through. The caulking appeared to be sufficient, but I applied a little more anyway.

Although it wasn't leaking from that area, what appeared to be a crack in the pipe under the tub in the photo is actually a slightly raised line. The yellow arrows indicate where the original leaks were. After caulking that area the leaks stopped there, but then appeared from the left side of the tub.

Name:  tub2.jpg
Views: 228
Size:  46.8 KB
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: