Tub/Shower leak. Burst pipe?


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Old 07-24-20, 07:37 PM
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Tub/Shower leak. Burst pipe?

Hello,

I posted this thread thinking initially maybe my daughter had a little to much fun in the tub/shower and it leaked down into the basement. That doesn't seem to be the case any longer:

Wet Basement Ceiling from upstairs bath

The issue is that when I turn the tub on all works. Once i turn it to shower it leaks like crazy down the side of the tub. I just replaced the components inside it hoping that it might only be that but it did nothing.

Is this possible a broken pipe?

We have a single unit tub/shower so I don't have easy access to this piping. On the other wall is our kitchen cabinets and such. How does one examine what might be going on and/or confirm the issue and if a pipe replace it without a huge tear out job?

Crazier thing yet is we are just on the way out of this house. It is certainly my lucky day to learn a lot in a short amount of time I guess.

Thanks for the help on any assistance on how to get this again working?

EDIT:
One thought I had could i abandon all that stuff behind the shower and buy a new unit where the actual shower pipe was on the outside of the fiberglass. Not sure if they have a tub/shower unit like that. The below pic is what gave me the idea. https://www.thespruce.com/replace-a-...-valve-2718991

Anyone know if this exists or could work? What do you call it if so?
 

Last edited by bline22; 07-24-20 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 07-25-20, 03:22 AM
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Once i turn it to shower it leaks like crazy down the side of the tub.
The odds of a burst pipe are slim, more than likley a fitting, joint, seal is leaking.

Need a picture or more detail on where the water is coming from!
 
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Old 07-25-20, 05:00 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Below are some pics and I hope the helps. Best I can do at this point unless i tear into the walls. Does this help?


This was some plumbers putty i believe and what looks like a ring for sealing something but was sitting on the sheetrock when I opened up the ceiling

One shot of trying to look up at the problem from the basement. the water will drip down but most seems like it runs along side the tub

Another shot trying to reach up as far as I could to look at the valve and shower pipe




I was hoping I could access the shower head from behind but unfortunately it falls directly in the middle of this cabinet. Fridge is right, stove is left

This is the best I can get of the valve and tub spigot.

shower head
 
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Old 07-25-20, 05:07 AM
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One thing you haven't told us is where the water is leaking from. Where specifically is the water leaking?
 
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Old 07-25-20, 05:24 AM
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It leaks when i pull the lever to turn the valve from filling the tub to using the shower. Once i do that the water starts to leak into the basement. I it is a larger amount too it isn't just a few drips. I can't tell though if that is coming from the valve or up higher. I believe up higher as I have tried to move the black spacer piece around that sits between the tub and the valve and shined a light in there but I don't see the water coming from that.
 
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Old 07-25-20, 06:38 AM
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Have you tried it now with the shower head off?

From your post it sounds like you are sure that it is not coming from the spout but is higher up, is this correct?

Have you tried removing the black plaster guard. Perhaps you can see in there better.

A bore scope may be useful in this situation.

For general situation info:
Is the valve going to be behind the cabinet or further up where the tiles are in the kitchen?
Are the hot and cold water lines coming up from the basement through the floor and are they accessible?
 
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Old 07-25-20, 06:53 AM
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Thanks for the reply.
Have you tried it now with the shower head off?
Yes I have tried it with the showerhead off with the same result.
From your post it sounds like you are sure that it is not coming from the spout but is higher up, is this correct?
I am making some assumptions so am not certain. My assumptions come that I didn't think it was the valve since I can fill the but without any leaking so thought that would confirm the valve isn't the culprit. Is that an ok assumption?

Have you tried removing the black plaster guard. Perhaps you can see in there better.
I did try for a short period of time but was having issues but will try again here with a little more muscle.

Is the valve going to be behind the cabinet or further up where the tiles are in the kitchen?
Are the hot and cold water lines coming up from the basement through the floor and are they accessible?
The valve splits the green backspalsh and the vertical part of the counter top unfortunately . Yes the hot and cold are coming from the basement and look to be accessible. See below

hot and cold lines from basement hole

 
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Old 07-25-20, 07:13 AM
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Remove the black plaster ring, turn the water on and activate the shower. Then you will be able to see if its leaking around or above the valve.
 
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Old 07-25-20, 07:17 AM
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Remove the black plaster ring, turn the water on and activate the shower. Then you will be able to see if its leaking around or above the valve.
Does that need to be there at all out of curiosity if it breaks or falls?
 
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Old 07-25-20, 07:43 AM
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The plaster ring is there to help with rough in, so that the plumbing gets set at the correct depth. It is generally not needed after that.
 
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Old 07-25-20, 08:04 AM
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I do not think that it is absolutely essential. Though it may help stabilize the valve if it is not installed securely.
Hopefully other will either confirm or dismiss this.

This could end up being a very difficult repair.
Perhaps take a look at Amazon and shower panels.
You would want to cover the existing spout and valve holes and still have the shower head high enough.
If it is not high enough to cover the shower head pipe you could get a snap in cover.
Also you would want to look at the install manual.
Just something to consider!!!
 
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Old 07-25-20, 08:39 AM
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I really appreciate the help from everyone. I did cut that black thing out and am going to go and try this all again. Also, I am taking off the tub spigot and going to simulate the shower mechanism. However now there is a ton of play in the unit after removing that black piece. how do you secure this again if i get it fixed?
 
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Old 07-25-20, 10:46 AM
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Good news and bad. Good I think the issue is solely with the tub spigot. I noticed this after I was able to get some play by removing that black thing suggested by xsleeper.

Bad news maybe or where i need some pointers.

Here you can see the full length of the pipe


notice the drip. this is with the tub on. it is much worse with the tub on but not nearly as bad as with the original.

my fingers are noting the large dents

I bought a new spigot but you can see below that it is still dripping with the tub running. When i turn the shower on it is exaggerated. . Not as bad as the one i removed but still leaks. You can see in the one image that there is some dents on the pipe so I can't push that plastic fitting very far on to the copper pipe. I kept it away from it only pushing it on an inch or so as you can see but still leaks. One thought I had was i could attempt to solder a threaded end on this that the spigot would twist directly on to. what do you think? If this idea is sound, the spacing is pretty fixed so how do you get it so that the handle and spigot are in alignment?

Next there is a ton of play now without that black spacer. Is that going to affect the unit moving in and out once I get the spigot figured out?
 
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Old 07-25-20, 11:22 AM
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Next there is a ton of play now without that black spacer.
What exactly is loose ? Shower head elbow, valve, tub spout ?
There are many sloppy plumbers installing this equipment without properly fastening it.

There should be wood blocking behind the vale that the valve gets attached to.
There should be wood blocking behind the tub spout line too.
It looks like the lower kitchen cabinet could be removed for access into the wall.
There wouldn't be much holding that base cabinet in place.

Definitely looks like the spout is leaking. Probably filling up with water and it's running back into the wall. If you were to block off the tub spout line.... holding finger over the pipe... the shower should work and there should be no leak.

I've never seen the copper pipe get so worn like that. That must have been where the setscrew was and the spout was being turned. May possibly need to cut pipe and couple in a new piece of pipe. Would require FAST work as you wouldn't want to loosen the pipe in the wall.

Another possible solution is to use the Delta style spout where is solders onto the end of the pipe.
Tub spout video
 
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Old 07-25-20, 01:09 PM
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Am i understanding that there is a solderless tub spout?

What I mean by play is notice the images below. you can see i can move the whole unit in and out. That black spacer was there I think to give it 2" less of play and when I put the faceplate on it would pull the valve and all tight to the fiberglass shower. Does that make sense?


Here it is pulled out towards the shower

Here it is pushed in. Notice the spigot.

I tried taking a picture of behind the valve as I don't see any method of attaching it.
 
 

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