How do I determine what exactly is leaking under a shower?

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  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Jan 18, 2018
    Hi Lojuana,
    We had the same issue a few years ago. I called our plumber and he cut out a square in the ceiling below the shower. I had suggested that it might be a leak around the drain and asked if he could caulk it. He said he had to remove the ceiling below. Guess what? He ended up doing exactly what I suggested and left us with a big hole in our downstairs ceiling. So I would try caulking where the drain connect to the shower, below the drain cover. Make sure it is dry before you do it. If that doesn't work, then you may have to remove the ceiling below to see where it's leaking and you may have to call a plumber. :( My thought always go to try the simplest thing first. Wishing you the best.

    • Lojuana Slovak Lojuana Slovak on Jan 19, 2018
      Thank you for the information Linda I’m not sure that would apply to my shower because it is on the first floor. We discovered the leak by chance when I was retrieving some clothes from the bottom of my armoire. They were damp and musty when I pulled out the drawer I saw all the water damage which led to us moving the dresser out checking the wall and discovering that the wall which the shower set up against from our master bath into our bedroom had apparently leaked water and caused mold and damage to the wall, furniture and carpet. In addition, we have a standalone shower that is all one piece and was installed in the house during the build. We are trying to avoid having to destroy it and install a new one with several different panels.

      I appreciate your input and will keep your advice on hand for future problems thank you and have a great weekend.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jan 18, 2018
    Unfortunately unless you have an access panel, you usually have to cut into the ceiling below about 1' square out of the drywall.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sharon Sharon on Jan 19, 2018
      Whats on the other side of the wall, maybe you could create a permanent access panel so you can service it periodically.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jan 18, 2018
    If you want to try and replace the tub drain, here is how to.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkYo9LWcFHQ

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Jan 19, 2018
    Hi LoJauna,
    In that case, I would suggest removing part of the wall with the damage to see if you can find the leak in the pipes that are between the shower and the wall, but I'm assuming that's the part of the shower where you'll find the pipes. If the pipes are on a different side, it may be that there is a crack in the one piece shower. I have a one piece shower that was installed when we raised our roof, so I understand why you'd have to go to a different style. Even if that's not the part with the pipes, you will still want to replace the damaged wall so take off that part of the wall and inspect the shower. It you can find the leak, the shower can be repaired with a filler, as per this article.

    It's also possible that there is a leak in the roof and the water just happened to follow the trail to that wall. (now assuming it's a one story home) If all of that fails, I'd leave the wall open and call a plumber. I hope that helps.