Could my shower need a new pan?

Vivian K
by Vivian K
The pipe under the house leading from the shower is covered with soap that is as hard as concrete. There are signs under the house that the subfloor has water circles around the pipe area. The plumber says I don't need a new pan just grouting on the tile in areas near the bottom of the shower. He told me to get in touch with a tile man who tells me that I do need a new pan and he would have to take out some tile in order to install the new vinyl pan. The house is 48 years old and the metal pan is as old as the house. Is the plumber right or the tile man? I am getting a 2nd opinion but it is with another tile man. Do the tile men just want to make money on a big job? I don't know which way to turn -- can someone help me?
  6 answers
  • Faidra at  CA Global Inc Faidra at CA Global Inc on Jan 27, 2012
    also get a second opinion from a plumber, AAmes comes out for free w/no trip charge and their pricing is reasonable

  • Vivian K Vivian K on Jan 27, 2012
    Thank you Faidra. I think you are right -- I do need a second opinion from another plumber. Then it will be easier to make my decision.

  • If the pipe is loaded with soap and calcium you have a leak in the pan or the connection between the pan and the pipe. In any case, new grout will do little to nothing to fix this issue. Grout is not a water proofing material It only fills in between the tile and the sealer you use on top of the grout prevents water from moving through. This is a short term repair. You need to remove the entire existing pan down to the wood floor below. Then put down new plywood, new mud floor, vinyl liner, more mud floor, then water proofing membrane then new tile. Of course during this project you need to install a new drain pipe with below the floor drain holes to trap any water that gets through the tile and grout. Here is a link on exactly how to do this old school style except they now use vinyl pan instead of lead.

  • Atlanta Plumbing Plus Atlanta Plumbing Plus on Jan 29, 2012
    I agree with Woodbridge. He has said it all.

  • Vivian K Vivian K on Jan 29, 2012
    Thank you so much Woodbridge and Atlanta Plumbing Plus. I have made up my mind now that it truly is the pan I believe. The second opinion from another tile man said the same thing the first tile man said. It is the pan. I am getting both tile men to give me an estimate in putting in a new, vinyl pan, tile and plumbing under the house. Your answers to my problem has been so helpful in my making a decision.

  • Troy Troy on Jan 21, 2016
    You have no problem with your pan those usually never need replaced. What you do have though is a drainage problem seem like pipe does not have proper angle for gravity drainage. All you need to do is reseal drain, run angle of pipe deeper, and regrout where needed