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Pleco31 03-15-2010 09:13 PM

How to fix a leaking waste pipe
Hi, I have a pvc waste pipe leaking from my basment celiling. When I run the shower the leak occurs. the bathroom is on the second floor, then underneath the kicthen, then underneath the basment. Do I need to remove the kitchen wall to determien where the leak is? If located is a pipe patching type substance recommended or would a replacement/plummer need to do the work?

Alan 03-15-2010 09:45 PM

It depends on what the leak is. If I had to guess without even seeing a picture of the damage, i'd say it's more than likely the pipe connection to the shower itself. Either the pipe has come out of the gasketed drain, or the putty has washed out from around the drain itself. Could even be a crack, have you checked the base for cracks?

And actually it could even be leaking from the showerhead or around the valve cover. Have you considered these options?

oh'mike 03-16-2010 06:55 AM

Alan nailed it---You have to do a search and find job on this--PVC drains are seldome the problem with a leaking shower.

The last leaker I found was a shower head pipe--the teflon tape was knocked off as the pipe was pushed through the wall.

Another recent leak was traced back to a bad tub spout--back washing into the wall.

I've got one of those "in wall cameras" those are some help.

Another mystery leak was caused by the home owner drilling in a wall anchor.

Yet another was the tub over flow -gasket was not tight--

The funniest one was a leaking cover plate--Wife was 8 months pregnant--the water was apparently bouncing off of her tummy--

You are going to have to play detective.---MIKE--

plumberinlaw 03-16-2010 07:56 AM

when you find the leak, if it is the pipe or a fitting cut it out and replace the bad spot. Before tearing open walls check all the grout,caulking, seal at bottom of shower door,escrutions,tub drain, overflow. Does it happen all the time or just when one certain person showers? If somebody does not close the shower curtain all the way it could be the floor outside the shower. does it leak just when the shower is used or does taking a bath cause the problem also? By the time the drain gets to the basement what else is connected to it? lav sink, water closet. kit sink. Being a detective if the funnest part of being a plumber

Pleco31 03-16-2010 08:32 AM

thanks for all your assistance. I have an old shower that is bascially a hose screwed to the bottom of the faucet. I have checked the back of the tub via a hatch in the closet. Everything appears dry. the water will leak when just running the bathtub facet. it stops leaking when turned off. I first noticed the leak because it was flowing out while my toilet was running. The waste pipe goes from ceiling to ground in the basement. As I can see the water leaking from the floor boards on the unfinished basement celiling, and there doesn't appear to be any water damage to the first floor walls, I'm thinking the leak may be just above the basement ceiling.

Alan 03-16-2010 09:15 AM

Ok, so it's not just the shower then? :huh:

Is the leak in the ceiling or the wall?

The only thing you can do is expose the entire length of piping and follow it while water runs to see where the leak is. If it's the whole line and not just the tub, then I'm betting on a drywall screw or nail that finally rusted out.

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