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Old 06-01-2007, 02:06 PM   #1
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intermittant shower leak.


The upstairs shower leaks intermittantly into the bedroom below. Sometimes it leaks during a shower (usually after running it awhile) and sometimes it doesn't.
Our maintenance guy was convinced it was water spilled out on the floor, but I caulked the entire bathroom and the leaks continue.

Any ideas?

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Old 06-01-2007, 02:12 PM   #2
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intermittant shower leak.


Must be in the plumbing, either a pipe or the faucet connections. Do you have access to the plumbing behind the shower wall? Is this shower tiled? If it is , is the grout cracked? How old is it?


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Old 06-01-2007, 03:11 PM   #3
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intermittant shower leak.


The building is incredibly old. The shower is definitely not as old as the building, but it might be fairly old too.

I'll have to check the tiles. I think we'll have to tear out a wall to get access to the plumbing.

Our maintenance fellow though there might be a small chance it was the shower handle valves, said they were loose or something. But he was so convinced it was the floor.

I did test filling the shower tub for about ten minutes, no apparent leak. Also ran the shower full blast for five minutes, no leak. Didn't leak for a week, then leaked big time.
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:36 PM   #4
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intermittant shower leak.


leak happen from two category: supply or drain

may be you need to find which category first.

if it is from supply, then whether it leaks only when shower is on or leaks no matter on/off

after answering about question... you have a better understanding...
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:10 PM   #5
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intermittant shower leak.


We had to tear out the back wall. The leak was from the valves, I don't know why the leak was intermittent. Replaced the valves, problem seems fixed.
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Old 06-02-2007, 05:52 AM   #6
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intermittant shower leak.


If it's a Symmons valve, you probably just need to replace the diverter (tub/shower), or "volume control" (shower only). It's just a plastic piece with one rubber o-ring on it. When that o-ring wears out - usually within 5 years - it will leak.

It's a fairly simple job if you have the right tools and know how to use them. If not, being able to tell a plumber on the phone exactly what the problem is may just impress him enough that he'll go easy on you with the bill. (I like knowing exactly what I'm in for before I get there - that way I can arrive with all the parts I may need).

P.S. - Another thought: If it's a Moen valve, sometimes the integral stops have a tendency to leak.

Last edited by Ishmael; 06-02-2007 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:18 AM   #7
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intermittant shower leak.


I guess..looks like you can change the valve without tearing down the wall... then... kind of a waste of tearing down the valve... I experienced two plumbers who change shower valve being the first attempt on any problem before anything.... as it seems the easiest thing to try....
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:58 PM   #8
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intermittant shower leak.


Quote:
Originally Posted by darsunt View Post
The upstairs shower leaks intermittantly into the bedroom below. Sometimes it leaks during a shower (usually after running it awhile) and sometimes it doesn't.
Our maintenance guy was convinced it was water spilled out on the floor, but I caulked the entire bathroom and the leaks continue.

Any ideas?
Take a look behind all of the trim plates on the fixtures. A fairly common source of intermittent leaks, as the caulking around the valve stem penetrations falls out and when water runs down the shower wall a certain direction or volume , it gets behind the trim and into the walls, and drips down.

Here is a real quirky one we recently experienced with older plumbing. While doing a downstairs renovation, a leak appeared one morning while the owner was taking a shower, located directly above. Checked everything, but all of the tile in the shower and bathroom floor was in excellent shape, checked the penetrations as above, they were sealed good, but resealed them anyway. No more leaks for the entire duration of the remodel (several months, as it was entire downstairs). Suddenly one morning, a wet spot shows in the ceiling paint. We go there and check everything in sequence again. Pour water on the bathroom floor(no Leak), plug the shower drain and fill the base to the top of the curb (no leak after 4 hrs), put a garden hose in the drain and run it( no leak after an hour or so), hose the shower walls down for half an hour,(no leaks, run both hot and cold valves (no leaks). We are now leaning to the unpleasant thought of having to break open walls to look for the mystery, when the guy with me suggests that could it be possible to have a worn spot in a valve stem that only leaked when the valve was opened to that particular spot. Since the fixtures were about 15 years old, we pulled the stems, and went to a local shop that specializes in repair parts to match them.We changed out the seats, installed the new stems, and it has been more than 7 months with no problems. Our fingers are still crossed.

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