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Old 08-21-2006, 07:45 PM   #1
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Leaking Bathtub


My plumber friend cut a hole in the ceiling to gain access to my leaking tub above. When the drain was exposed as well as the supply lines, we turned on the shower, ran it for several minutes, and there was no leakage from any of the pipes. However, a significant leak is draining through the floorboards, which would be beside the tub. Thinking that maybe there were significant gaps in the tile grout, I did some extra sealing on the bathroom floor, but the problem persists, and there's no way that much water is draining onto the floor. I don't see any holes in the bottom of the tub either. The kicker is that the tub will only leak if there is someone in it. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 08-21-2006, 08:07 PM   #2
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Make sure all the trim that sits against the wall is caulked, if there not caulked good then water can get in the wall and find it's way to the lower ends.

Check the overflow gasket, if that gasket is worn or bad it can leak, check by turning on tub and diverting the water towards the overflow, have someone watch below while checking this out.

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Old 08-22-2006, 08:09 AM   #3
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Thank you Ron, I'll give that a shot.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:28 PM   #4
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Leaking Bathtub


Also, the weight of a person in the tub might allow water to leak around the drain if the plumber's putty around under it has dried out and failed.
You can use a tool made for the purpose, or a pair of channel-lock pliers with a screwdriver in the teeth for leverage to unscrew the drain to check it.
First, heat the drain with a hairdryer to soften the old putty.
Next, stick the tool or plier handles down into the crosspieces of the tub drain and turn it out clockwise. Try not to break the crosspieces, or you'll have to replace the drain.
Clean out the old putty.
Roll a rollof fresh plumber's putty about the size of a pencil in your hands and wrap it around the tub drain depression, and tighten the drain back down onto it. Wipe away the excess putty and save it.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-22-2006, 01:20 PM   #5
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Leaking Bathtub


also, remember something about leaks. water will travel along anything it can, so the spot it drips through the floor definitely might not be very close to the source. I think Mike might be spot on. Sounds like the drain might be leaking from around the sides. I'd follow Mikes recomendation, but just make sure you don't get into a full tub with that hair dryer...
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Old 08-22-2006, 06:33 PM   #6
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Leaking Bathtub


I saw this on "Ask This Old House" - the leak was coming from the shower faucet. The water splashed from the person. (Of course they always fix everything in 1/2 hour).
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Old 08-22-2006, 11:07 PM   #7
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Mike did you mean to say this? "...and turn it out clockwise."


In all my experience tub drains come out counter-clockwise. Rich.
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:56 AM   #8
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It is counterclockwise.
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:32 PM   #9
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I re-grouted the tile on the shower walls, and now there are no leaks. Thank you for your time everyone.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:14 PM   #10
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Leaking Bathtub


You're absolutley right, Bonus. I meant to say "counter-clockwise". Sometimes, I just get in too big of a hurry. Thanks for catching that. I've been DIY plumbing for more than 50 years, and somehow, I definitely know how things are supposed to "turn out".
(If only my senile brain cell would "turn out" all of the time, too. LOL)
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:54 PM   #11
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Mike, I was sure it was a typo, just didn't want someone untightening something the wrong way.

I figured maybe you were dreaming of being south of the equator somewhere warm, where, as everyone knows, 'tubs drain the other way round.' Rich.
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:44 PM   #12
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I have the same problem. If your bathroom was built correctly you would not have a leak, but nobody is building them correctly. A moisture barrier such as tar paper should be installed and overlap the lip of the tub. Then hardibacker should be put up and the seams TAPED. Nobody bothers with the seams. Now if water were to get behind the hardibacker it would hit the moisture barrier and flow back down into the tub. I have rotted studs from small leaks that never showed. I can't blame it all on the builder though. I hired a contractor to redo my tub and tile 10 years ago. He didnt use tar paper or tape the seams. Builders and contractors only care about what you can see on the outside.
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Builders and contractors only care about what you can see on the outside.
One word missing....SOME. Not all of us are like that, in fact most contractors (both general and specialty) are very detail oriented....but the few that aren't bring down the meaning of the word "contractor".
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:35 PM   #14
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Leaking Bathtub


I noticed an small ammount of standing water outside the tub on the tile. I have been careful about keeping the shower curtain inside the tub and am sure that its not as simple of a fix as that. I will say that there are a couple of places where water could be getting behind the shower surround...the nipple for the bath nozzle is too long and there is about a half inch gap behind there and there is the potential for a small ammount of water to get back behind there but the volume of water seems to be too much and I have not noticed this lead over the last 4 months (since we moved in). The plumbing is not fixed entirely but it doesnt move excessively when we turn the faucet on etc...but if you give it a wiggle, it will move. Also, I have noted that some work has been done previously as the access in the closet behind the shower has been roughly prepared...Any ideas? Please ask for clarification if you have a hunch.

Thanks.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:21 PM   #15
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I had water in our basement directly under our tub. It was that there was a 1/4" gap from the faucet to the wall. I thought that not "that much" water would get in that space, but I was wrong.

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