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Old 07-07-2010, 09:48 PM   #1
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Leaking from first floor to basement


Hi folks,

I have been battling with a leak for 2 months now. My 1st floor bathroom recently had a custom stall shower built with tiles. This was originally a 1/2 bath. It has been leaking into the unfinished basement for about 2 months whenever we turn on the water. I don't know if the guy even put a shower liner underneath. I did not see him do anything like that. Basically he put cement and then the tiles. And now I am getting a nasty smell from my drain. I don't know if its sewer gas or just the rotted wood underneath. I am also getting drain flies. Here are the tests that I have done:

1. Filled shower area up 1 inch with water and covered the drain overnight. Water level did not decrease.

2. Put a cap on the shower head and turned on shower knob along with the hot and cold knobs. With full pressure, there was no leak from the pipes. The pipes leading into the bathroom from the basement are visible and no leaks. No leaks on the copper pipe. No leaks on the PVC drain.

3. Caulked everything including the underneath of the glass door and all 4 corners.

4. Turned on the shower, still leaks.

5. covered the drain and showered the tiles. No leak.

6. The only thing I have not tested is the drain itself. As I have mentioned, I see no water on the pvc elbow(He didn't even install a P type pvc pipe) sticking out to the basement. However, this drain is installed into the tiles. And the metal lid is just sitting on top of the hole. The guy didn't even bother to screw it in. Its not even a screw type. I guess I will have to stick it on with caulk. I suspect that the problem is in the upper portion of the drain which I cannot see from the basement. Now how do I test this without breaking the floor?

Thanks a lot.

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Old 07-07-2010, 11:37 PM   #2
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Leaking from first floor to basement


I would check for your leak at the drain (from underneith). Sounds like the "plumber" did not do a thourough job. There should be a thick rubber ring between your drain pipe and the brass (or plastic) shower drain. This may be where your leak is coming from. If nothing else find a reputable, licensed plumber to help you. Take care.

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Originally Posted by Deanm View Post
Hi folks,

I have been battling with a leak for 2 months now. My 1st floor bathroom recently had a custom stall shower built with tiles. This was originally a 1/2 bath. It has been leaking into the unfinished basement for about 2 months whenever we turn on the water. I don't know if the guy even put a shower liner underneath. I did not see him do anything like that. Basically he put cement and then the tiles. And now I am getting a nasty smell from my drain. I don't know if its sewer gas or just the rotted wood underneath. I am also getting drain flies. Here are the tests that I have done:

1. Filled shower area up 1 inch with water and covered the drain overnight. Water level did not decrease.

2. Put a cap on the shower head and turned on shower knob along with the hot and cold knobs. With full pressure, there was no leak from the pipes. The pipes leading into the bathroom from the basement are visible and no leaks. No leaks on the copper pipe. No leaks on the PVC drain.

3. Caulked everything including the underneath of the glass door and all 4 corners.

4. Turned on the shower, still leaks.

5. covered the drain and showered the tiles. No leak.

6. The only thing I have not tested is the drain itself. As I have mentioned, I see no water on the pvc elbow(He didn't even install a P type pvc pipe) sticking out to the basement. However, this drain is installed into the tiles. And the metal lid is just sitting on top of the hole. The guy didn't even bother to screw it in. Its not even a screw type. I guess I will have to stick it on with caulk. I suspect that the problem is in the upper portion of the drain which I cannot see from the basement. Now how do I test this without breaking the floor?

Thanks a lot.

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Old 07-08-2010, 01:32 AM   #3
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Leaking from first floor to basement


Hi deanm,

I've got some great news for you! They're not going to just go away......

I guess you're familiar with a major design of the "P-trap." A leading reason it's shaped like that, and positioned as it is: to trap clean water and in the process create an effective barrier against sewage fumes invading the atmosphere of your home. If I read you right, it's missing.

The other thing is the leak. It's not likely you're going to stop it without undoing the remodel.

Also, it sounds as though you're not working with a properly connected drainage system.

Please, if you can, contact whoever created this monster, and have him do it over.....everything.... This time, the correct way.

Either that or your money back. Get someone else. This time, get one person for the plumbing...... Personally inspect and test the plumbing, first.

This is a reason, on new construction projects or pre-sales home renovations, the city inspector demands nothing be covered. He/she has to examine all the connections....then, be certain the system is operating the way it normally should. Drainage (without leaks) included.

Then, you get someone else to do the finish work in terms of the wall and floor covering.

As it stands, you're a victim of shoddy work. Technically, the contractor didn't do what you paid him/her to. So, actually, you paid the person or people for creating your present troubles. You may not have done it intentionally, but such is what the situation is. This is what you actually paid for. Since this isn't intentional, it's up to you to either get all your money back or have the contractor(s) do it over.....plumbing first....the right way.

The project is a "do-over-do-right-this-timer." Time to get tough!

Last edited by HGRBS; 07-08-2010 at 01:38 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:51 PM   #4
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Leaking from first floor to basement


Thanks guys. Yea the drain has no rubber. All I see is white piping with purple stains and a metal cover on top. The problem is that I didn't start using the bathroom until after 15 months since the addition. I was out of state visiting my parents. Yea, it turned into a LONG visit. Anyhow, I called the guy and he says its been over 6 mos and he'll need to charge again to fix it. There's no way I'm hiring him again. And yes I'm a victim of shoddy work but its only my fault that he got away with this.

Last edited by Deanm; 07-08-2010 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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Leaking from first floor to basement


Hi deanm,

Things are getting a kind of busy. Have to make a few runs and stops.

Hey man? BBB this. Each state has a better business bureau. You can e-mail in your report. Doesn't matter if the guys says it's longer than 6 months. By the way things sound, even if it were only 6 minutes, doesn't appear he'd do it right the second time....not even if he wanted to.

BBB this. "www.bbb.com" This way you've got a legal opportunity to expose him and his company by name......... Juicy man! Take a bite!
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:50 PM   #6
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Leaking from first floor to basement


If access is possible from the basement, would it be possible for a plumber to add P-trap and proper drain from underneath so as to not to disturbe the tile?
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:13 PM   #7
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Leaking from first floor to basement


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Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
If access is possible from the basement, would it be possible for a plumber to add P-trap and proper drain from underneath so as to not to disturbe the tile?
Thats a good idea. But the hole is just enough to see the connections. It is surrounded by wood. I guess its the sub floor. Maybe a plumber can use tools to replace the drain from below. I'll stay in touch.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:18 PM   #8
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Leaking from first floor to basement


I filled up the shower area with water and figured out that it was a leak from the corner. Thats all it was. All I had to do was caulk the corners of the floor and I could have saved 2 months worth of sub floor damage.. No leak since I sealed the corners. Thanks for all your help fellas. (Not worrying about ptrap for now...)

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