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codbilll 10-15-2006 11:01 PM

My shower failed its water test!
The plumber installed a new shower drain(insta-set),and the waterproofer hotmopped the pan. The drain was plugged with a 2" expandable plug,and the pan was filled withwater to the top of the dam.
When I checked for leaks from below ,I found water running down the outside of the drain pipe onto the trap.
How can I isolate the leak to see if it's coming from the drain or the hotmop?

747 10-16-2006 03:28 AM

Ron the plumber will know. But you posted kind of late. he will be by.

Ron The Plumber 10-16-2006 07:57 AM

Sounds like you will need to call back the ones who did the pan, I would almost say it is from the pan not the drain. It should be under a warranty.

codbilll 10-16-2006 09:37 AM

Thanks guys-
The hotmopper has no problem taking care of it if it's their fault.My concern is having the pan redone and having it still leak .(If the problem turns out to be with the drain.)
The plumber is going to take a look at it this AM,I'll post how this turns out-

redline 10-16-2006 03:50 PM

You could "seal" off the area around the drain and then if it still leaks then it may be a better indication that it is the pan.

codbilll 10-20-2006 04:23 PM

Shower pan update-
This has to be a one in million situation(not in a good way).Here's where we're at so far-
After the original water test,the plumber came out to check out the situation.He reinstalled the test plug down in the drain pipe about 6".He then filled up the pipe with just enough water to cover the joint between the drain and the drain pipe,making sure to keep the water level below the hot mop.Although the water level dropped slightly,he could not see any water running down the outside of the drain pipe as before.He was convinced that the joint was not leaking.I should mention that the pipe is running through a thick slab,so there is a chance that a small amount of water could wick into the slab rather than form a drip below (if the leak was slow enough).This shower is in a condo,and you can see the exposed plumbing in the underground parking below.
Based on the plumbers finding,I called the hotmopper back to re-do the pan. The hotmopper was'nt convinced that the pan was the problem.He then hotmopped over the drain opening,sealing the pan off above the joint that the plumber had tested.He did this so the next water test would test the pan only,and not include the plumbers joint below.
The pan was filled once again to the top of the dam,and allowed to stand for 24hrs. The pan proved to be water tight.The water level was the same as 24hrs. before,and everything below in the garage was dry,including the concrete around the pipe.
Sooo...was the problem before a leaky first pan? The only way to know for sure was to re-test. The plug was put back in the drainpipe,and the pan was filled to the top of the dam once more.
At this point,we know the pan is watertight,so if there's a leak the problem has to be somewhere in the plumbing below the hotmop.
24hrs later,we have the same problem we had on the very first test-water running down the outside of the drainpipe onto the trap.
The plumber now realizes he's got a problem,but he finds it odd that the small amount of head pressure created by filling the pan to the top would make that much difference.He still swears by his connection,but thinks there may be a problem with the drain casting.
He's coming back on Monday to replace the drain,pipe and trap.Unfortunately,he has to destroy the hotmop to do so.
Hows the saying go?"Experience is what you get when you do'nt get what you want".:furious:

R&D Tile 10-20-2006 05:03 PM

Let me quess, you live in California?:whistling2:

codbilll 10-20-2006 09:31 PM


Originally Posted by R&D Tile (Post 21341)
Let me quess, you live in California?:whistling2:

Yep-California. Is there a point here?

R&D Tile 10-21-2006 05:39 PM

Only place I've ever heard of hot mopping, never seen it done, so don't know how they seal it to the drain, we use sheet membranes, less mess also.:)

codbilll 10-21-2006 08:51 PM

Do'nt forget the smell! These guys come in your house with a 5 gallon bucket full of smoking tar-
All that aside,a hot mopped pan is still the preferred construction method around here.They are usually good for 20+ yrs.
Maybe a WELL constructed sheet membrane pan is as good or better than a hotmopped pan. I have to wonder how many installers out here even know how to install them properly.Most of the sheet pans I've torn out have had obvious problems-staples or nails below the dam,liner stopping on top of the dam,etc.My all time favorite was unbelievable.The liner was cut out in a circle around the drain,probably an inch or so bigger all around the drain.Then the installer used about a half a can of Henrys cold tar to try to seal it around the drain,filling the weep holes in the process,haha.:thumbdown:
What products and install methods are you sheet membrane guys having success with?

R&D Tile 10-22-2006 07:33 AM

I still use CPE liners and curbs from Noblecompany, waterproof all curb ends, and use 2 part clamping drains, never had a leak yet, don;t forget the pre-slope as well, pea gravel around the weep holes.:yes:

Schluter shower system is still the best , 100% waterproof shower, cost more, but worth it, haven't tried it yet.:)

codbilll 10-24-2006 11:23 AM

Thanks for the link R&D.I've used some of the Schluter products in the passed ,never checked out their shower system.
BTW-the plumber found a pin hole in the cast iron drain after removing it. He installed a new drain,drain pipe,and trap.
Back to work...........:detective:

TARMAN 12-12-2007 05:58 PM

The Leak
I noticed that the thread is a bit old here but the leak appears to be what our company continues to run into. On the bottom flange of the drain there are three bolts and these bolts contain washers if these bolts are tightened to tight the washers can break and allow the water to seep out through the bottom flange bolt holes. ( not the top flange with the strainer ) Bottom flange.

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