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Old 11-15-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Need help with tub leak

Need some assistance with a water leak as plumbing is definitely not my strong suite! (Sorry for the long post by the way)

It started with a water spot in the downstairs bathroom ceiling that started to mold. I ripped out the sheetrock to get rid of the mold and to also see if I could find the source of the water. There was no plumbing directly above the leak but I kept watching it and determined that I was getting water in this location every time someone used the shower in the upstairs bathroom (upstairs tub sits about 3' over from where the ceiling damage was occuring). Since then I have done the following but am unsure of the next step to take.

1. I started reading posts and it seemed that a lot of people had issues with the plumbers putty breaking down in the drain so I thought I would start there. I removed the drain, cleaned the area and replaced the drain with silicone. That didn't seem to solve the problem.

2. Plugged the tub and ran a hose from the garage up to the bathroom and filled the tub to about an 1" under the overflow. Let that sit for 1 hour and didn't see water downstairs.

3. Drained the tub and still didn't see any water downstairs. Assumed at this point that my drain was ok and it must be somewhere in the faucet/shower portion.

4. Pulled the escutcheon plate for the shower head forward and tucked some toilet paper into the hole and ran the shower for a few minutes. Pulled the toilet paper back out and all was dry. Didn't see any water downstairs either after just a few minutes of water running.

5. Decided to use the shower since that always caused water downstairs so I tucked toilet paper back around the shower head pipe and put the plate back on. I also took off the plate around the faucet handle and tucked some toilet paper back there to hopefully pinpoint the water source. Put that plate and the handle back on and took a shower.

6. After the shower, I definitely had water downstairs and when I took both plates back off to check the toilet paper the paper behind the faucet handle was soaked.

Anyone have ideas on what the next step would be? Does the faucet need to be replaced? Do I rip sheet rock out (not looking forward to this as it would be the kitchen wall behind the cabinets that will need to be removed to access this area) or is there a way to fix this from the tub side? Faucet is just a builder faucet with no name and has a single round knob that turns.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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Old 11-15-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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You still haven't determined the source of the leak.

Most all shower/tub valves can be service from the tub side with the cover plate removed. Use a flashlight and look at the valve as you run the water. See if the water is coming down from the shower head above or coming from the valve itself.


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