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Old 08-22-2009, 06:16 PM   #1
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New acrylic bath tub install weird leak


Hi all, sorry for the long post up front

I recently renovated our bathroom. Cutting out the old plywood floor and redoing the whole thing from the ground up.

I choose an acrylic bath tub because it was inexpensive, deep and is the general standard now (so i was told).

I ended up doing this project because the old drain was leaking. So all new plumbing has been installed and that does not appear to be where the leak is coming from.

The tub only leaks when baths are taken / the tub is filled with water; and the leak gets worse over time. Strange thing is, the amount of water that leaks from the floor below the tub (haven't replaced the dry-wall ceiling below because I wanted to check the plumbing), one would think there should be a penny sized hole in the tub, but there are no holes nor cracks.

If the water is left alone in the tub it is completely calm, no swirling, bubbles or any kind of movement what so ever.

The water appears to leak out from underneath the bath tub itself. This can be seen from the floor below, leaking out from the cut-out in the plywood for the drain (def not the actual drain itself).

Water level is never high enough as to be leaking from the over-flow and the mixing pipes for the water aren't leaking either. I even have a good view of the exhaust PVC for the system and that's not leaking.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm thoroughly stumped on this one.

Thanks!

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Old 08-22-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
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New acrylic bath tub install weird leak


More info on how the tub was sealed:

tub was filled 1/2 way with water then the entire perimeter was caulked.

hardi-backer board was used leaving 1/8 inch above the tub. all corners and seams were taped and then water-proofed with laticrete water proofing compound.

i then tiled 12" porcelain tiles (24 hours), grouted (48 hours) down to the tub, sealed (48 hours) and then used Polyseal quick (2 hour) silicon caulk around all edges and expansion joints.

that being said, no leaks when the shower is on, only when the tub is filled. water never reaches the heights of any seals anyways.

Thanks

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Old 08-23-2009, 08:27 AM   #3
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New acrylic bath tub install weird leak


Only two things I can think of are a defective tub (in that there's an invisible crack somewhere that only expands under pressure) or a leak from under the chrome drain tube. Did you put plumbers putty or something underneath that drain when you installed it? Here again the leak might not appear unless it was under stress...
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:43 AM   #4
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New acrylic bath tub install weird leak


Thanks for the reply

I used silicon instead of putty below the drain lip, I did this because it was recommended because of the oils in the putty apparently softening the plastic over time.

Any guess on what the defect could be how the water is leaking?

When it leaks, it leaks BAD. one would think there should be a noticeable hole in the tub. Another funny thing is that it didn't leak when I test filled it to seal it but I re-did the drain because I had the gasket on the inside of the tub lol.

I guess that should point it towards the drain, I re-did the drain again yesterday. I'll post back with the results.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:53 PM   #5
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New acrylic bath tub install weird leak


Check to be sure its not leaking from the tub shoe. dry it all up then have someone use the tub like they do when it leak and keep you hand by the connection between the drain and the tub.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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New acrylic bath tub install weird leak


Another place to look is the valve/tub spout and make sure it isn't leaking there since you say it seems to not leak when there is just water sitting in it. Often you can take the escutcheon plate off the valve to peer in with a flashlight (and maybe a dental mirror) to be sure no water is leaking before it is even getting into the tub.

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