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Old 03-31-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


Hi,

We bought a recently built home a couple years ago. Have always struggled with the grout near the floor of the tiled stall shower in our master, and yesterday I gave it a good, thorough cleaning with a bleach scrub.

Couple hours later, wife takes a shower and 15 minutes after that one of the recessed lights in our kitchen starts pouring water. This is sort of a nightmare for me as a similar issue (from a different root cause) happened in our last house and resulted in a caved in ceiling and a huge, huge headache.

Budget is super tight, I have 3 kids in daycare and am desperate to get this fixed right for my wife who deserves a shower without worry (she was taking a shower in the last house when the disaster happened).

Good news is, I was able to catch it fairly quickly and I think the kitchen ceiling will be ok. Got in through the can opening and dried everything out.

Other good news, the original owners left a ton of leftover tile & grout in the basement so my material cost might not be crazy.

Did some googling and I realize my 'thorough cleaning' probably caused the issue. What I don't understand is ... isn't there supposed to be a tray or membrane or something under the tile and up the wall a bit?

I took two tiles off and took some pictures to illustrate - as you can see there is dampness on whatever is behind the tile; it was moist to the touch.

I don't know what I'm looking at but I'm game to do whatever I need to do to fix this so I'm praying for someone to give me some guidance. Thank you in advance for any help.

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Old 03-31-2014, 12:03 PM   #2
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


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Old 03-31-2014, 12:20 PM   #3
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


You probably rubbed off grout sealer. A good shower install does not need grout sealer but at this point it is give grout sealer a try it could take a couple coats or gut shower and start over the right way.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:21 PM   #4
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


All the plumbers are busy, please give them time to respond to your post. Thanks.

It looks like you found where it's leaking?? If you can, check and make sure the plumbing drainage pipe/trap hasn't come loose or cracked somewhere as well. Run some water around/down the drain only, just to rule that out. Sorry I couldn't be of more help to you.

Last edited by jmon; 03-31-2014 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:26 PM   #5
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


Thanks for the replies. Good idea jmon, I will plan on running a hose down the drain for a few minutes while getting my arm into the ceiling as far as I can to check for any leaks from the drain.

I am assuming it's the grout because of the small cracks I see (pictured) and the timing of the thorough cleaning done just the same day. The grout was developing a nasty black coating and I wanted to make sure I got it totally clean.

I did get it clean...... just too clean, I guess.

JustinK, I considered resealing thoroughly but I don't want to just patch it and live under the gun ... want a truly worryproof shower that we don't have to worry about for the next 17 yrs in this house.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:31 PM   #6
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


One thing to note, I replaced a toilet in the kids' bathroom right after we moved in and saw that the flange was put in crooked and then straightened by forcing in half a dozen lag bolts through the side.

The point is, whoever they subbed the plumbing to in this house was sloppy and/or inexperienced.

If this is beyond the abilities of a brave, mid-level DIYer, please let me know and I'll hire a pro.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:43 PM   #7
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


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Originally Posted by MoreCowbell View Post
One thing to note, I replaced a toilet in the kids' bathroom right after we moved in and saw that the flange was put in crooked and then straightened by forcing in half a dozen lag bolts through the side.
For now I would just keep an eye on that area for leakage.

Don't try to fix everything at once, toilet isn't leaking, concentrate on stopping/fixing your shower leak first.

Last edited by jmon; 03-31-2014 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:47 PM   #8
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


If you want to do it right then. I would gut the shower to studs and subfloor. Then go with a shower pan (much more diy friendly) cement board on walls seal seams, corners, screw holes with redguard and mesh then after dries coat entire wall with redguard. Then tiled walls . Be prepared to spend $500 +. There is plenty of videos and step by step instruction online.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:53 PM   #9
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If this is beyond the abilities of a brave, mid-level DIYer, please let me know and I'll hire a pro.
It might be a good idea to have a plumber install shower pan. Should only take him an hour or 2 if you prep the area. It should cost less than $200 for his labor.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:42 PM   #10
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


Thanks Justin - some articles I've read mentioned just removing the first row of tiles to allow for a proper shower pan install. Is that not an option for me?

Our plan all along was to redo the whole bathroom in 4 years when the last daycare bills are done and wife goes back to work full time - everything will get gutted to the studs then.

If I have to gut it to the ceiling, so be it. Was hoping I can 'do it right' yet also not nuke everything as all the tile going up the walls looks really nice, and I have enough scrap tile to replace a row or two ... but not everything.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:07 PM   #11
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


You said it was wet behind tile and there is no way to how well the walls are sealed to begin with can you tell if it is cement board or drywall?
If you want to try and start with just the shower pan you can but there is a good chance the walls are not built to the exact dimension of a shower pan. Starting from scratch you can add spacer to get a shower pan to fit.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:36 PM   #12
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


I've only ever hung drywall, but it does look harder/rougher than drywall - tough to tell as there's what looks to be wire mesh and adhesive (see pics, above).

At least w/the two tiles I removed, it was only wet up to 1/2 way up the tile, leading me to believe the failure was in the floor/wall joint.

What if I (or plumber) used a liner instead of a pan? Feasible?

Wonder if I removed first row of tiles and board to studs, and everything on the floor until I hit subfloor, if an experienced plumber would be able to give me a waterproof pan that could then be tiled over and sealed. This is definitely a plumber job, not a tile job?

I know virtually nothing about this stuff so I'm just guessing/hoping.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:05 PM   #13
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreCowbell View Post
One thing to note, I replaced a toilet in the kids' bathroom right after we moved in and saw that the flange was put in crooked and then straightened by forcing in half a dozen lag bolts through the side.

The point is, whoever they subbed the plumbing to in this house was sloppy and/or inexperienced.

If this is beyond the abilities of a brave, mid-level DIYer, please let me know and I'll hire a pro.
And forcing in half a dozen lag bolts was not?Is the bathroom above your shower?
Anyhow,The shower was not built properly and you will never sqeeze that many years out of it.Best to deal correctly with the problem now before creating more.Grout sealer is not a fix for this.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:09 PM   #14
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And forcing in half a dozen lag bolts was not?Is the bathroom above your shower?
Anyhow,The shower was not built properly and you will never sqeeze that many years out of it.Best to deal correctly with the problem now before creating more.Grout sealer is not a fix for this.
To clarify, the lag bolts were put in by the plumbing sub at the time of the build, not me.

I didn't rebuild the flange; as crappy as it looked it was solid. I mentioned this because it tells you that the original plumbing sub, whoever it was, was a hack.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:15 PM   #15
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New waterfall feature - from a kitchen recessed light. :( Help!


No doubt.By your post I thought it was you.Rest of the post still stands and I'm sorry for your problems.I know how frustrating it c

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