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Old 03-06-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
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URGENT: Need Help with Shower Leaks


Hi Everyone,

I really need your help on this one...We build a new house 14 months ago. The ceramic guy we hired convinced us to use the Schluter orange membrane sytstem for our 3X6 ceramic-tiled shower.
We tought that with that, no water could reach behind the walls or floor...
Last month, we discovered a water drip downsairs in the laudry room,...(the shower that has a leak is straigt upstair).
the laundry room ceiling is drywalled and there is only a spot big as a dime that is wet...so it has to be a new problem.

Fortunetely, the basement ceiling everywhere else is not finished and we are able to see the plumbing of the masterbath. and the top of the sheetrock of the laundry room. its dry.

This is what's really WEIRD: when the shower is running, downstairs, we can see water dripping along the hot water pipe.
The dripping starts only where the subfloor begins. My husband changed the hot water pipe, thinking it was that.
didn't help. so we called the plumber.
the plumber ripped the sheetrock on the shower wall that has all the piping (rain shower head, 3 jets, and telephone head, etc)
that interior wall was bone dry... insulation was intact..(we soundpround as it is the masterbath)
he checked everthing, said its not the pipes...he looked at the drain, (ripped the sheetrock in laundry room) says its not it.
the sub floor, the 2X4 next to the leak, everything is dry...water is only coming along the hot water pipe.
it takes rougly 10 min for the dripping to start.

we called the ceramic guy, he wants to take out the grout and put some kind of epoxy stuff over the tiles... we want him to go at the source and rip off the shower floor and redo the membrane... he said he would do it his way first...we had a bit of an argument, we don't want him to put a band aid on this situation and we'll have the same problem next year...

What do you think? do you think its the membrane? could the house has cracks as its new and it would have separated the membrane from the floor??

Any suggestions will be appreciated...thanks in advance!

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Old 03-06-2012, 02:02 AM   #2
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URGENT: Need Help with Shower Leaks


If people standing right there looking at it are having a hard time finding the leak, not sure how anyone here is going to find it or make any worth while suggestion on something we have never seen.

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Old 03-06-2012, 05:35 AM   #3
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URGENT: Need Help with Shower Leaks


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Originally Posted by myriam0109 View Post

do you think its the membrane?
Of course it could be the membrane. But then again it may not be.

I think joecaption had a pretty straight forward comment. If people standing right there looking at it are having a hard time finding the leak, not sure how anyone here is going to find it or make any worth while suggestion on something we have never seen.

Anyway here's what I would do:
Use an alternate water source besides the plumbing in the shower to douse the shower floor and walls and see if the leak appears. You say above that the leak usually appears in about 10 minutes so there's your timeframe.
If leaks occur with alternate water source then the leak is from shower walls or floor. For an alternate water source use a garden hose attached to some other spigot.

Can you post a few photos of the shower and area where leak is observed?




Good luck

Last edited by hammerlane; 03-06-2012 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:58 AM   #4
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URGENT: Need Help with Shower Leaks


I agree with the other posts here.

I also agree with the tile guy.

Let him rip out the grout and put some epoxy crap over the tiles.


If that fixes the problem, then you know there's an issue with the membrane, and you can have that discussion when the time comes. It's slightly unrealistic to ask someone to tear out work they did without being able to prove withe concrete evidence that there is a problem with it.


Final thought : What did the inspector say about the shower pan?
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:42 AM   #5
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URGENT: Need Help with Shower Leaks


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
Anyway here's what I would do:
(and what I would do too)

Use an alternate water source besides the (in wall) plumbing...
If leaks occur with alternate water source then the leak is from shower walls or floor.
I wouldn't be in a hurry to demo a tile job...
and I'd be surprised if (a properly done) Kerdi is leaking.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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URGENT: Need Help with Shower Leaks


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I also agree with the tile guy.

Let him rip out the grout and put some epoxy crap over the tiles.

That is the remedy AFTER you discover the leak is coming from the shower floor/wall. Get your hose out and flood that shower floor/wall
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:20 PM   #7
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URGENT: Need Help with Shower Leaks


Take a look here Inspecting Tiled Shower Pans and here Shower Leaks - Investigation and Repair FAQ.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:02 PM   #8
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URGENT: Need Help with Shower Leaks


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Both excellent articles on leak detection
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:43 PM   #9
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URGENT: Need Help with Shower Leaks


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That is the remedy AFTER you discover the leak is coming from the shower floor/wall. Get your hose out and flood that shower floor/wall
Yep. I'd assume that a tile guy who builds custom showers would see this as an easier approach than tearing out grout.


I guess I shouldn't have made that assumption.

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