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Question DetailsAsked on 4/18/2014

Shower leaks water into basement

I have water drips into basement after taking shower. Not sure where it is coming from.

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2 Answers


Odds are it is the tile if it does not leak untill after you shower. You could do a bit of checking on you own before you call a tiler or a plumber. If you wait till no showers have been taken and the leak is not present you could start at the drain with a jug filled from an other source and start with water being poured down just the drain area. I would use a few jugs and wait to see if the leak is present. If not then slowly work your way up to the junction of the floor and the wall stopping at each step to check the basement. Work up each corner the same way. If it is a fibreglass unit the same would apply working from the drain to each seam if it is not a one piece unit. If you find no leaks it could be in the riser pipe from the valve to the shower head. If you are handy you could remove the shower head and cap it and then turn on the water to see if it is in the piping. That actually is the first place I would check as I always have the need tools and supplies on my truck and also have enough knowledge to spot problems in the pan or walls.

Hope this helps and any othe questions should be added to this post so others and myself can follow the progress.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


I would recommend opening up about a 6-12 inch hole in the ceiling right under the tub outlet and then look with a bright flashlight while someone does the progressive wetting scheme outlined by Don - you should open the area up to dry it out anyway to prevent rot, so why not do it now to check out where the leak is coming from.

Hint - to dry out the floor joist area, if your shop vac has the option of blowing as well as sucking, clean the filter real well and put the vac securely on top of something, and get the hose as far into the wet area as possible and turn it on and let it run for several hours at each wet area - will dry it out pretty fast. Sucking with a wet and dry shop vac (not a regular one - moisture will damage it) works too but takes a lot longer, and you have to tape around the hole through the hole so it has to pull air through the flooring rather than short-circuiting to the hole.

With respect to what Don said - assuming only shower casues leak but not sink or toilet, to check if it is the water supply pipes run the water into a bucket rather than down the drain, then dump the water down the toilet instead of the tub/shower drain - if it leaks when you do a couple of buckets that way, then leak is in water supply pipe between valve and the shower head/spout, or at the valve itself. If no leak there, then using smaller containers pour a couple gallons of water down the drain without getting any in the shower pan - if leaks, then your drain pipe or the drain pipe fitting at the pan is the problem. If no leak there, then try running water into tub (if a tub/shower) without the shower and see if it leaks which would mean leak is in the spout/diverter assembly. If nothing there, then finally use Don's method or run the shower directing the flow for several minutes at different areas of the shower pan, then the lower walls, then higher walls. Remember, for pan or wall leaks can take a good several minutes for it to migrate to the leak, so you have to do each area for several minutes and then wait several more for leak to appear before moving onto next area further away from the drain.

You may save several hundred $ of Plumbers labor if you can track the source yourself - then you can decide if you need a plumber or just a bit of caulk.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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