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Question DetailsAsked on 12/11/2017

why does 2nd floor shower leaks behind 1st floor kitchen wall

after showers on 2nd floor a puddle appears on 1st floor behind refrigerator wall

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1 Answer


Because there is a leak - or when showering water is getting past the shower curtain or door and saturating the floor or wall outside the shower, leaking down from there.

Couple of diagnostic things you could do if you want to try to track the cause yourself:

1) if this is a shower in a tub, try running water in the tub without the shower head - if it still leaks then it is a cracked tub (unlikely), loose drain pipe fitting at the tub, leaking drain pipe - or a leak in the valve. If it only leaks when running water through the shower head into the tub/shower base but NOT hitting the curtina or doors, but NOT when taking a bath or bathing the dog, then the leak is in the riser pipe to the shower head.

2) If you remove the removeable grating over the drain (if any) and carefully pour several gallons of water down there (straight into the drain, not at all into the shower pan or bathtub) while someone watches downstairs and it leaks, then the drain pipe is loose at the tub or leaking.

3) if does not leak in case 2) above try pouring several gallons of water into the tub or shower base and see if that causes it to leak - in which case leaking/cracked tub or shower base would be the cause.

4) if only leaks when actually showering - so water is splashing around, to leak that far usually means (if noe of the above) that you have a substantial shower curtain/door issue, like curtain outside the tub rather than inside as it should be, shower door leak at the base, bypass shower doors aligned the wrong way so the water is getting tbhrough between the doors (the door at the shower head end should be on the inside track, the further away door on the outside track), if an opening type door possibly not latching closed or seal is leaking, etc. Check for wetness outside the shower after showering.

5) another possibility, especially if drain is not free-draining so the water backs up in the shower, is leakage at the curb - cracks in the tile grout, or cracked/unsealed enclosure panel joints.

6) most commonly with firberglass but also happens with acrylic shower bases - cracked base allowing ater to leak out - commonloy noticeable ONLY when someone is actually showering so their weight opens up the crack - may not noticeably leak if just turning on the shower head from outside the shower.

If those don't help you tie it down, or to avoid getting more water into the wall than is already there (an especially good idea if electrical like range outlet is in that wall), then open a small inspection hole in the top of the wall to look into where the waler is coming from - possibly also in ceiling under the shower/tub, to use an inspection scope/camera to look into the open space to see where the water is coming from.

Contractor to have look into this for you if you are not able to or above did not help tie it down - Plumbing would be the Serch the List category for that.

And of course, the wall and affected 2nd floor subfloor areas should also be dried out - several ways to do that, or a water and smoke damage control contractor can also do it if significant area affected.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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