Leaking Shower Pan?
A leaking shower pan is not hard to diagnose. If you noticed water, mildew, or stained baseboards outside your tiled shower then your shower pan might be leaking. While visiting with a client in North Oklahoma City, this is exactly what I found. Because of the shower pan leak, water is getting out of the shower and running under the wall and causing all kinds of damage.
As you can see in the photo there are some cracks in the grout at the edge of the floor but that’s not where the real problem is. Grout is porous and even when perfect, some water will always get through. A properly built tiled shower floor is actually water proof long before any tile is installed. The shower pan attached to a flange on the drain pipe below the tile and should go at least partially up the wall. Once the pan is in, it does not matter how much water gets through the floor. The only place it can go is down the shower drain.
Here’s a simple way to check your shower pan for leaks. First, cover the drain with some duct tape. Be sure to leave one edge of the tape turned up so you can remove it quickly. Run water into the shower floor from any source other than the shower faucet (like a nearby bathtub using a bucket, or a garden hose ran from outside). This verifies the leak to be from the pan and not the shower faucet or pipes in the wall. After you get a few inches of water standing in the shower shut off the water. Check around the outside of the threshold and walls to see if any water is leaking out. If not, try splashing water around the threshold, against the walls, and in the corners. If you start seeing water outside the shower then the pan is the culprit. Now pull that tape off of the drain and prepare for a new shower. If no water shows up, you will need to start checking the shower faucet, shower head connection, pipes in the wall, or other nearby plumbing fixtures.
If you want some help testing your shower pan, then call our office and we will be happy to assist. If you find you have a leaking shower pan, you might be able to have a new shower without having to tear out the old one. Call our sister company BATH FITTER today to get a free in-home estimate.