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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Plumbing leak between floors

    The plumbing for the upstairs bathtub/shower runs between the first and second floors. We get a drip in the first floor ceiling when using the shower only in the upstairs bath. We first thought it was caused by an after market shower head, replaced it, no improvement. I'm a DIY'er but this one has me baffled. I don't know how to access (or even see) the plumbing between floors or behind the bathtub without a major rip-out. I suspect the leak is between the bath faucet and shower head because it only leaks when the shower is used.
    Last edited by Telecom Mike; 06-03-2011 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Explain better

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Plumbing leak between floors

    the easiest way to get at that is to cut out a section of drywall from below which will give you access. its the cleanest least invavsive method, all you'll need to do is patch teh drywall and repaint the ceiling. if you go from within the bathroom you'l have to remove teh tub or cut up the floor to get at it
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Plumbing leak between floors

    We have a plaster finish over the sheet rock ceiling. Repairing that will run into quite a project.

    Thank you for the quick reply.
    Last edited by Telecom Mike; 06-03-2011 at 03:22 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,241

    Default Re: Plumbing leak between floors

    What type of enclosure is it? (tile or fiberglass) It could be as simple as cracks in the grout around the tub. There are tests that you can do to determine if it is a leak in the drain or water lines. It can also be a simple faucet rebuild. It's almost impossible to diagnose your problem with just a statement that you have a leak from your shower. Before cutting holes in drywall I would call a qualified plumber to have a look at it first.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    7,341

    Default Re: Plumbing leak between floors

    We need more information from you.

    What's behind the wall of the bathroom? a closet? a bedroom? another bathroom? a hallway? I's important to know, to see if you can have access.

    From the limited information you gave, I understand that you think that the source of the leak is in between the faucet to the shower head. To verify this, and assuming that you can have access from behind, you would need to cut the drywall behind the tub, from about where the faucet is and up.
    Cut the drywall from stud to stud using a drywall cutter/hand saw. Don't use power tools. Once you remove the drywall, run the shower and find the leak.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4

    Smile Re: Plumbing leak between floors

    Sorry for the long delay in replying. We were on vacation. The problem still exists. There's a hallway behind the shower. I can cut out a piece and try to find the leak. I'll let you know how that went.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Plumbing leak between floors

    Telecom Mike:

    Before you start cutting holes in your walls, check to see that the leak isn't at any of the wall penetrations in your shower area. Take the tub spout (if you have one off) as well as the excutcheon plates around the tub & shower faucet knobs. If the work was properly done, there will be caulk in the gap between the plumbing and the holes. Lotsa times that caulk isn't there, or someone grouted around the plumbing, and the grout has since fallen out.

    What commonly happens is that if a person is having a shower, the water spray will cause a secondary mist of water coming off the wet body and running down the wall at the front of the tub. From there it runs through the holes made in the tiling for the faucet knobs or tub spout, and it drips off the plumbing pipes just like a leak in the piping inside the wall would.

    Here, do this:

    Go to your local home center and buy some cheap plastic pipe. 6 feet of 1 1/2 inch ABS or PVC will do nicely. Slip that pipe over your shower head and turn on your shower full blast so that you recreate exactly the same conditions as exist when someone has a shower, without having water spraying all over the walls. Does water still leak from the first floor ceiling then?

    If not, I'm willing to bet you a whole dollar that there's NO leak in your supply or drain piping. If it only leaks when water sprays all over the place, then the leak is to be found INSIDE your shower area, cuz that's where the leaking water originates.

    I took a special course on showers and received an authentic certificate of completion.
    Last edited by Nestor; 07-15-2011 at 03:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    7,341

    Default Re: Plumbing leak between floors

    Nestor,

    I assume you are willing to bet "Canadian Dollars". We can't accept USD for bets.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    mass
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Plumbing leak between floors

    had the same prob last yr. the tub drain was leaking. All I had to do was just repuddy the drain. hope that will help

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Plumbing leak between floors

    Sparky:

    Telecom Mike says that the leak only occurs when using the shower. If it were the drain that was leaking, he'd have the same problem during baths, too.

    DJ1:

    Hopefully Telecom Mike reads my post before he starts cutting into his walls. I get the impression he's a newbie, and even repairing the holes he makes is gonna be a challenge for him.

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