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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy Leaking shower to basement

    I had my house built in 2007. Two weeks after I moved in my Master Shower leaked to the basement. Builder came back and had floor of shower(tile)regrouted and sealed. All was good for two years and the same thing happened. Builder doesn't return phone calls now.

    The basement is unfinished and is easy to look at things after removing the insulation. I noticed the water is running down around the electrical, not coming from the PVC pipe ending up filling the fire/carbon monoxide cap. I've had a plumber in, who thinks the best thing is to gut the shower stall and start over. My whole shower is tiled including the ceiling. Haven't used the shower since. HELP!:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Leaking shower to basement

    Your plumber is probably correct.

    Your best bet would be to take some pictures and head on over to the John Bridge Tile Forum. You'll be able to post pictures there and get speedy answers specifically aimed at your shower.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Leaking shower to basement

    This is (unfortunately) quite common. The shower was never built properly and the builder probably got away on his second visit by just injecting caulk into every joint and void which bought him enough time to make a get away.

    Unless John Bridge can refer a quality orientated tile installer in your area you need to start asking around in your circle or visit a professional tile showroom and ask for a couple referrals there. (Not the big box stores)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Leaking shower to basement

    I agree with the above answers, since no plumber can see what's really going on in there until they open it up. Could be a tile leak, a plumbing leak, or whatever leak.

    And the builder...he won't answer because his warranty expired.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Leaking shower to basement

    Perhaps the 'warranty' hasn't expired. Here in SC, builders are responsible for structural issues for 5-13 years according to their nature. Since this is pertaining to incorrect building practices you should be able to get relief in court. You have a history of the problem at two years- far too young for a leakage issue to crop up here. Their 'repair' was topical, not actually a repair at all but rather a patch. Tile and grout are the first thing that control the water, not the only things. If the walls and pan were done correctly the shower wouldn't leak even if there were no grout at all.

    You're going to need a complete tear-out and re-do, a substantial cost to you. And your builder obviously isn't the one to do that. Sadly it is attorney time here. This shouldn't have happened at many levels- the installer should have done a better job; the builder should have known it wasn't being done right; and if inspected per code, there may have been an error there as well. If this is a bigger builder their insurance carrier may settle- if not go after them in court; you should win easily.

    It's so sad that my business has people like this in it and that all too often attorneys and courts are the only solution available for problems which should never have happened in the first place. I wish there were a way to cull out the incompetent ones when something like this happens and send them to McDonalds to work where they might be able to cut it. They certainly don't belong here among proud and competent craftsmen!

    Phil

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Thumbs up Re: Leaking shower to basement

    Thanks Phil. I hope I haven't waited too long to go to an attorney. Unfortunately, in PA structural is only covered for one year. My builder is now under another name too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Leaking shower to basement

    Unless John Bridge can refer a quality orientated tile installer in your area you need to start asking around in your circle or visit a professional tile showroom and ask for a couple referrals there
    Referrals on the site are quite common. Make a new thread in the Pro's hangout with a title such as "Shower rebuild needed in (insert city name) and give a few details. The John Bridge Forum has qualified craftsmen and women covering the USA pretty darn well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Leaking shower to basement

    Quote Originally Posted by fessmali View Post
    Thanks Phil. I hope I haven't waited too long to go to an attorney. Unfortunately, in PA structural is only covered for one year. My builder is now under another name too.
    I know you want to sue your slick builder, but contacting a lawyer will be a waste of your time and money at this point.

    If it were me, I'd concentrate on mitigating and solving the problem. I just don't want a problem like this existing in my house and I want to be able to use this bathroom. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Leaking shower to basement

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    I know you want to sue your slick builder, but contacting a lawyer will be a waste of your time and money at this point.

    If it were me, I'd concentrate on mitigating and solving the problem. I just don't want a problem like this existing in my house and I want to be able to use this bathroom. Good luck.
    You may be right, but until you ask you don't know. Laws vary so much from one place to the next that nobody here can give you all the specifics. Your results will also depend on your approach if there is room for legal redress. If you take the moral high-ground and tell you're attorney you want him to take this on a contingency basis and you'll split the win 50/50, they'll either say no up front or fight like crazy for you. I agree that at this point you don't want to spend much on something you may not win at, so go with the contingency angle and at least you'll get something back in the end or it will have just cost you some time, nothing more. Good luck and let us know here how it goes!

    Phil

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Leaking shower to basement

    Take it apart and redo it, just take plenty of pictures showing what was the cause of the leak. Then present it to your re-named builder. If he refuses to make good for it then file a complaint to the BBB. If nothing else it may prevent someone else from using him.

    John
    Last edited by johnjh2o; 01-26-2012 at 11:55 AM.

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