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 Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: nafynot (WI)

I have a problem I cannot figure out. I have a first floor shower/tub combo and when we use the tub there are no leaks. The only time there are leaks, is when we use the shower. It takes a few minutes to show, but it does show, then stops shortly after the shower is ended. This is an 80 plus year old home if that makes any difference.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: hj (AZ)

IF you filled the tub up to the overflow level, you probably WOULD have a leak, because that is where MANY shower leaks occur because water is splashing off your body and hitting the overflow plate.

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: nafynot (WI)

Tried this and it didn't show any leaking. what would be the next step?



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

There is a water pipe going up the wall to the shower head, it comes from down near the tub spout. It carries water when you are taking a shower, diverted there by a control near the tub faucets. Either end of it could be leaking. Or someone may have driven a nail into the shower water pipe and it is leaking. Did this just start happening, if so was any work done in the area recently?

Also, where the water pipes come thru the wall for the hot/cold knobs the holes in the wall may be big enough that splash water can run down the wall and inside the wall when showering. There should be a decorative chrome plate covering the hole but the plate could have a space behind it. May need to caulk things in that shower such as tub edges and around the tub spout and controls to ensure no splashed water is getting back into the wall and running wherever.



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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: hj (AZ)

It depends on WHERE the leak is showing up, although that is NOT really a good indicator of where it is. Spray the water on the wall, one section at a time and wait to see if the leak shows up.

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: nafynot (WI)

No work has been done around there in a few years. We recently noticed the leak and pinpointed to the use of the shower.

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: nafynot (WI)

Wall is completely dry and leaks are showing in lower level ceiling.

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

You said it does not leak when the tub spout is used, just the shower. If the leaks only appear when the shower is used and you don't feel it is from splashed water getting where it shouldn't then you may need to tear into the wall and inspect the shower water pipe and the main water valve, look for the leak. In the meantime you could get a handheld shower that attaches to the tub spout to avoid more water leaking.



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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: sum (FL)

I would suggest looking at the section of pipe from the tub to the shower.

First thing I would do is to completely unscrew the shower arm from the wall. I assume there is a drop ear 90 behind that. If you have a plastic sprinkler nipple and a threaded cap thread the capped nipple into the drop ear 90 essentially plugging the shower. Turn water on and see if you still have the leak. If you still have the leak then the issue is further down and not at the elbow/shower arm connection but possibly at the valve/shower pipe connection or somewhere in between. Also as hj said try and splash water into the wall at the tub overflow area to make sure it is not leaking from there, fill the tub up to the overflow area and see if that leaks at with water running into the overflow. Lastly you said there is leak from below do you actually see the water stain or dripping? Just making sure it's not a "dripping noise" you hear because I had that happened once I thought it was a leak behind the wall in the shower but it was a pipe strap against a copper pipe expanding with hot water shower that sounded like a drip.

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: nafynot (WI)

Thank you for the input. I can actually see the water dripping onto the ceiling in the lower level. I just cannot see where it's coming from. I can see the water pipes that come up from the floor and to the tub and shower and I cannot see any leaks there, but like I said I can see the drips on the ceiling on the floor below.

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

Can you post a photo of these pipes that come up from the floor and go to the tub and shower? (see instructions for posting photos above)

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: nafynot (WI)

I will try to get photos tonight. You want to see from the floor up, but is there any one place I should get a close-up of at all?

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 Re: Lower level leak evidence when upper shower is used, but not when tub is used
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

Closeup photo of the control valve and the shower water pipe that goes upward might show evidence of leaking. After a shower and it has leaked can you reach in and feel water anywhere on the outside of any pipes?



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