Shower leaking through ceiling: DIY repair?


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Old 07-16-16, 07:07 PM
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Shower leaking through ceiling: DIY repair?

So my shower seems to have an intermittent leak or it only actovely leaks through the wall at randome times. Particularly if someone is taking a shower longer than 10 minutes. The strang thing is that it does not appear to be an issue of draining the tub from a bath.

So first things first I gotta gogure out whats causing the leak, should i cut into the ceiling to take a look, someone said in another threas something about a shower pan not sure what that is.

Notice my drywall is textured any way to make the ceiling look decent without getting a pro, any idea how much im looking at to have that area patched and textured (more than or less thn 1 k?

Note, now the circle part you see in the pic is leaking now im assuming this has been an active leak for a while.

Thanks for suggestions.. btw the tub is pretty much right where the line is but it is situated longways against the wall.

 
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Old 07-16-16, 07:20 PM
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Need to find that leak before fixing the ceiling.
Looks like the tape is coming loose and just a little staining.
 
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Old 07-17-16, 12:37 AM
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A shower pan is strictly for a shower. You have a bathtub.

It sounds like your problem is between the diverter valve and the shower head. A fairly common problem that shows up when using the shower yields a leak and the bath is ok.

Another common problem is between the tile and the tub leaks. What's the shape of the sealer around the top of the tub ?

Yes... you're going to need to open the ceiling to verify the problem. You may also end up opening the shower wall..... hopefully there's a closet on the backside.
 
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Old 07-17-16, 04:13 AM
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First fill up the tub and see if it leaks just using the tub part and not the shower. If you are dry, then it points to the shower portion. Take a picture of the shower itself. What kind of diverter/water valves do you have? If an old 3 handle, remove a handle and look past the trim kit and see if a cartridge is leaking.
 
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Old 07-17-16, 06:07 AM
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Wife took a bath last night, no issues on the draining from the tub so whats involved in seeing if its this diverter thing (how would i rule this out?). Unfortunately there is not a closet on the other side but instead a bedroom wall.. guess im lucky there is a wall rather than it being in a corner .

Heres the pic of the shower


Hmm img isnt working heres the link http://m.imgur.com/gallery/ZyLJCF0
 
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Old 07-17-16, 06:30 AM
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On the shower handle there should be a set screw. Remove the handle and two screws hold on the cover plate. Remove that to see the pipes in the wall. NOTE - stuff a rag in the drain while removing and installing screws so you don't accidentally drop one down the drain. Test he valve while open and look for leaks. A small flashlight and a tiny mirror (make up mirror) can help you see around in the cavity.

Also, remove the overflow cover on the tub and see if the overflow donut gasket is in place.
 
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Old 07-17-16, 07:56 AM
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Ok i will see if I can follow this when i get home.
 
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Old 07-17-16, 10:00 AM
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Not sure if you still have a second thread running but if there is they will be combined. It's easier to keep one topic in a single thread.
 
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Old 07-17-16, 10:09 AM
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Looks like it got. Combined under the plumbing
 
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Old 07-17-16, 12:43 PM
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So I tried for quite a while to take the shower knob off without success. Seems to much crap is in there to get a good grip on the allen wrnech to take it off. I got the plate off no problem however the hole isnt big enough to fit anything in to see.

Also I took off the drain plate and I see the gasket but its pretty gross. Btw one of those screws are stripped lol my luck i suppose.

Another thing I didnt mention., os EVERY TIME the shower is used when you step out there is water that seeps up through the grout and you can see the wood has some water damage on it.

I couldn't do individual pics but here is a gallery.
Thanks for any suggestions!

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Name:  floor.jpg
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Last edited by PJmax; 07-17-16 at 03:08 PM. Reason: added two pics from links
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Old 07-17-16, 03:11 PM
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We're relatively certain it's not a drain or overflow issue as it doesn't occur when bathing.

Try pointing the shower head into the tub so that you can run the shower. While running the shower look into the valve opening for water coming down the shower head pipe.

It looks fairly clean and dry in the wall behind the valve which may lead to the tile or the tile to tub seal.
 
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Old 07-17-16, 03:30 PM
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Ok so just keep an eye on that little opening I have.

Im having trouble envisioning the tile or tub seal why that would be a problem specofo. To a shower. Granted i have no idea what either of these are lol.
 
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Old 07-17-16, 03:40 PM
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Just ran ithe shower for a few minutes and saw nothing going on in the limited view I had of the inside

I am wondering if there is something that is "filling up" and then leaking over since the issue seems to only be noticed durong long showers and the leak is only a slow steady drop that ends shortly after the shower is over.

That doesnt help explain the water coming "up through the grout" on the floor though after every shower regardless of time passage
 

Last edited by GoUSF; 07-17-16 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 07-17-16, 07:25 PM
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Just took a shower all of 5 minutes the couch is practically soaked
 
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Old 07-17-16, 07:36 PM
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I know you don't want to open the ceiling but it may be your best option now. I see you have some kind of stiple finish on the ceiling. You should be able to reproduce that with a sponge when it comes time to fix the opening.

What I do is locate the joists on either side of the leak and then cut out a hole that goes joist to joist. This enables a solid way to resheetrock. Another way it can be done is just cut a hole where the leak is and then use furring strips across the hole to refasten the sheetrock.

Since it's coming out the bathroom floor it appears it may be running down the wall and coming thru the tile. I meant to comment earlier in regards to one of the pictures I posted for you.... there doesn't appear to be much behind the tile. It may just be regular sheetrock and it has rotted away.

What I have done in the past is to tape a piece of plastic to the wall right under the shower head and ending in the tub. Make sure the plastic wraps partially around the back corner and extends into the bathroom to the end of the tile. This would keep all the water off the faucet side wall and then see what happens.
 
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Old 07-18-16, 03:56 AM
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If any of the drywall is spongy it will need to be replaced anyway. Besides giving you eyeball access opening up the ceiling will allow everything to dry out minimizing the chance of mold. Don't be afraid to remove the drywall as needed - we can walk you thru the repairs if needed.
 
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Old 07-18-16, 05:14 AM
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Thanks everyone, so looks like I will be cutting into it like you said. I have a sawzall, aly other sugestions on what to use to cut into the celing? I know they make a special blade for drywall should I get that? How do I get around the part that is attached to the joist?

Would someone maybe look at my picture and draw a box on where you recommend I cut.

FYI, the circle spot on the ceiling is now a hole because as I poked around it crumbled, and I can say that hold is right up against the joist. It appears the brown discoloring is located right where there is tape.

Heres to hoping I can do a decent job of cutting! any tools you recommend I get to assist me on this please let me know!

PJMAX, I am having trouble envisioning what oyu are describing with the piece of plastic to the wall, im sorry, are you talking about the shower wall or once I cut into the ceiling or something?
 
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Old 07-18-16, 05:28 AM
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I wouldn't use any power saw as it's too easy to cut something you shouldn't. A simple jab or keyhole saw will work fine.
 
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Old 07-18-16, 05:35 AM
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OK, picking up a Jab saw today on the way home from work. cutting from joist to joist. I assume I need to cut as wide as the brown staining at least.
 
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Old 07-18-16, 07:54 AM
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If you don't want to make a really big hole get yourself an inexpensive inspection camera. It will have a flexible shaft which will allow you look inside the ceiling cavity. Harbor freight has them for $60 - $70. To really nail the source quickly open up the wall on the other side. Patching drywall is pretty easy to do.
 
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Old 07-18-16, 08:03 AM
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I like the idea of the inspection camera but I need to suck it up and cut through because my ceiling drywall is compromised as it is and as other mentioned I need to ensure mold is not growing there.

I have hung and repatched ceiling before when my roommates AC leaked a few years ago, but it was a flat ceiling with no texture, this ceiling will need to be textured.
 
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Old 07-18-16, 08:10 AM
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It looks like it is a knock down texture [either that or a splatter coat] It's best/easiest achieved with a hopper gun [spraying thinned down j/c] let it set for a bit and then knocking down the splatters with a wide knife. As mentioned above the texture can also be applied with a sponge but the larger the repair the more challenging that becomes. We can instruct you further when that time comes.
 
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Old 07-18-16, 04:08 PM
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Here is a YouTube clip of it, much different then I expected... i assume i have to go into all that black wood. Ill be monitoring it when my wife showers in a few minutes

Was expecting to see a bigger pipe for the exiting water. The one stud you see is right where the ceiling was is at its worst.

https://youtu.be/aMmr-8ofchY

Are the 2 pipes im assuming hot and cold?
 

Last edited by GoUSF; 07-18-16 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 07-18-16, 04:25 PM
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Heres a longer clip while the water was on.. nothing this will be interesting

https://youtu.be/fKudDOJYwXk
 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-18-16 at 06:35 PM. Reason: corrected link
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Old 07-18-16, 05:58 PM
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Unless one of those pipes is wet, that is not the source of the lead. You need to find the bay with the drain.

What is in the room behind where the supply lines are located? I saw a door there. I would have looked to poking a hole in the wall behind the diverter valve before destroying a textured ceiling.
 
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Old 07-18-16, 06:25 PM
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Now ya tell me lol. I hated doing it but i had to ensure there wasn't mold.. and the drip had pretty much ruined the drywall.

The door you see is the second bedroom.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 07-18-16, 06:39 PM
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The ceiling had to be fixed anyway.

It looks like the water is following the two supply lines down. I doubt those lines are leaking.
Since it's dry above the diverter I'm pretty certain it's leaking down the tile below the diverter.

I had described previously about putting plastic up. Basically covering that tile wall below the shower head.

I'm trying to get my bearing where the tub is.....
Name:  tub.JPG
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Old 07-18-16, 06:43 PM
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Thanks pj but i still dont understand what you mean by the plastic routing. Im having trouble envisioning it. Perhaps a youtube cideo out there explaining what your talking about?

Had a theory.. it it possible it is the rrain but because the tub drain is so quick maybe 3-4 min but a shower maybe its the prolonged draining?

Looking at the wood is all that black area water damage?


Hopefully i can understand wh as t you mean with the plastic
 
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Old 07-18-16, 06:54 PM
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OK.... stand in the tub. Look at the wall where the valve and shower head is. Take a piece of plastic sheeting...... maybe 3'-4' wide by about 5' long. Tape it at the top under the shower head and down the right wall. Allow the plastic to end in the tub.

Thr blue is the plastic sheet.
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Old 07-19-16, 04:26 AM
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If you poke a small hole in the bedroom wall and use the inspection camera you should be able to see the high water leak spot.
 
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Old 07-19-16, 05:44 AM
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PJMax – I can try your plastic suggestion with another shower curtain in a day or so. Am I correct in assuming that the goal of this is to ensure there is no water dripping down the tile and possibly coming in through the areas that have holes behind them (Shower knob, Faucet, drain overflow)? Are you suggesting I just take a shower as normal while doing this or just leave it running for an extended period of time? if my assumption is correct, we may be able to rule this out already as when I gave my daughter a bath (about 15min) the other day, the water did not go above the drain overflow at all as I had the stream concentrated around my daughter the whole time. My wife reported that during this bath we had the worst leak we had ever had. A side note to this I lower the water pressure on the shower at the shower head when giving her a bath. When I took a shower shortly afterwards the leak wasn’t as bad. I will also be giving my daughter a bath tonight and will report back anything noticed.

So now the ceiling is opened up, I have had my wife run the water for 5 minutes or so, as well as I also had her take a long shower (15 minutes), both of these produced no leak I could see. I took my shower purposely longer as well around 15 minutes and finally found where the water is dropping from. I have included pictures and video below.
Video of drip - https://youtu.be/6Orf7o3iPio

Pic of drip area seems centered around that grey thing - Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

There are also pics to help eyeball where the tub placement might be, it is situated like the blue square PJMAX made there are 2 discernible lines in the ceiling, and the furthest away one is I am assuming the back of the tub. It’s odd but there is a small brown streak there on the celling as well, I have never seen water leak from there however. The first leak that happened where you see the longer brown line on the ceiling is right along the seam, I’m at a loss to how this happened because the seam is not right next to the area with the drip.
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So knowing the leaking is happening above where I can access by the ceiling what should be my next move, rip up the tile in the bathroom or cut a hole in the bedroom on the opposite side of the shower? Been dreaming of replacing that tile anyway just don’t have the money or time to learn how to retile it.

Theories

1. The intensity of the stream of water can be manipulated at the shower head to make the flow stronger or smaller, perhaps when I have the stream lower (like when giving my daughter a bath) the “backup” is causing a leak somewhere. This is not likely however as the issue happens also when using the shower on full but possibly not as bad.
2. Back to the drain, it possibly leaks when it’s experienced to prolonged periods of draining. For instance when a bath is drained it only takes 3-4 minutes to completely drain the tub, but a shower taking longer it may be an issue there.
3. Grout inside shower, perhaps there is water getting through the grout along the bottom or something, this seems unlikely though going back to the leak during my daughter’s bath.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-19-16 at 05:59 PM. Reason: removed posts per members request
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Old 07-19-16, 10:18 AM
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I would hunt top to bottom rather than bottom to top. If you find a leak down low and stop there you won't know if there is another leak higher up. If you go through the bedroom wall you can check top to bottom and find the high water mark. Just my opinion FWIW.
 
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Old 07-19-16, 05:39 PM
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Just ordered a inspection camera for my phone, nothing I can do in the meantime ubtil it arrives besides the plastic, i didnt get the plastic so ill just attach the shower curtain to the other wall to see if that has any affect.

Update 1032pm EST



I couldn't attach it but either way I had the shower set up like this with running water for almost 30 minutes and not a drop from the ceiling. Not sure what to gather from this as youll notice i dont get the water stream higher than the white area when giving my daughter a bath
 

Last edited by GoUSF; 07-19-16 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 07-20-16, 03:22 AM
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Don't know if it applies but when you take a shower you are moving around some in the tub which might cause some flexing somewhere and make it leak while it wouldn't while everything is stationary.
 
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Old 07-20-16, 03:41 AM
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Based on this it seems the water leak is originating from the shower/tub side of the wall....leaking through the grout or around the tub spout or faucet handle penetrations.
 
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Old 07-20-16, 05:07 AM
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I guess we just wont know until I get my camera. 2 people took showers back to back this morning and there again was no leak through the ceiling. So its really tough to nail this down.

Valid point mark and it was my original assumption that the leak was at the drain itself so i removed it and reputtied it and closed it off. We can smewhat rule this out because of the major leak that took place during the bath I gave my daughter sunday night. Shes 10 months old and sits in a bath chaor so no moving around and if so not heavy enough to flex the tub .
 
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Old 07-20-16, 05:44 AM
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Long post...so did you fill the tub to below the overflow and then drain it....any drips? Did you fill the tub to the top and then drain it? Do this via the tub spout and via the shower head.....any drips? You may have tried all this and if so I missed the results.
Are your drain lines metal or PVC?
 

Last edited by JIMMIEM; 07-20-16 at 05:45 AM. Reason: add info
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Old 07-20-16, 07:01 AM
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The tub has been filled below the overfill valve (went above overfill valve while person was taking bath) no dripping on the ceiling. It was filled via the spout. Your suggesting I fill the tub up by the showerhead?

My drain pipe what I can see looking down is plastic.
 
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Old 07-20-16, 08:23 AM
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Just wondering if the leaking might be shower head valve. At this point just wait until you have the inspection camera. Is tub spout sealed where it meets the wall tile....one more thing to eliminate?
 
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Old 07-20-16, 08:44 AM
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if by sealed you mean there is an "o ring" around the "plate" that is screwed into the wall then yes. its like a rubbery texture hmm now that I think of it there's no way to tell if that seal is good or not. like the seal could be smaller than the hole in the wall. That will actually be the first thing I remove once I get my camera since the hole is already there if I see a bunch of water damage on the other side then maybe that is where its coming from.

Not sure how to rule out the grout along the bottom of the tub.
 
 

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