Finding the Cause of a Shower Leak


A shower leak can waste water and cause water damage to your bathroom and to your home. Finding the cause of a shower leak requires you to engage in some detective work in order to determine its source so that you can fix the problem and eliminate it.

In many cases, the cause of a shower leak may visibly be in the plumbing and can be easily remedied. If the leak is behind the wall of the shower, identifying the source of problem may be more difficult and requires you to possibly engage in some renovation work in your bathroom in order to repair the leak.

If the shower head is leaking constantly, it may indicate that a simple replacement of the shower head is all that is necessary in order to stop the leak. It is the easiest fix; unfortunately, the problem may be something that is hidden in the walls of your shower. You will need to take more drastic steps in order to figure out what is going on and craft a solution to repair the leak.

Drain and Tub Issues

If you notice a leak coming from the ceiling in a room lower than your bathroom, you might have a problem with the piping of the drain or the seal between the tub and the floor. Pour water directly down the drain without getting any in the tub to see if the drain is the problem. Pour water in the tub to see if the tub seal is the problem.

Listen for Leaking Sounds Behind the Wall

Listen behind the wall of the shower for any noise that may sound like a leaky or dripping pipe. You can turn the faucet or shower on and let it run for a short while before shutting it off and listening to the noise behind the wall. If a pipe behind the wall is leaking, you should be able to hear it.

Take the Wall Apart

In the worst case scenario, you will need to remove the tile wall where you believe the leak is originating in order to gain access beneath the wall. Work carefully with a sledgehammer to remove those tiles that are in your way in order to access the pipes beneath the wall. Take a flashlight and look to see if you can immediately identify the location of the shower leak. As you remove the material from the wall, check the wall board to see if it is damp. When you discover the wet dry walling or wall board, you will have located the spot where the shower leak is.

Repairing the Leak

Repairing your shower leak may involve replacing the pipe or valve that is near or at the leak site. That means that you will need to apply a bead of solder around the pipe joint. If you are not able to do this on your own, contact a qualified plumbing contractor to help you fix the leak.