Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How to find and fix a leak in your shower

This post was written by Jesse Hughes. Personally, we've got many water issues in our home ownership pockets, and a shower leak is one. In our neighborhood, it even has a name, the infamous Parkwood Leak.

It is not unusual to experience a leak in your shower. If it happens to you, then it can be a real inconvenience. One of the worst parts of the problem is locating the source of the leak. You are not going to be able to fix the leak, if you do not know where it’s coming from. It’s important to do this as soon as possible as it does not take long for water to cause costly damage in your home.

Sometimes, finding where a shower leak is coming from can seem like an impossible task. If you are really struggling then you can call professionals such as Plumbing Detectives to give you a hand. If you want to spend some more time trying to locate the leak yourself then here are a few tips that you should find useful.

The first checks to make

The most obvious thing to check, if you think your shower is leaking, is that the doors are closing as they should, or the shower curtain fits properly. This is simple enough to check just by splashing water up against the doors or curtain. Thankfully, this is also simple enough to rectify, by just replacing the curtain or doors.

You may also find that the rubber around the shower door, or the caulking around the base of the shower, may have worn and cracked over time. If the leaks are appearing around areas of wear and tear then you simply need to replace the rubber edging or remove the caulk where it is damaged and re-caulk the area.

How spraying water around the shower can help

If you have tried the obvious things, and not located the source of the leak, you should stand in the shower.You should then begin spraying inside the shower, starting in the area where the shower panels meet the tray. You need to work your way up the shower, checking for any signs of water leaking as you go. If you spot any leakage then this may necessitate the sealing of any gaps, or the replacement of panels if necessary.

Making sure there are no problems with the shower tray

The shower tray area is one of the most common places for a shower to leak; cracks and gaps can appear which allow water to seep though. To check for leaks in the shower tray you should

  •  Make sure the shower drain is sealed tight.
  •  Fill the shower tray with water using a bucket.
  •  Once one inch of water is in the shower tray, check for signs of leaking around the shower and on the ceiling below. Signs may take time to show, depending on the size of the leak.

If you identify that the leak is in the shower tray you can apply sealant around the tray. It’s worth noting that this is usually only a temporary measure and you will probably need to have the tray replaced by a plumber at the end of the day. You should also call a plumber if you do not have any success locating the leak. It could be that you have a problem with the drain of your shower and a plumber will be able to identify and resolve the issue.


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  1. Really helpful tips, but this is a time I'm thankful we rent! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. super helpful! We have a shower in our basement that leaks from the handle once the water is turned on. We need to get someone to look at it, which is why no one uses that shower haha

  3. I feel like its a Home Depot class for free! Thanks!

  4. Plumbing issues are never fun. I've had my whole house flood because of a toilet pipe that broke. That was an expensive leak!

  5. Luckily, Michael is SUPER handy. i don't know what I'd do without him- hopefully find posts like this :)

  6. I'm super happy to have a landlord only when it comes to home repairs, ha! Because that's gonna blow! Saving this for that fateful day on Pinterest.

  7. I feel like there's always something going on in our shower, I need to get better about spraying everything down to see if we can find the culprit. This was super helpful <3

  8. Is it wrong that the whole time I'm thinking, it's that why we call a plumber?!? Ha! My shower value add is that I bought my kids a "Shower Wow" - it's a new shower head that has LED lights in a rainbow when you turn on your water! Installed it myself too - bam!

  9. Thanks for this Steph! Pinning!

  10. We noticed that the wood panel next to shower is rotting. I suspected a shower leak, but now even more so. I've tried to locate the culprit but have had no luck! I will have to try your tips!


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