How To Evaluate a Leaking Bathtub or Shower
Your bathtub and shower are exposed daily to water. Regardless of your home’s age, plumbing components and fixtures can break or deteriorate, which may allow water to flow into unintended places. No home in Asheville,NC, is immune from a potential shower or bathtub leak, so it’s important for every homeowner to recognize the signs of water leaks and act promptly to minimize damage.
Locating a Water Leak
Water can leak for a significant period before it becomes noticeable. Common indications of a leaking bathtub or shower include the following:
- Damp spots on walls
- Water dripping from overhead
- Stained ceilings
- Puddles around tub or shower
- Presence of a musty odor
Investigating Bathtub Issues
To diagnose the source of a bathtub leak, you may need to remove the tub’s side panel or access the crawl space under your home to check for cracked pipes, leaking joints or a broken waste trap. If you find a leak, replace any damaged components and tighten loose washers. To confirm the problem is resolved, plug the tub, fill it with water and then let the water drain.
Diagnosing Shower Pan Leaks
Pre-fabricated shower pans may crack and leak, especially if they move due to improper installation or a warped subfloor. A shifting pan can also damage seals, rendering them ineffective.
To confirm a shower pan leak, take the following steps:
- Plug the shower drain with a stopper or duct tape
- Fill the pan with water
- Mark the water level
- Allow the water to sit for at least eight hours
If the shower is not properly plugged, some water may escape. To confirm a leak, you should check the subfloor below the shower for signs of water damage. A moving shower pan can cause significant problems, so it’s important to promptly correct the problem.
Taking Immediate Action
If you suspect a water leak, find the water source and complete the necessary repairs. Ignoring a shower or bathtub leak is never a good idea because it can result in significant water damage that may require extensive cleanup and restoration efforts.