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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Test a Shower for Leaks

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Test a Shower for Leaks Replace an old shower head

Several shower components may leak and result in water damage. You should test every part of a shower for signs of a bathtub leak or leaky shower pan.

Test the Shower Pan

Signs of a shower pan leak will be evident under and around the shower. Closely examine the surrounding area:

  • In the basement or crawlspace, for a first-floor shower
  • On the ceiling of the floor below the shower
  • In rooms that share a wall

Stop the drain and fill the shower with 1.5 inches of water. Wait eight hours or up to three days to see signs of a leak. Walk around in the shower while someone else monitors the area underneath. Homeowners should replace pans that are more than 30 years old.

Test the Seal

Test the seal of a shower door track or caulking with a spray from the shower head. Allow the area to dry before re-caulking. If you notice gaps in the grout around wall tiles, you should:

  • Look for visible signs of mold or odors
  • Have the area tested
  • Complete remediation before replacing grout or tiles

A bathtub leak can allow water to get behind walls. This may pose a risk of hidden mold.

Test the Head

A clogged shower head or a damaged O-ring can cause a leak. A homeowner should replace worn out:

  • Cartridges
  • Gaskets
  • Stems
  • Washers

Seal around the escutcheon with caulk or putty. Cap the shower head to check for leaks between the head and valve.

Test the Drain

Have someone monitor the area beneath a shower as you pour water down the drain. Drain leaks may be caused by a:

  • Leaky drain body
  • Cracked flange
  • Damaged gasket
  • Worn rubber sealing ring

Any of these components can be replaced. Make sure that the leak is due to the drain and not the shower pan.

These tests can detect a bathtub leak or a shower pan leak. If you discover a problem that you cannot fix, contact a plumber and water damage mitigation company in Maryland Heights, MO.

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