We first noticed a leak down in our mud/laundry room ceiling and traced it back to our ensuite bathroom. Through the process of elimination, we are fairly certain the leak is a result of problematic/lacking waterproofing below the shower pan. We have opened up the wall behind the shower and there is no evidence of leaking through the fixtures (which have been well sealed). We have sealed and resealed the tile and grout. We have replaced the caulking several times. The leak occurs when water is focussed in one particular corner (bottom corner where tile meets shower pan). The shower is a large tile/glass shower.
I am hoping there might be a potential repair that doesn't involve completely re-doing the shower (the shower was installed only a few years ago).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Unfortunately there is no quick fix. Your shower pan most likely has a whole somewhere in it and usually when plumbers either nail or screw down the shower pan to studs they tend to rust out completely and water then penetrates through rusted nail or screw. I'm a firm believer that you do it right once so my idea is to remove all tiles on floor and a few rows of tile on walls and water proof using kerdi memebrane. But I would rre move all tiles and use kerdi membrane and water proof completely. If you don't you will eventually rot out your sub structure.
I would tend to agree with Dave 360 that the drain is the issue. The drain cover is generally a threaded connection that when torqued down seals to the plastic base. If the proper gasket material between drain flange and base is not present or has failed that is the entry point for the water.
Unless a hole or crack in the base is visible, this is probably the case. Next step is if the drain connections at some point down stream have failed ie in the ceiling below, a small hole needs to be cut in somewhere to see of and where it is leaking. I wonder if you can see in there from the existing hole that is in your picture?
Hope this helps!
Matt of All Trades Inc.
One way to tell if its the drain or a crack or void is to place a dam around each corner. I use plumbers puddy but a wet towel works or anything you think will hold water for a while. Fill the dam with water as high as needed and see what happens, food dye helps to see, but us care not to use to much it may stain. Finding leaks takes time, and small cracks near edges of a fiberglass pan can be repaired (think boats).
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