Shower Leaking Again....uhg!

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Posted by: from Maple Ridge
11/4/2012 at 12:40:49 PM

I have a corner shower that has been giving me problems again. I'm now without the confidence to make a correct decision as to the proper fix. The contractor has had a plumber come in to rule out any plumbing leaks. They felt it is just a caulking problem and recommended the plumber caulk the inside of the lower track.

What we have here is a corner shower with an acrylic pan and tile walls. As far as I know, the inside track should be left free of caulk so the water can drain back into the pan.

The contrator (insurance adjusters pick) told my wife they would handle everything including the cause of the leak. But what really bugs me is they opened the ceiling below to check for mold and before the cause of the leak could be repaired and verified, they closed up the ceiling! I've since told them to stop work until I get this sorted out. They offered to send a guy out to redo the shower but I am really not impressed by these guys and don't want to give them anymore work.

This is the second time this leak has occured. The first time it leaked I removed the shower enclosure, stripped the old caulking, repaired any cracked grout, sealed the grout, reassembled the enclosure and caulked with 100% silicone. That was about 3 years ago. I now have the enclosure apart again and have stripped the silicone as best I could. I'm just so nervous about putting it back without knowing for certain if there's a problem with the enclosure, the installation, the tile or grout. I'm just about ready to buy a new enclosure and hire someone to install and also make sure everything is good to go before just slapping it in, taking my money and running.

What should I do?

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Date/Time11/4/2012 at 2:23:25 PM

Hi Keith

If a plumber has verified that the plumbing and or base aspect is not the problem, then the leak has to be in the tiled section. Obviously, you have a solid base. Strip the tile off the wall, clean the surface by roughing it up with a good grit of drywall paper, spray any mould areas with a bleach solution, then go to your local building supply and ask them for shluter. It is an orange matting and goes in behind tile. Cut it to length and make sure that you ovelap it on itself and the top lip of the shower base as well. It is applied using thin set. Apply it as smooth as possible with no bubbles behind, let dry, and once the thin set has set, you can retile the shower.

You then can reinstall your glass portion of the shower, and seal it appropriately.

That should end the leak. That is providing that the base isn't cracked. If it is that should be an easy fix by a tub medic.


Meadowood Homes.

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JennMar Contractors Inc. in Innisfil
Date/Time11/4/2012 at 2:40:07 PM


It sounds like an origonal installation problem coming from the tile backer board used.

It's possible that the board isn't overlapping the shower pan. But it could be as simple as an incorrectly seated seal behind the shower controls.

Start with the simple things and move along to the larger more complicated things.

Tile corners are quite often found to be the problem area and should be caulked with a good silcone product.

I think that you are correct in saying that the ceiling below shouldn't have been closed until the problem is identified and resolved.


JennMar Contractors Inc.

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Date/Time11/4/2012 at 4:00:45 PM

Hello Keith,

I am sorry for your trouble, however you are in good company. The reason for your leaking shower actually NOT the missing or wrong applied Silicone. Most likely this is caused because of the fact that your shower wasn't built properly. However without a visual investigating of your problem it is hard to say what exactly caused the leak.

Best Regards,

3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch

Maple Ridge, BC (Greater Vancouver)

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Date/Time11/4/2012 at 5:43:21 PM

When you say you've taken it apart, I'm assumeing you mean just the doors. If you can take the pan out without damage to the walls, it has been installed incorrectly. If the doors are leaking, you should be able to see the water on the outside of the shower.

Did you put silicone in the screw holes and under the tracks before installation of the doors? Is the water valve cover sealed against the wall? That's a possible cause but the plumber should have caught it.

Honestly my gut tells me the tile portion of the shower is the cause. Most of the time the cheapest and fastest way contractors do it is just tile over drywall or moisture resistant drywall if your lucky. Either method is doomed to fail, as grout is not water proof.

The way I do showers is cement board with joints sealed. That's the first water proof layer, and then the Kirdie shower system on top of that. Then the tile work. You will never have a leak again.

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Keith in Maple Ridge
Date/Time11/5/2012 at 12:44:10 AM

Thanks to all for the input. I'm sure the restoration company has checked for wetness behind the tile. But the thing is, it's had plenty of time to dry out before we brought anyone in to check. So if they ran the shower to check and maybe didn't give give it enough time, then maybe it would not have got wet behind the tiles? Or maybe it is only the sealing of the track, which is my best guess. My mother was here looking after the place when the guy was here running water in the shower and she says it was seeping from under the track. (I just talked with her this evening to be sure). I sure don't want to go to the expense of gutting the whole thing unnecessarily. But it really bugs me when things aren't done right.

James from Pheonix. To clarify, I have removed the door and two glass sides along with the upper and lower, top and bottom tracks. It's a hinged door in the middle.

The reason I took it apart now was to prep it and re-install and re-seal. But my week off work is now over and I'm flying out for another 21 day stint. I just got too busy with higher priority things to get as much accomplished as I wanted. At this point I'm thinking of bringing a pro in to re-install hopefully with a guarantee that their installation will be leak free.

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Dave from 360renos in Navan
Date/Time11/5/2012 at 7:19:07 AM

Hi Keith

Do you have the vertical tracks that mount to the wall place far enough in on the base so that the bottom of them are not over hanging on the outside?

You are correct that you should not silicone the inside of your shower glass walls as this allows any water to drain out. But, if the vertical uprights are not center over the base it will leak out from inside that channel on to the floor

Any other rooms that the water supply would run to from your bathroom? You may be supplying water to the corner shower AND to another room. When the sink, toilet, shower in that other room is being used the water could be leaking then.


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Artisan Bathrooms in Toronto
Date/Time11/5/2012 at 7:57:10 AM

First off, you are correct in that there normally are drain channels on the inside of the track system that let any water accumulated between doors drain back in.This clearly is not your first problem with this door system so would consider potentially replacing this door system as that is likely just going to continue to cause leakage issues but before you jettison door take a level and check for the amount of level on the shower pan,both sides should be level with a small amount of slope on the pan edge/scurbs going back into the shower(this should be builtin to the shape of the shower pan), if either side of the pan is not level this could be the source of the leak comppounded by the door.

The second thing is, did the plumbers rule out any leakage at the drain/shower valve?if they did then you are back to the shower pan/door. We rarely use acrylic shower pans and prefer to form them from concrete,i know this is old school and somewhat labour intensive but our showers dont leak, ever. that being said there are lots of well manufactured shower pans and yours may need to be replaced as well.

I feel your frustration with dealing with the insurance companies contractor,we have gotten lots of complaints such as yours about these guys the insurance companies use.Hope my answer/comments has been useful.

P.S. there are now plastic shower pans that are tile-ready avail,so if you tear out that pan you can opt for one of these as an option,then slope is builtin on both shower floor and the curbs have inward slope as well to avoid future leaks.

Bob Beal

Artisan Bathroooms

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Date/Time11/5/2012 at 5:09:34 PM

Hello Keith,

You mentioned: "...At this point I'm thinking of bringing a pro in to re-install hopefully with a guarantee that their installation will be leak free..." At this time do your homework and spend a bit more time to find the a company which is able to perform the job properly.

Your main question hereby should not be: How much will it cost me? Rather than ask your Tile-Setter/Contractor WHAT exactly he will do and HOW he will do it. Furthermore ask him what material he will use. Ask lots of questions. And if you feel not 100% comfortable with him just skip him and look for another tile-setter.

And keep in mind: A general contractor who takes care of different trades is just as good as his subcontractors. And If he is performing different trades by himself you get most of the times not the quality which you would get when you would hire professionals, which are performing their skills over many years!

BTW: We recommend to build your new shower with the Wedi-System. When this system is installed properly, you'll never ever have a leaking problem again! It is 100% watertight and has a full system warranty. Please inform yourself here:


3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch

Maple Ridge, BC (Greater Vancouver)

Shower Leaking Again....uhg!
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James C from Got Mold? ™ in Saskatoon
Date/Time12/15/2012 at 5:41:53 PM

If there is mold do not spray with a bleach solution. It is a common misconception that bleach kills mold but it does not. Even if it did kill the mold it wouldn't solve your problems as dead mold spores are just as harmful as living mold spores.

Check out this blog

James C Watson

Got Mold?

306-652-MOLD (6653)


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Date/Time12/21/2012 at 11:14:26 AM

I agree with the first guy Chuck! We do lots of these and never get a call back. Only hire guys with a proven track record on these...only wat to fix is rip it all out and re-do the right way. This is gonna cost you $$$...don't know what you paid in first place but it should have been about min. $5,000+ materials...this is for a proper job with a plumber, renovator, tile setter and we also install a shower light so a electrician the end of the day you get what you pay for.

Good luck!

Shower Leaking Again....uhg!

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