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Tub Drain Leak Help!!

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  • Tub Drain Leak Help!!

    Hello, this is my first post and I sure can use some help.
    Here is the scenario
    My bathtub drain leaks at the seal around the shoe (the little elbow with the flange on it that is on the bottom of the tub that the drain screen in the tub screws into)but only at specific times and I have not been able to recreate the leak.
    It doesn't leak when the tub isn't being used
    It doesn't leak when the shower is being used
    It doesn't leak if I fill the tub with cold water and let it sit.
    It doesn't leak when I drain the tub.
    It doesn't leak if I fill the tub with warm water and let it sit.
    It only leaks if one of my daughters or my wife takes a hot bath.
    There is no overflow screen in my tub so the only place it could be leaking from is the drain because I put a pan directly under the drain under the tub and it fills up with water.
    This is what I replaced so far...
    I replaced the gasket that goes under the tub between the shoe and the tub bottom flange.
    I originally put another gasket inside the tub between the tub drain and the tub but it elevated the drain and the tub leaked.
    I then found out that was incorrect so I removed the gasket and used plummers putty. I ran the shower for a while. Bone Dry. I filled the tub with cold water and let it sit for an hour. Bone Dry. I drained the tub. Bone Dry. I thought I had it fixed. My daughter went up and took a hot bubble bath and when she was done I ran in the bathroom and checked the drain behind the tub and the pan I put under it just for safety had at least 16 ounces of water in it. I then unscrewed the drain and put alot more plummers putty around the drain hole and around the drain flange and screwed the drain back into the tub. I took a shower today and it was bone dry but I suspect as soon as somebody takes a hot bath its going to leak again.
    I checked for cracks in the tub. There are none. I even had my wife walk around the tub while it was filled up with water and the tub is completely solid with no cracks or movement.
    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

    the tub is fiberglass

    hot water causes stuff to expand.

    between the weight of the water and the weight of the bather, it might be flexing a little causing a slight leak.

    are you able to see the shoe when it's installed, or just see the water in the pan?

    i think that a small camera like the ridgid micro explorer can get under the tub and see around the shoe.

    it sounds like you have it figured out when it's hot water with a person. i'm thinking a hairline crack in a fiberglass tub.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

      I say that the leak is coming from the overflow and is running along the back side of the tub and dripping off the shoe. Its only leaking when they take baths because thats when they either overfill the tub or they(kids) are sliding back and forth creating waves in the tub causing it to slosh into the overflow.

      Why cant you check when they are actually using it from start to finish and see where its leaking?

      AH I guess an overflow screen is an overflow and your tub doesn't have one....take a pic for us.
      Last edited by TheMaster; 12-14-2010, 11:03 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

        Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
        I say that the leak is coming from the overflow and is running along the back side of the tub and dripping off the shoe. Its only leaking when they take baths because thats when they either overfill the tub or they(kids) are sliding back and forth creating waves in the tub causing it to slosh into the overflow.

        Why cant you check when they are actually using it from start to finish and see where its leaking?

        AH I guess an overflow screen is an overflow and your tub doesn't have one....take a pic for us.

        There is no overflow on my tub. Just a drain. Its absolutely leaking where the drain shoe meets the gasket under the tub. I just can't figure out why.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

          Did you install the plumbing yourself?
          Rod
          MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
          Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
          http://unclognh.com
          http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

          Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            the tub is fiberglass

            hot water causes stuff to expand.

            between the weight of the water and the weight of the bather, it might be flexing a little causing a slight leak.

            are you able to see the shoe when it's installed, or just see the water in the pan?

            i think that a small camera like the ridgid micro explorer can get under the tub and see around the shoe.

            it sounds like you have it figured out when it's hot water with a person. i'm thinking a hairline crack in a fiberglass tub.

            rick.
            The tub is old and very heavy. It looks to me like its iron or steel with a porcelin coating in it. Its about 40 years old in excellent condition and there are no cracks in it. It doesn't leak unless somebody takes a hot bath. It has one of those old brass screw in drains with no diverter valve in it. Just a brass drain with small triangular slots in it almost like a mag wheel on a car. It doesn't recess. It sits flush with the bottom of the tub.
            In order to fill the tub we use a stopper.
            I filled it with cold water and walked around in it for 30 minutes and it didn't leak a single drop so I figured I had it fixed. Then.. somebody took a hot bath and I ran upstairs immediately to check out the pan I put under the drain just in case. It had about 16 ounces of water in it. Everything else around it was bone dry.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

              Originally posted by UnClogNH View Post
              Did you install the plumbing yourself?
              No, I bought the house 10 years ago and there was evidence of a leak on the ceiling downstairs but it didn't leak when we first moved in.
              After a few years it started to leak and I found out that the grout on the wall of the tub had deteriorated and the splashing of the water would penetrate the wall and cause a leak.
              I regrouted and everything was fine. Then.. I found out the single faucet in the tub needed a new gasket so I repaired that. All good.
              For the last month I was getting a random leak that was pretty bad in when somebody took a bath. I though it could have been a clog in the pipes and that the water was backing up out of the tower drain so I extended it with a clear tube and put a piece of tissue paper over it to see if it was overflowing. Its not. Its only leaking out of the seal between the shoe and the bottom of the tub.

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              • #8
                Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

                What kind of plumbers putty are you using and how old is it? With all due respect, is it possibly time to call a Pro?

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                • #9
                  Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

                  Are you sure it's coming from the drain and not running down from the valve?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

                    Just for a experiment sit and watch your wife take a bath
                    I mean watch the drain... and see what happens

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

                      what's a 'tower drain'?

                      never seen a tub w/o an overflow, even old clawfoots.

                      how are you seeing under it? did you cut out the ceiling below?

                      What's the shoe made of? plastic? Easy to crack or cross-thread these. Hairline crack might open up with temp.

                      maybe post pics?
                      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

                        Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                        what's a 'tower drain'?

                        never seen a tub w/o an overflow, even old clawfoots.

                        how are you seeing under it? did you cut out the ceiling below?

                        What's the shoe made of? plastic? Easy to crack or cross-thread these. Hairline crack might open up with temp.

                        maybe post pics?
                        Yes the tub spout was where the overflow usually is. It had a plunger and tube mounted to the back and the stoppe(plunger) was internal...operated by the center handle of the faucet. I have some pics i will try to dig up and post.

                        Here ya go,this tub does not have an overflow. Here is a pic from the backside in the wall.



                        See the spout drop next to the hot supply?
                        Last edited by TheMaster; 12-16-2010, 10:25 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

                          wow... lath and plaster too!


                          yes I see... and the lever deal at the top actuates the stopper?
                          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

                            Fascinating!

                            So dirty tub water can siphon back into the water supply.

                            Whose dumb jury-rigged idea was this?
                            Or was this accepted practice back then - no overflow and no vacuum breaker?

                            Can you just watch the pipes when someone is taking a hot bath? Or set a camcorder therecording close up?

                            Can you update and convert the fill opening into an overflow (but it does look too low) and also install a shower?
                            (If we take a bath, we alwayshower to rinse off the dirty, soapy bath water.)
                            Last edited by Robert Gift; 12-17-2010, 08:31 AM.
                            I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                            It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                            "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

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                            • #15
                              Re: Tub Drain Leak Help!!

                              Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                              wow... lath and plaster too!


                              yes I see... and the lever deal at the top actuates the stopper?
                              Thats right. And it has a lead drum trap in the floor. I'l make a thread and post some pictures soon.

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