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  • Shower pan leak

    We are buying a home and the home inspector performed a shower pan leak test. He sealed the drain and filled 2 inches of water and the water leaked through the sub-floor. He considered the leak to be severe.

    We asked the seller to replace the shower pan. She first had a plumber take a look at it and he replaced a cracked tile and re-grouted around the new tile., performed a leak test and did not fid a leak. I asked the home inspector about this and he said that the shower pan was still leaky but the shower was sealed so water did not get through and if the grouting deteriorates then the leak would occur again.

    The seller then has a 2nd contractor come and take a look. He inspected the sub-floor, found no evidence of leaks or wood damage and also said that the shower had an old copper shower pan which was difficult to replace and indicated that since the shower did not leak during normal operation, he would recommend not replacing it. Also, he said that he did not agree with the leak test due to the 2 inches of water that were filled.

    I guess the question I have is, do I need to get the pan replaced or is this something that looks like it will not be a major issue? Please let me know,

  • #2
    Re: Shower pan leak

    No, you dont have to have the pan replaced. BUT, expect the problem to recur once the tiles or grout crack again. To have to have tiles and grout crack, the base has to be unstable someplace. If you dont use the shower, it wont wear or crack (unless the house flexes in cold weather or wind). A better pan option would be a solid fiberglass unit or similar product.
    ~~

    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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    • #3
      Re: Shower pan leak

      Any time there is a leak through the subfloor, it's pretty much time for a shower pan. Sure caulking and grouting might temporarly seal the leak, but ultimately the pan is bad and needs replacing.

      A typical hot mop pan is the floor up 12", over the dam and threshold back down to the outside of the shower entry.

      A copper or lead pan has other requirements that I would need to lookup.

      A typical shower pan test consist of thedrain being plugged closed and the shower being filled to the top of the dam with eater. Let it stand and look underneath for a leak. A new pan is usually tested overnight before draining.

      Out here its the termite inspectors job for signing off on the pan test.

      Rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Shower pan leak

        Thanks!!! Both of your comments were very helpful.

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        • #5
          Re: Shower pan leak

          I tore out an old lead pan that didn't leak, but was being updated. The lead pan only was maybe an inch above the tile floor surface on the perimeter and if you would have performed that same 2" test on this shower it would have leaked. Again it would have only leaked had there been 2" of standing water in it. Just another thought.

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          • #6
            Re: Shower pan leak

            It has to all come out ! From 1 tile up ,curb in N out ! No compromise !
            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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            • #7
              Re: Shower pan leak

              Anytime you have a leak, it has the potential to cause a serious issue. Like Mike Holmes said...."You know how to spot a hack? They caulk leaks."
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

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              • #8
                Re: Shower pan leak

                If it failed a leak test then it all needs to come out. Tile & grout are not waterproof. What makes a shower waterproof is what's behind it. All they did was put a Band-Aid on it to cover up the real problem.
                I use the Kerdi shower system Schluter-KERDI-SHOWER-KIT - Schluter-Systems & I don't care how high you fill the water up or how long you let it sit it is not going to leak.
                Get some quotes on replacing the shower & just have them take that amount off the sale price. That way you can supervise the work & if the contractor fails to perform properly then you take the necessary actions to see that the corrections are made.

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