When a shower pan has a leak, it can often be a disaster, and most of the time involves removing the existing pan and replacing it. Before you know it, you’re spending money that you don’t have, or had previously put aside specifically for a special occasion. Most people aren’t even aware that they have a leak in their shower pan for years until the problem escalates to the point that they discover it has damaged the areas around it, and needs a lot of work. Here are a few things to do to try and detect a leak while it’s in the early stages to keep your repair costs down.
The very first thing you would need to do is to carefully look around for cracks. If your shower has tiles on it, you will need to see if the grout is cracked. As a top tip, if you are relaying tiles, ensure you check the grout as you lay them. The most common area would be the seam area where the wall meets the floor. If you find these cracks you should probably consider filling in with a silicone based caulking to match the grout color.
If the shower is made of fiberglass you still want to check the same areas for hairline cracks. There are repair kits that you can buy to temporarily fix the crack and prevent any further leaks from occurring, but remember that this is a temporary measure, and you’ll still need to complete the bigger job at some point.
The next important thing you need to check is the condition of the shower drain. This is a very common type of leak and most often occurs in a fiberglass or acrylic shower unit. There is usually a gasket located in the drain that fits tightly into the fiberglass. Most often, if the fiberglass pan moves when you step into the shower,
more than likely the connection in the gasket has loosened causing it to leak. This movement means the shower pan wasn’t prepared properly prior to installing the unit. You can try to replace a new gasket but again this is only short term.
After you’ve repaired all of the cracks, now for the test. You can either remove the drain and plug it or use a good duct tape over the drain. Fill the shower pan with water but don’t use the shower faucet as there is always the possibility that you have a leak from there. Fill the pan using buckets of water up to within an inch from the top.
Wait a minimum of 8 hours or more and if you notice the water level has gone down, then you still have a leak. If the water level remains the same then rest assured that more than likely you’ve solved the problem.
Knowing where your leak is coming from is a great way to prevent having to replace your entire shower along with new fixtures, shower faucets and a new shower head, expenses that can be prevented with the proper care and maintenance.
About the Author: Robert is a plumbing expert. He works for one of the top corporations in his city as the main plumber. He began his career in the plumbing trade 10 years ago when he was assisting clients on the appropriate shower faucet and other bathroom fixtures to meet their needs. Due to his career, his work hours are flexible thus giving him the opportunity to spend more time with his children.