SOME COMMON HIDDEN LEAKS AND HOW TO REPAIR THEM

TUB AND SHOWER: SPLASH LEAKS

Signs of a leak:

  • Curling vinyl flooring or loose tiles next to the tub.
  • Ceiling or joists having water stains.
  • Floor near the tub or shower having mold spots.
  • If you use a curtain, look for standing water on the floor after taking a shower.

Repairing/Fixing:

  • Be sure to overlap sliding doors correctly when you close them. The inner door must be closest to the faucet.
  • Close the shower curtain completely when you shower or add a splash guard in case you have a shower curtain in place of a door.
  • Replace any worn out gaskets or door sweeps with the new ones.
  • If the old caulk along the floor shows gaps, scrape it out.

TUB AND SHOWER: DRAIN LEAKS

Signs of a leak:

  • Water stains on the ceiling or joists down.
  • Loose flooring near the tub or damp floors in connected rooms (if the tub is on a solid and concrete slab).

Repairing/Fixing:

  • To repair a tub drain, open the drain flange from above. Then clense the flange and apply silicone caulk. Also remove the rubber gasket that’s under the tub’s drain hole and take it to a home center to find a suitable gasket. Install the new gasket into place and screw in the drain flange.
  • If you have access to a shower drain from below, screw the ring nut that locks the drain to the shower pan tightly. If that doesn’t work, replace the drain assembly. If you don’t have access beneath the drain, a hole in the ceiling below could be cut or replace the drain assembly with a WingTite drain.

TUB AND SHOWER: TILE LEAKS

Signs of a leak:

  • Loose tiles.
  • Continuous mold.
  • If the shower is against an exterior wall, you may find an area of fading paint outside.
  • Water stains on the ceiling under the shower.

Repairing/Fixing:

  • Replace the old grout, caulk and loose tiles.
  • If the surface behind the tile is still solid, you can attach new tiles, regrout and recaulk.
  • If more than a few tiles are loose or if the wall is severely damp, you’ll have to install new backer board and tile, or a fiberglass surround.

TOILET FLANGE LEAKS

Signs of a leak:

  • Water seeping out around the bottom of the toilet.
  • Loose and damaged flooring.
  • Water stains on the ceiling below.
  • A toilet that rocks a bit when you push against it. This movement will slowly and surely break the wax seal between the toilet and the closet flange.

Repairing/Fixing:

  • If you don’t find any of the problems listed above, install the toilet again with a new wax ring.
  • If the flange is too low, install an additional plastic flange riser over the existing flange.
  • In case flange or bolt slots are broken, a metal repair flange needs to be installed.
  • If the toilet rocks because the floor is uneven, slip some toilet shims under the toilet when you reinstall it.

SINKS: SINK RIM LEAKS

Signs of a leak:

  • Dampness, puddles or water stains within the cabinet are the major signs.
  • Loose plastic laminate near sink.
  • A loose faucet base.
  • Degrading caulk around sink.

Repairing/Fixing:

  • Tighten the faucet base by screwing the mounting nuts underneath it.
  • If the rim of sink is caulked, scrape away the old caulk.
  • Tighten the clips under the sink rim that clamp the sink to the countertop.

SINK: SUPPLY LEAKS

Signs of a leak:

  • Puddles, dampness or water stains inside the cabinet.
  • Stains on the ceiling below.

Repairing/Fixing:

  • If the valve stem on a shutoff valve drips, tighten the packing nut. If the leak doesn’t stop, get a new valve and replace the existing one.
  • For other leaks at the shutoff valve or at the faucet, try tightening the compression nut first. If that doesn’t stop the leak, disassemble the fitting, coat the ferrule or gasket with Teflon joint compound (available at home centers and hardware stores) and assemble the connection back.

SINK: DRAIN LEAKS

Drain leaks especially in kitchens and bathrooms usually occur at the drain or at the slip joints in the drain pipe. Hidden behind boxes and bottles, these leaks can damage flooring, cabinets and even ceilings below before you notice them.

Signs of a leak:

  • Puddles, water stains or a dank odor in the cabinet.
  • Loose or damaged flooring in front of the sink.

Repairing/Fixing:

  • For a slip joint leak, first tighten the slip nut. If that doesn’t work, disassemble the joint, coat the washer with Teflon joint compound and put it back together.
  • If there is a leak from the basket strainer, ring nut under the sink needs to be tightened. If the leak continues, disconnect and remove the basket strainer. Reassemble it using plumber’s putty as a sealant under the basket’s rim.
2018-04-20T23:09:02+00:00