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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an issue with a leaking shower drain from a second floor walk in shower. It manifested itself with water coming through the ceilings ceiling and warping the hardwood in an adjacent room.

The shower is build above an old garage that had a flat concrete slab roof (it was a patio). They built a master suite around 1980 and converted the garage below to 2 rooms.

It appears that the drain has gone bad - where it connects to the pvc drain pipe above the p trap. Water has leaked into the ceiling below and has run across the top of the concrete slab and damaged the hardwood floor above.

I can fix the ceilings and floors, but the shower is another matter that may be well beyond my limited ability.

Am I correct in assuming that one (whether it be me or someone else) will need to remove at least a portion of the tile and shower base, replace the drain, and rebuild the base? Can the tile and shower base be partially removed? It seems to me that the entire shower base will need to be removed and rebuilt to ensure that there are no future leaks. I don't see a way to remove only a portion of the base - that would breach the cement base and vinyl liner (assuming there is one).

Am I on the right track? If this is a complete rebuild, I'm thinking that I need to find someone that has experience rebuilding showers. I've installed new fiberglass units, but never rebuilt or renovated a shower.

Help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
From what I'm reading - this appears to be a bigger job then a general hack / handy man / remodeler should be tackling.

I can get a plumber to handle the drain work and do the tiling myself. That's not a problem and I'm not looking to steal work from "real pros". How much of the demolition can or should I do in advance of the pro?
 

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That is fairly advanced work---I suggest you hire out that part of the job--most likely the entire shower will need removal---as the pan liner (assuming there is one) extends up the walls,behind the tile--
 

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What makes you think it's the pan that's leaking? I might first check the valves, supply lines and shower arm in the wall. You might get lucky and find the problem there.

A pic would be great. It depends on the way it was built, especially the pan. Was it originally done by a professional, or at least appear to be?

If you demo the floor, it can easily lead to just doing a new shower. If it's definitely the drain, I might be inclined to chip up the tile. Easily can lead to a bigger project, though.

Also, you might want to take this little project, with pics, to the john bridge tile forum and see what they advise. (Be prepared for bad news, though.)
 

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Re-do the whole thing, by the time you find the leak source you will be almost there. This shower was done ages ago, so do the whole thing over... If you think the drain is causing the leak, you get to it to fix that and if that wasn't a problem, or something else will leaks down the road they will hold this on you.

This way you take everything out, make sure the job done the right way and you sleep good at night.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The bottom of the drain is rotted off and I can feel a rough edge where it meets the plastic pipe. It appears that the drain was already boogered up with a **** ton (technical term) of plumbers putty at one point - that may have been a "fix" previously.

The house was purchased out of foreclosure and had been abandoned for a while so I don't have any idea about if the addition was professionally done or not. As a residential addition, I'd guess that a professional contractor did it, but that the plumbing work was done by the general rather than a plumber. Just a guess though.

I'm thinking I'm looking for professional help. I can do the demo and prep and some of the finishing after the plumbing is properly fixed but don't want to create a long term problem for anyone and it's probably a lot cheaper and safer to have it done right this time. (cheaper in the long run obviously).
 

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It sounds like the originak job was hacked---any good bath remodler would have replaced the P-trap with PVC and not left ancient piping behind that would fail before the shower---

Precast bases are easier to install than building a tile base---and could be installed by a plumber---just a thought if budget is a concern--not everyone can afford a proper tiled base---
 

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if the base is leaking on a tile shower then you need to remove the base and 6" + on the side walls and redo it all

tile showers always seem to leak eventually....i strongly recommend using a fiberglass base instead.....but people rarely listen to my advice

i dont think ive ever torn out an old tile shower that didnt have signs of leaks
 

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I see your logic but come on. A custom shower done right is a little nicer than a cheap fiberglass base. Most don't even set the base in sand mix and make it even worse.
 

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I see your logic but come on. A custom shower done right is a little nicer than a cheap fiberglass base. Most don't even set the base in sand mix and make it even worse.
i always set my bases in an 80lb bag of mortar....its a different look, i agree, but some accept it.....

one of my builders has been using a solid surface base and building till walls off of it....its very heavy and priced similar to a fiber glass base....

i dont know if any tile bases are done right.....like i said earlier ive never removed a tile base w/o some water damage under it.....they all fail eventually is my opinion.....i wouldnt have one in my own home
 

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i always set my bases in an 80lb bag of mortar....its a different look, i agree, but some accept it.....

one of my builders has been using a solid surface base and building till walls off of it....its very heavy and priced similar to a fiber glass base....

i dont know if any tile bases are done right.....like i said earlier ive never removed a tile base w/o some water damage under it.....they all fail eventually is my opinion.....i wouldnt have one in my own home
You are a service plumber, you get the calls when the ones that are buggered up break. But that being said I've seen more shower bases set without a pre-slope than with a pre-slope.
 
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