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Discuss Leaking Shower in the Bathrooms, Showers and Wetrooms area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. Abby1998

    Abby1998 New Member

    We've recently purchased a house with a relatively new bathroom (16 months). Within a month we noticed water from the bathroom leaking into our kitchen below. It is a shower over a bath. The bath itself was fully tiled over, so it took a while to remove all the tiles.

    Under the bath was completely soaked and it took ages to dry out. But we could not identify the cause of the leak. We have tried 2 things so far. We removed the seal from the bath completely. Beneath was completely mouldy and soaking wet. We left it to dry out completely before resealing it. The shower bar was also removed and resealed onto the wall. For reference the shower is the below


    We've noticed that where the shower bar fits to the wall, water is dripping from the bottom. This has happened as we've been resealing the bath, so the shower itself hasn't been used in several days. We aren't in a position to replace the bathroom at this stage, so trying to put us on for as long as possible. Does anyone have any suggestions? It's likely we'll use a local plumber but would be good to have an idea of what could be causing the leak.

    Many thanks in advance

  2. Coby kenny AGUILAR

    Coby kenny AGUILAR Member

    Connections on shower bar that go into the wall, might not be 'made in' (loctite / ptfe) properly, which isn't a massive job.

    Check grout for splits and breaks, cracked tiles in a wet area cause leaks.

    You've already removed the sealant, use a good quality silicone to re seal (£5 - £7) will stay white for years
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Stigster

    Stigster Plumber

    You already have the seals and tiles out but when searching for a leak in a bath/shower I would always remove the bath panel and then spray the shower head all around the tiles and edges of the bath or tray whilst taking a good look underneath. This can help eliminate leaking tiling or seals.

    Next I would take a sheet of blue paper towel which shows wet spots easily and wipe around any connections on taps, wastes, joints and shower valves. Usually you find where it's coming from doing these things.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Abby1998

    Abby1998 New Member

    We can see water dripping where the shower bar fits to the wall. Our walls are completely tiled so we're worried the only way to fix the issue may be to remove all the tiles. In which case we'd need to retile the entire bathroom as it's unlikely we could get the same bathroom tiles. It would also be very costly.

    The bath has been resealed with Dow Corning 785 which I've been told is the best stuff for the job. My partners dad did the resealing for us after I removed all the old silicone.
  5. Stigster

    Stigster Plumber

    Can you get at the valve from the other side of the wall? Depending upon the location I have bought an access panel and cut out the plasterboard on the other side to repair the valve then installed the access panel to cover it up. If you don't want an access panel there it is also possible to patch the wall afterwards and repaint it but I like the access panel for future maintenance access. Depending upon location I do understand some people don't want a panel showing in the room but it could work for you.

    If the above is not possible and the tiles are on ply or even better, Wedi board, it is actually possible to remove one or two tiles without damaging them. I have done it before using a multi-master type tool to first cut the grout out and then around the tile through the backing and remove. I was then able to reinstall the original tiles after the shower valve was replaced. It is a bit nerve wracking and whoever does it needs the right tools but I wouldn't be worrying about a full retile job yet.

    Even if the tiles around the valve are damaged in the process there are other options like replacing a larger section around the valve with a different tile and make a "feature" out of it.

    Hopefully one of these methods can work for you.
  6. Abby1998

    Abby1998 New Member

    Thankfully I've been in touch with B&Q regarding the original order for the bathroom (we original thought it had been installed by them, and they may come and take a look) and they've managed to advise the tiles on our bathroom wall.

    If we were to get someone in, how tricky is it to remove the tiles around the shower to repair the shower and replace with new tiles? As we can now purchase replacement tiles. We appreciate it's going to cost some but it's probably going to be a whole load cheaper than a new bathroom.
  7. Craig Watson

    Craig Watson Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    When is the shower leaking? All the time or only when you use it?
    As mentioned above, the shower connection does appear to be leaking, this could be a simple o ring and could also be allowing water to track down the pipe in the wall and come through the ceiling. This would happen all the time though, not just during use.

    If it's only happening during use then if the pipes coming through the wall for the shower aren't sealed, then again water could track down the pipes and come through the ceiling.

    Other things as mentioned would be cracked grout, or poor sealant, and just because it's been resealed, doesn't mean it's actually sealed. Also check the bath taps aren't lose as water can creap between the bath and tap base if not correctly sealed.
    One other common issue is shower screens not sealed properly, I've had it countless times where the screen is fitted first and sealed up to rather than sealing before fitting the screen.

    I would advise you get the bath/shower I installation checked over by a pro. I would also advise that if it's been leaking a while, water may have got behind the tiles and loosened the adhesive. If this has happened then you will only have constant problems from now on. Spending a little money now replacing the tiles within the shower and swapping for a shower panel will if done properly, give you years of hassle leak free showering, and they look great too.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Abby1998

    Abby1998 New Member

    I think we will definitely get someone in to look at it now. Gives us peace of mind now that we know the tiles for replacement, rather than potentially wanting to retile the whole bathroom for it to match. A much better result hopefully than needing to replace our entire bathroom..
  9. Stigster

    Stigster Plumber

    Great news on the tiles. That takes some of the buttock clenching (pardon the expression but that's what happens!) out of the process. With the right tools on an oscillating saw like a multi-master it's not too bad a job to grind out the grout and cut the tiles out around the valve along with the backing board. I was doing this as a 2nd or 3rd year apprentice with good guidance from the boss and a few deep breaths. I've done a few since those days and not had anything go wrong, even reusing the original tiles. Having spare tiles will massively increase the confidence of whoever does the job too.

    Good luck with it, this job is totally doable with the right person and tools.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. CBW1982

    CBW1982 Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!


    You have had some great responses so far. From your image the shower looks like it’s got a Allen key/small slotted grub screw to allow for removal. If this is the case and if it’s an o-ring then can be done hopefully without any damage to tiles. As for it being mouldy and completed wet I doubt it’s just from that “small” weep. As others have said just double check (or ask your plumber) all seals, grout lines, wastes (including the overflow - quite often overlooked), bath for levellness, any shower screen etc.

    Please could you also report back with any findings?

    Many thanks.
  11. Abby1998

    Abby1998 New Member

    The mould and wetness I think is from a poor seal around the bath which has now hopefully been rectified.

    We are finally able to use the shower again after 3 days. So we will be able to see if the shower is leaking and where. Its leaking ever so slightly from the shower bar as in the image above, and likely somewhere else which was leaking under the bath and then leaking through to our kitchen.

    Will definitely report back.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. YorkshireDave

    YorkshireDave Plumber

    Having a bit of history with these types of issues, please be aware that the likes of plasterboard, once it's been soaked over time, is essentially useless.

    I fully understand what an utter b4ll ache it may be, but I really do suggest you remove some tiles from around where it's been leaking. Wherever that may be. Capillary action takes the water up and behind the tiles and loosens the bond between them and the substrate.

    A good test is to tap tiles quite high up the wall with your knuckles and listen to the 'solid' sound it makes. Move down and to where the leaks have been and do the same. If the sound is more of a 'clack' then the tiles have lost their bond and will need to come off.

    If you then remove those 'clacky' tiles, you will find the plaster board is black with mould and the paper plasterboard front all but destroyed. Unfortunately this means the board must be replaced as it is completely unfit for tiling as it will hold no weight.

    If you are staying in the house, then your two choices to replace teh plaster board are either tile backing board or shower paneling. The ultimate cost will be approx equal (depending on what you'd spend on tiles) but without a shadow of a doubt the panelling will be easier to keep clean and far more robust over time.

    Sorry ;)
    • Like Like x 3
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