Leaking Shower - Mystery

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by DavidErnie, May 23, 2020.

  1. DavidErnie

    DavidErnie New Member


    We have had a complete nightmare with our shower for the past year. It keeps leaking, with water going through the ceiling into the living room.

    We have had to cut a hole in the ceiling, so we can see the waste outlet. It is bone dry but someone come out and said this was the problem and replaced it for £200. sadly, it was not the problem and it had contained to leak but it is definitely not leaking through the outlet. We have re sealed all around the shower tray and grouted again, but still leaking.

    We have tried a few tests. For example, it only leaks if someone is in the tray with shower running.

    We have tried people coming round, but they charge and say they know what the issue is, but then it just leaks again!

    I do have a video of the leak, While the shower is running, if this is helpful but it’s too large to attach here.

    Any help or support will be greatly appreciated!
  2. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    The most common reason I've come across is through poor installation technique and either a failure of, or total absence of, sealant between the shower tray and wall in the spot behind the screen/enclosure. The screen mountings are deliberately designed in such a way that water is allowed to get into them, run down the inside of the frame and back into the tray where it discharges through the waste.

    Sometimes this is compounded by people sealing the inside of the frame (up the wall) thus preventing the water that gets in from getting out again as intended.

    In the absence of your video, I would try directing the shower at the area where the frame meets the tray and see if that leaks.
    DavidErnie likes this.
  3. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    I go with Willy on this one, look at the bottom corners where the screen fixes to the wall. The water will get into the strip that is fixed to the wall prior to the shower screen being fitted. Need to dry it our and pump some silicon sealer into to it.
    DavidErnie and WillyEckerslike like this.
  4. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    Unfortunately it invariably means removing the shower screen and mounting frame to make a satisfactory repair especially if it's because the tray was sealed after the screen was fitted.
    DavidErnie likes this.
  5. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    I ‘think’ that the clue is in your post when you say that it only leaks when someone is in the shower

    To me, that would indicate some movement in the tray which then opens up a tiny gap ..... somewhere

    Could be junction between tray and walls, I know you’ve said shower has been resealed but constant movement, even small, may cause failure of the seal. Water will pass through the tiniest gap and when it becomes visible, say your ceiling below, the stained area could be a couple of feet away from the actual leak area

    Any idea of the route the waste pipe takes to outside of house ?

    Check all areas of silicon and see if any area has started to peel away or lift from tiles and/tray

    Also check tile grouting for missing sections, cracks, holes

    If the water was leaking externally to shower frame you would be aware of this surely so gotta be somewhere inside enclosure (unless waste pipe runs internally above lounge ceiling) ?
    DavidErnie likes this.
  6. DavidErnie

    DavidErnie New Member

    Hey everyone, I just want to say thanks so much for your advice!

    we have been screwed over a few times with people coming round, charging £100s and it not being solved - so for you guys to offer this advice is greatly appreciated!

    We are not very DIY savvy so everything takes 100 times longer lol, but we are going to look at it during the next few days but more likely than not, we will be back asking more .

    One thing to add, is the shower had been installed 3 years ago and was perfect, until we had building work downstairs a year ago (Including right below shower), and ever since, it’s leaked - we believe it is linked some how.

    thank you again!
  7. kiaora

    kiaora Screwfix Select

    Added bit of advice....

    to prove it’s not the waste system.........

    remove shower head, don’t loose rubber washer, then lay on base of tray, run shower enough to let the water run around the waste fitting, and down the drain but not reach the edge of shower tray, then get assistant to stand in tray,
    Then see if it leaks anywhere, either with some one in shower or without ?

    then you’ll know it’s not the waste system,

    next, test the other parts, shower tray to wall joint, and frame fixing to wall, but must be one at a time

    good luck
    DavidErnie and WillyEckerslike like this.
  8. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    By any chance did the building work that was carried out happen to warrant the use of acrow props, ie removing a load bearing wall or similar?
  9. DavidErnie

    DavidErnie New Member

    yes! It did! Right under the shower actually! We got the original builder out but they refused any responsibility.
  10. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Then there is your answer. They jacked the acrows up too tight causing the floor joists to lift, albeit probably only a couple of mm, along with the shower tray, when the acrows were released the joists and tray would have popped back down to the original level but leaving a broken seal and possibly weak area when stepped on.

    Not the first instance of this scenario I have seen.
    DavidErnie and WillyEckerslike like this.
  11. DavidErnie

    DavidErnie New Member

    Thank you so much. We really have felt out our depth in this situation, so some clarity is great.

    so from this info, how would you recommend we go forward? By taking the advice from above or doing something different? I’m not very good at DIY (basically have not got a clue!) so I do feel I have been taken advantage of from some builders, so if I do have to get someone to do it - at least I can have some knowledge lol.

    again, thank you! Thank god I found this forum lol.
  12. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    It would be difficult to prove the builders caused the issue with the tray, even though it's 99% sure to be them, and raising the issue with them at the time shows acknowledgement that there was a problem, if they denied all responsibility it will most likely end up a to-ing and fro-ing between you, with aggravation aplenty and hours and hours of wasted time. This would be an ideal scenario for their liability insurance to earn it's keep, but whether it gets to that is a different story.

    To sort it, unfortunately the tray needs to come back out, screen removed etc, the floor checked for movement and damage, remedied if needed then refit the tray and seal it back into place, then make good the bottom row of tiles and ensure any junction is sealed thoroughly. If you're not DIY savvy then it's a job for a plumber with a bit of gumption about him (a rare breed, but they are about).
    DavidErnie likes this.
  13. DavidErnie

    DavidErnie New Member

    A great help! Thank you!!
  14. DavidErnie

    DavidErnie New Member

    I really appreciate all your guys help in this matter - can’t thank you all enough
    Jord86 likes this.
  15. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

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