A lot of homeowners experience a problem that’s all too common: they take a shower, get ready to start their day, and later discover a steady drip-drip-drip coming through the ceiling …
It’s their upstairs shower, and it’s leaking! This can be a major annoyance and cause extensive damage if not fixed quickly. Here’s how to troubleshoot and fix the problem:
The first step is to identify where the leak is coming from. Even though you might think this is pretty straightforward – that the water must be coming through a burst or broken pipe – this is actually just one of the possibilities. It is probably the most likely. And it’s also the hardest to actually take a look at. You may not be able to see the valve behind the shower, or the pipes that connect to it.
So, because it’s hard to say whether this is actually the source of the leak, you can use process of elimination instead. What we mean by this is, because you can’t see whether a leak in the pipe is the issue, you can check other possibilities first, and see whether they are the source of the leak.
For example, one surprising reason an upstairs shower can leak downstairs is because of damaged tiles on the shower floor or wall. Because, your tile is there for more than just looks! It is also there to prevent the shower water from soaking into the floor or wall. So, if you see cracks in the tile or in the grout, chances are that’s one way water could be leaking through.
Another possibility is a clogged drain. You may think that a clogged drain would just be an annoyance that causes a slow flow, but if the clog is so bad that water is completely prevented from getting down the shower drain, that’s another way that standing water could leak its way through cracks in the tile, grout, or even the rest of the bathroom floor.
But, it’s more likely that a leaky gasket is to blame for the shower leak. This leaky gasket could be in one of two places. First of all, it could be behind the shower faucet. It’s common for a gasket or O-ring to become loose or damaged, which then causes a leak behind the wall. You’ll know if this is the case if you see water dripping off your shower faucet, which of course causes your bill to skyrocket, in addition to the damage it causes! If there is no drip-drip-drip off the shower faucet, then the leak is occurring elsewhere. The problem could be a leaky gasket under the drain, which would then also cause the upstairs shower to leak downstairs.
Again, most of these possible causes are things that you can visually see for yourself, and if you don’t, then the problem is probably a burst pipe. But if you’re having trouble figuring it out, and especially before you try making any risky repairs yourself, it’s always a good idea to call in a professional plumber to help you troubleshoot and fix the problem. To get the best in Santa Ana and Orange County, contact us online or give us a call: (714) 613-1016