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Old 10-05-2014, 11:52 AM   #1
robert august
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Shower pan leak

I did a shower pan re do about 7 years ago. I took the first 2 rows of 4*4 out. Put in pan,floated and reset the tile. Well 7 years later it started to leak in the corner. I'm thinking since I only took 2 rows of tile off the water found its way to that cold joint between the to floated areas in the wall. Even though the pan is run 9 inches up the wall the water is getting behind somehow. Even though it was replaced 6 plus years ago I'm still responsible. Any other ideas of what could have happened? Thanks
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:38 PM   #2
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It's hard to know. How do you know that it's leaking in the corner?

If you did everything right and a test beforehand confirmed that all the work was good I have heard it leaking from a nail in the blocking or something along those lines. A lot of times carpenters toe nail in the blocking around the bottom and the nail heads stick out. When you board it this can lead to punctures.

I think the only way you'll know is to tear into it.

edit: Also sometimes plumbers use screws to secure the drain down to the subfloor. These will puncture a liner too and need to be removed beforehand.
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Old 10-05-2014, 01:27 PM   #3
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It's an upstairs bathroom. It is leaking through the ceiling in that area. The caulking that joint between the old and new tile has since cracked. Maybe if I use waterproof caulking in that joint it will stop the leak. When the shower is on it hits in the bottom corner right where I think it's leaking. It was tested 48hrs before drypac was put in. I guess my question is could it leak if the pan goes up at least 9 inches but there is no overlap of aquabar from the old float to mine. Picture the bottom portion of the shower removed about 10 inches up. New pan put in. The caulking has since cracked in the joint between the old and new tile. I don't think enough tile was removed when the pan was put in. I should have gone at least 12-18 inches up the wall
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:11 PM   #4
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If you go several inches above the curb, it shouldn't be a problem.

I've done just one or two repairs in my time, didn't really like doing either of them.
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
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Robert, while I've done a few of those pan replacements, too, I've always considered them a temporary patch to make the shower last long enough to make the eventual replacement fall at a better time for the owners. And I've always advertised them to be exactly that.

I think your patch has now exceeded the temporary nature of such a procedure and it's time for the shower replacement.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:14 PM   #6
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This is a very timely thread. I just looked at two botched shower pans for a homeowner recently. I was going to give them a price for replacing just the pans, but after stumbling across your issues, I think I'm going to offer the "all or nothing" option.

I've never been a fan of just replacing the pan. Sure, it addresses the most immediate problem, but it's impossible to tie into the waterproofing of the shower as a whole.

I hope this works out for you. I'm with CX. They got 7 more years. Time to pony up and redo the whole thing right.
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Old 10-05-2014, 05:50 PM   #7
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I've done a couple of these types of repairs and each time I swear I will never do another. In fact, I just did one earlier this year. I made an exception because it was a referral and there's a chance this particular repair could lead to more things.

Done properly I don't feel that it's a temporary fix. In fact, I believe there's even a TCNA method for exactly this repair. The problem with these repairs is that typically they fail because things weren't done properly. So you go into the repair and find that you have to tie into an improperly built shower and it can turn into a can of worms and some tough decisions on how far the repair should go.

But if the OP feels that he should honor the repair, and it sounds like that is the case, then it'll probably have to be fixed. One option to consider might be to see if they'll go with a brand new shower. Then maybe they can help split the costs. There's not a lot of 4.25's anymore and it probably looks dated. You might try and run that option by them and see what happens.
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:26 PM   #8
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Yea I'm torn. I'm going to fix it. But I don't feel there is a good way to tie in the old waterproofing to mine. There is going to be an open joint from old to new that won't seal. Even if I butle the joint of old cement to new. What's going to protect behind that area. There will be no aquabar overlapping. I feel that water will go through the tile to the paper and then run down the existing paper to my cold joint of no overlap of waterproofing and then to the greenboard and so on.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:46 PM   #9
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In most mud showers, I don't feel there's that much water that gets thru the tile, mud and to the moisture barrier to actually run downward. I just haven't seen that in the mud showers that I have removed. And most of the mud showers I tear out have no moisture barrier at all. Lath is nailed right to the studs and usually the studs are still in good shape. Every once in a while there are bad studs but not often.

I've prolly replaced at least 20 shower bottoms over the past 35 years. I will do them if they are mudded out mainly because the mud bed is thicker than CBU and I have room to mud the walls back out.

Robert, do you remember if you used pan corners when you replaced the liner? Also, how was the curb done? No nails in the top or inside of the curb? In my opinion, the curb is still the most likely place for a leak to start.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:57 PM   #10
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The biggest reason I stopped patching showers; there is no graceful way to wed the new waterproofing to any old waterproofing.

If there is no waterproofing above the liner, what's the point of waterproofing the bottom 12 inches ?
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:03 PM   #11
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I have always gone up 3 rows of 4 1/4 tile. The pan is the waterproofing down that low.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:50 PM   #12
robert august
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I went up 2 1/2 rows of 4.25. The curb has no perforations in it. I honestly think that since the caulk cracked between the old and new tile water is getting thru there. And going thru the mud to the aquabar. But since there is no paper overlapping between the old and new float,it's getting under the pan itself and getting into the ceiling. It's a straight shot from where the water hits. Homeowner say that when he showers if doesn't show any sign of leaking. It's when the wife gets in and the water hits the back corner of the shower for like 30 min. Then it starts to leak
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:19 PM   #13
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That could be where it's leaking. But, water does crazy things. What about pan corners?
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:06 PM   #14
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davy I sent you a pm.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:37 PM   #15
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Robert, I think I understand the situaion: You went up 2 rows, I think, and at that two rows you cut the tile AND the backerboard out and repaired it? So the grout joint and the backerboard joint are in exactly the same spot? And the that joint, a cold joint, was caulked together. Am I on the right track?
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