shower pan failure? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-08-2005, 02:31 PM
I am the labor manager for a small floor covering store.I have a customer we did a shower enclosure for and received a call from them about a mildew problem. Upon complete removal of the dry wall entirely around the back side of shower,we have discovered a mold problem and wicking of water from where the liner ends, and up about 18 inches high.Plumbing leaks have been ruled out.
the inside of the shower looks perfect. Could this be from clogged weep holes? Could they be opened up with out tile tear out. Could this be because of lack
of preslope? Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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03-08-2005, 02:39 PM
This is the back side of one of the shower walls?

I don't see a vapor barrier, and you said there was no preslope. Did the backerboard extend down to the liner?

At least 2 strikes against this isntallation. Sorry, but this is a do-over!

03-08-2005, 02:44 PM
What about that nice green spot under the "T" connection on the lower piece of copper? While you're redoing, has there developed a small leak at that intersection above?

John Bridge
03-08-2005, 07:13 PM
The green spot is probably where some flux dribbled when the piping was originally done.

Hi Dave, Welcome aboard. :)

What is the material behind the tiles? I can't tell. All backer boards will wick, though. That's one of the reasons that vapor barriers are specified for between the backer and the studs. Your problem could be one of everything you mentioned. No pre-slope, clogged drain weep holes. Wicking like that usually occurs when there is an excess of water in the floor mud bed.

03-08-2005, 07:20 PM
Thanks for the replys. It is hardibacker on the back of tile. The installer that did the work is now retired but did pan installations for us for many years with out trouble.I have been told that a vapor barrier behind the backer board is frowned on in washington state? Thanks for the help. Dave

John Bridge
03-08-2005, 07:34 PM
Dave, James Hardie company doesn't frown on it. ;)

03-08-2005, 08:11 PM
neither does the tile industry..slope is required by code.

03-08-2005, 08:31 PM
Hi Dave, Welcome! :)

One of the repairs I did years ago had a similiar problem. Durock down to the liner. No preslope. Drain flange above floor. Durock wicked the water so bad, it would lift past pan liner, and then release the moisture. Literally had water in the basement with not one hole in the shower pan. I love troubleshooting.

You haven't had any problems that you know of! :eek:

03-09-2005, 06:08 PM
I have learned some new information.There was a plumbing leak where the drain pipe was punctured when the shower door enclosure was installed. On the photo you can see where the pipe angles and the band on pipe was installed. This is the pipe that was penetrated.If this was the cause of this and the pan/drypack was saturated,would this not take a very long time to dry out.After fixing the pipe they put a small heater blowing directly on this part of the shower for over a week and seemed to get little or no drying effect.

Thanks again, Dave

03-09-2005, 08:45 PM
I looked at the picture, and I don't see a pan liner where the blocking is missing by the pipes. Is this on a slab? Maybe no liner was used.:)

03-09-2005, 09:02 PM
Very good eye Matt. There should be something visible near the plumbing


03-09-2005, 10:14 PM
Hi Matt & Jason :)

I was thinking the same thing, but, I also noticed some folded black material at the black abs pipes. Haven't quite figured out what's going on here. It clearly is pan material (maybe Oatey, cause it's black).

Is this maybe where the curb starts? If it is, the liner is loosely folded, and with no support is hanging very low.

Hi Dave :)

I would almost bet that there is no preslope. You probably have excess moisture in the pan, that won't go away!

03-09-2005, 10:21 PM
One of the above posts states that one of the screws from the shower door install punctured the stack. The band clamp is over the puncture. So the pan should make it that far over. The black material between the pipes is probably the pan material flopping in the breeze.

Rhode Island Flooring
03-09-2005, 10:34 PM
I was wondering, hardibacker is like compressed paper right?...How will it hold up to moisture? Ive only used it on floors.

03-09-2005, 10:45 PM
HardiBacker is a fiber-cement product. Like other CBUs, water can pass through it, but will not affect its structural integrity or make it swell.