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Unread 02-05-2014, 04:19 PM   #1
DaveLB
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Tell me I'm not screwed

Ok, I am 90% done with gutting and rebuilding my shower. Thanks to lots of good info from this site, I think I did most of it the right way, or close anyway. I have been going pretty slowly working on this since mid Dec. I re-did the plumbing weeks ago, and watched for any leakage for several weeks before putting the concrete backer board up. There were no signs of any issues. Then I installed the base layer for the mud bed, I used poly sheeting for a vapor barrier and then installed my pan liner. Once those were in, I put the durarock on and laid the top layer of the mud bed. Then I used redgard over durarock. I waited a couple weeks before tiling, so the mud bed dried out thoroughly. This past Saturday, I tiled the wall you see in the photo below.

Last night I went in to continue on another wall and found the moisture showing in the mud bed. I outlined it with a pencil last night. Today the moisture appears to have spread about 1/4 inch past my pencil line. My question is, could this be moisture wicking out from the mortar I used to install the tile? Is this common? I really can't see how it could be a plumbing leak since the poly and the shower pan and the redgard would (I think) have isolated any plumbing leak out of the shower. Bottom line is that I am confused. Please help. Thanks!
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Unread 02-05-2014, 04:24 PM   #2
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forgot to include that there was a piece of cardboard and a bunch of papertowels I had been using to clean up mortar sitting on that spot as well. Initially I thought it was only from that, then it appeared to spread last night...
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Unread 02-05-2014, 04:42 PM   #3
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Welcome, Dave.

Is that the plumbing wall for the shower? Maybe give us a photo with a little perspective.

I'm confused by this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave
Then I installed the base layer for the mud bed, I used poly sheeting for a vapor barrier and then installed my pan liner.
What base layer? Did you put this poly sheeting on the subfloor and make a mud pre-slope on top of that, or did you put this "vapor barrier" over the wall studs?
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Unread 02-05-2014, 04:51 PM   #4
Richard Tunison
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Looks like a plumbing leak to me.
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Unread 02-05-2014, 04:55 PM   #5
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Flip.
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Unread 02-05-2014, 05:01 PM   #6
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Here is the requested photo for perspective. Yes, that wall is the plumbing wall.

As far as the order of application, the poly is between the studs and the durarock. And the upper edge of the pan liner is tucked between the poly and the durarock too. That is why I can't really see a plumbing leak getting in to the shower. The poly runs floor to ceiling and the pipes are on the outside of the poly.
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Unread 02-05-2014, 05:02 PM   #7
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the poly was just a vapor barrier between the studs and durarock.
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Unread 02-05-2014, 05:14 PM   #8
Richard Tunison
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The poly barrier should have been on the drain side of the floor membrane.

If you have a water meter with one of the little red indicators that will show even a small leak.............turn off all of your spigots etc. and see if the thing is moving. I still say plumbing leak.
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Unread 02-05-2014, 05:46 PM   #9
Bodie Powers
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Looks like a plumbing leak to me as well. Do you have access from below to see if the subfloor is wet? What's behind the plumbing wall? If it's an interior wall, is is possible to remove the drywall to view the plumbing from the other room?
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Unread 02-05-2014, 06:32 PM   #10
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It looks like a plumbing leak to me as well especially as it below the wall carrying the plumbing - maybe something nicked the pipe while installing the backer board - or the movement in the pipe during the re-pipe may have caused another existing section to fail.

If you have access from below or to the side as has been suggested you can inspect to see if it is a plumbing leak. For about $100 you can pickup a 3' Ridgid inspection camera from HD - I have one of those - then you just need to make a small hole to insert the inspection cable and see what is going on.
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Unread 02-05-2014, 06:35 PM   #11
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no subfloor. I am on a slab. The other side of that wall opens into the second bathroom. Worst case I can go in through that side and fix something if I need to, but that will involve retiling the tub surround in there. That is not a job I was hoping to take on right now. I am just surprised to find a leak after watching it for a couple weeks after doing the plumbing and before boarding it up. I wanted to make sure I was in good shape before buttoning it up, and I thought I was...

I am going to check the water meter. I also may try to find someone with a in the wall camera and peek around inside with that. If there is enough water pushing through to get in there, everything inside the wall should be pretty well soaked. Shouldn't be too hard to see.
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Unread 02-05-2014, 08:42 PM   #12
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That leak will probably be too small to see the water meter move. You'd do better with a pressure guage
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Unread 02-05-2014, 09:17 PM   #13
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Nothing to do with your issue, but you should not have used poly behind and redgard on the surface of the durock.
Perhaps the plumbing leak is from the other shower? But then how did it get in this pan?
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Unread 02-05-2014, 09:25 PM   #14
Steve in PA
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Did you check the female opening for the shower head? Is it possible that you slightly bumped/turned the valve and you have a trickle leak slowly working its way down the joints to the floor?
Just a thought.
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Unread 02-06-2014, 07:18 AM   #15
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how wet were the paper towels?

is it still wet today?

it doesnt look centered to the pipe..... doesn't feel like plumbing.
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