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Unread 10-26-2021, 08:57 AM   #16
cx
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Welcome, Jerry.

1,2. Yes, it's perfectly normal to have water penetrate the tile surface in a shower. It will happen. And it will be a good bit more water than you might expect, 'specially in the receptor area.

In a traditionally built shower, with a mud/liner/mud receptor and CBU walls, the water passes through the tile/grout into the top mortar bed, then passes through the mortar bed and gravity-feeds to the drain weep holes. The wall water passes through the tile/grout, through the CBU, and is then stopped at the moisture barrier behind the CBU where it gravity-feeds down into the receptor. Or there may be a bonded waterproofing membrane on the walls, in which case the water stops there and goes where gravity dictates.

There will be water on the top of your curb. Some of it will pass through the tile surface. If, at that point, it finds screw holes through the waterproof liner, it will pass through those into the curb structure, which is likely to be wood. We're not suggesting that might happen, Jerry, we're telling you it will happen. And if there are fasteners through CBU on top of the curb, there are almost certainly fasteners through CBU on the inside face of the curb, which is even worse.

The ceramic tile industry standards and all building codes require the waterproof liner in a traditional receptor to wrap up the walls a minimum of 6 inches or two (or three) inches above top of the curb, whichever is higher. It is further specified that there be no penetrations of that liner lower than two inches (or one inch) above the finished curb top.

The number of shower failures due to violation of those requirements reported just on this website is mind boggling. People continue to think that it's just not possible for those little holes in those areas to cause the shower to leak. It is possible, and it does happen. And you can't fix the problem without some demolition.

Since we don't actually know how your shower was built, we cannot guarantee that's the method of failure you have, but I think it's pretty likely.

A plumbing leak does not always manifest in exactly the area of the leak, so I'd recommend you verify that it's the shower receptor that's leaking, rather than possibly a plumbing leak, but I wouldn't be too hopeful.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-26-2021, 09:05 AM   #17
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Yes, the crawlspace isn't somewhere you check often so I believe its been leaking since installed January 2020 i didn't discover it leaking till june 2021 when there was about a gallon on the ground, took a long time to soak though the 3/4 OSB I guess, they caulked some areas then, and now 3 months later the OSB wet spot has grown much bigger and about a pint on the ground
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Unread 10-26-2021, 10:43 AM   #18
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Here's the underneath pics. So should this licensed contractor be required to replace this shower and should the OSB be replaced also
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Unread 10-26-2021, 12:15 PM   #19
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In a one year old shower?!!

Again, I'd first want to verify that it's the shower receptor that's leaking rather than the plumbing. If it's the shower receptor leaking, yes, he owes you a new shower, properly constructed this time. Good luck with that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-26-2021, 02:32 PM   #20
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There is no plumbing near the wet area ,fixtures are on the opposite wall and all dry over there, would you want the floor taken up and replace the wet wood? I sent a text to him and waiting to hear back. He's been in business for 35yrs at the same location so it's not some fly by night company its a family run business that advertises additions,bathrooms,kitchens and such,his brother did the shower install. I will certainly be taking many pics and posting them here for assurance. With the wealth of knowledge I gained reading the forums here I'll feel more confident when I talk with him, so a big THANK YOU to all who post here
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Unread 10-26-2021, 03:05 PM   #21
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Plywood doesn't like moisture all that much, Jerry, most particle board likes it even less. That stuff needs to be replaced as it has likely already started to swell from the moisture. It has been compromised.
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Unread 10-26-2021, 07:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry
There is no plumbing near the wet area ,fixtures are on the opposite wall and all dry over there
Again, the wet area is not always directly below a leak. The water can travel a long way before it finds just the right place to exit.

Chances are the leak is in the curb directly above the leak, but I'd still want to do a test or two before making a decision to tear it out. Just stopping the drain and bringing in water from another source to fill the pan would be an easy and free first test.

If it leaks, you know it's the receptor leaking.

If you don't cause a leak that way, remove the shower head and replace it with a half-inch pipe cap. Turn the shower on and leave it that way for some hours. Check your wet area.

Cheap, easy, instructive in your discussion with the contractor.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-26-2021, 09:46 PM   #23
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I will definitively discuss the tests with him but still feel it needs replaced because the soaked wood. this morning while the wife showered I went under there with a flashlight for about 10 minutes, didn't see a drop hit the ground but the wet spot seemed to glisten with a little movement, like the wood was absorbing any water.
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Unread 10-27-2021, 10:39 AM   #24
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In 45 years, I've seen 2 showers that had a plumbing leak. But, it's still good to check for it. The rest leaked from poor tile installations. Usually starting at the curb like Cx said.
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Unread 10-27-2021, 11:36 AM   #25
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He hasn't replied to text or calls yet, but I think just the fact that he screwed though the liner makes him responsible, would that not be against the instructions for liner install and building codes.
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Unread 10-27-2021, 02:16 PM   #26
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Yes, nailing thru the pan liner goes against building codes and any liner or tile installation guidelines. But, at this point do we know for sure he did that?

Also, the lack of dam corners in place is another cause for a shower to leak. The top 2x4 on the curb should also have pitch which gives the liner pitch towards the drain. Hopefully you'll get pictures of the curb when the tiles comes off. Those angles can be tough to wrap liner on, takes a little extra time.
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Unread 10-27-2021, 03:21 PM   #27
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Yes, the site shrunk the photos in my first post but the photo I have is much larger and you can clearly see the cement board is screwed on
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Unread 10-27-2021, 03:39 PM   #28
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One thing I don't understand is if it's common for water to get under the tile on top of the curb what keeps it from running down to the outside of the curb?
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Unread 10-27-2021, 04:45 PM   #29
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The owner and brother are coming to look at it tomorrow. Would it be foolish of me to consider removing these vertical tiles and try to fix it some way, or is this a dumb idea, especially since the liner will still be compromised by the screws everywhere else, plus I still would have the soaked wood
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Unread 10-27-2021, 06:18 PM   #30
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I wouldn't do anything to it, make them fix it. It's probably been said but the cracks in the grout indicate the wood in the curb is getting wet and swelling.

Yes, water will get under the tiles on the curb.
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