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Unread 10-11-2019, 04:24 PM   #1
ChiknNutz
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Leaking shower, partial tear out?

I have a leak in an upstairs shower that appears to be a leaking pan. It is for sure not the drain and does not appear to be from the supply lines, so has to be a leak in the pan somewhere (have opened up drywall for inspection). This is an older home, built in 1988. We are recent owners so don't know the whole history of this house. We have a home warranty but they don't replace tile, so stuck doing it myself. Although I know the tile is not supposed to be the water barrier, but I first thought it was the grout around the perimeter, so removed that and caulked it. It did improve it, but it is leaking again after a few weeks. I cannot see a clear place it is leaking but it must be the pan somehow.

I took some pix so you can see the tile layout and seeing if I can get away with just pulling the pan and a few courses of tile, or if that is just asking for trouble and should just pull it all and start over. I really don't want to pull it all, am not fast at this, and it will literally take me weeks to do it if I pull it all. I do realize that matching it is not possible, nor do I wish to try, but is replacing some going to look like crap or is there a way to make it look decent? Thanks for any advice offered.
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Unread 10-11-2019, 04:33 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Chris.

I personally consider any shower receptor replacement without replacing the entire shower to be a temporary measure to buy some time 'till it's more convenient to do the full shower re-build. Even if you manage to do a good job of the pan and lower wall replacement, you rarely have any method of tying the new waterproofing into the existing wall waterproofing, if any.

The aesthetics of the pan replacement can be acceptable with a complementary or contrasting tile and calling it a feature, but the reality is that you're gonna get to do the full replacement sooner or later anyway.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 07:43 AM   #3
ChiknNutz
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Ugh, as I suspected but had to ask. Okay onto the next step. The one and only shower R&R I've done in our previous home, I used the Schluter system. It seems like one of the best out there, but to me, was considerable work. I used the thinset applied membrane, not Kerdi-board. Since this will be done on a strictly part time basis, I know this will take me weeks to finish if I go this route again. Is there another system that is still a quality item that takes less time to do? Maybe the Kerdi-board is faster, but probably more $$$, haven't checked yet. Aside from a typical membrane-and-tile solution, are there other shower installs that could be done faster? I have not looked into a molded panel system, but would consider it if they actually last. I don't care if it looks as nice as tile, just want a quality system that I don't have to worry about later. A long lasting product matters to me more than it looking super cool.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 09:39 AM   #4
Davy
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I'd say to stick with the Kerdi system. It's going to be about the fastest way for you to do it especially since you have experience with it.

We use to do quite a lot of shower pan change outs. Remove the floor and walls up about 12 inches along with the curb. Then install a new pan and tile it back. Like Cx said, it's a Band-Aid but it can last if the pan is what's leaking.

I would still plug the drain and fill the shower from another source other than the shower head just to make sure the leak is coming from the pan.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 10:20 AM   #5
ChiknNutz
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Agreed. It is a pretty slow leak, takes a couple showers for it to actually leak. I really thought it was a pinhole leak in the plumbing but it really doesn't seem to be. I do need to be sure it's the pan and not go thru all the trouble of a R&R only to find out it still leaks.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 03:44 PM   #6
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We had a leak that sounded a bit like this. It wasn't in the base where we thought, it was around the shower control handle. Water percolated down and it looked like it was coming from the base. Is the control handle trim well-caulked to the wall? Try covering with a huge amount of saran wrap and masking tape for a few days.
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