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Unread 06-05-2020, 12:54 PM   #1
nyc_sport
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Slight Leak Around Shower Drain

Hi all. Our master shower leaks slightly -- a few drips, but a drip or two still materializes a day or two after the shower was last used. The drip is immediately surrounding the drain. Fortuitously right above a ceiling speaker, so I have access underneath and above and below pictures attached. Marble tile shower floor, which I if I recall correctly from a new build 10 years ago, is over full copper shower pan.

There clearly are some grout repairs needed, and I am prepared to regrout the entire floor this weekend if that makes sense. But I often read here and elsewhere that a shower should be waterproof regardless of grout, so is the problem elsewhere? Is this drain body removable and does it have plumber's putty/seals where it meets the pan? The moisture is only in one spot (it is the right side of the drain if looking at the shower fixtures). Don't want to spend 3 days regrouting if the tiles need to come out regardless.

Thanks very much for any thoughts or suggestions. Much appreciated!!!
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Unread 06-05-2020, 03:41 PM   #2
Carbidetooth
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Any idea how the shower is constructed? The roundish lugs shown in the "under" photo are typically above or sitting on subfloor. Gives me pause on construction methodology.

Could be a "no preslope" situation but that doesn't necessarily explain leak at drain.

It looks to be a weeping style drain and those are designed for a specific construction sequence.
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Unread 06-05-2020, 03:46 PM   #3
jadnashua
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FWIW, neither tile nor grout is considered the waterproofing in a shower...it is a decorative wear surface. ANy leak is the result of a failed shower pan. While some people think they're great, and it is possible to install one properly, a copper pan is usually installed flat on the floor and plumbing code calls for the waterproofing to be sloped to the drain - that is not the tile, but the tile does also need to be sloped since the vast majority of the water goes that route, just not all. I can't be certain, but that doesn't look like a clamping drain, either, so the seal between the drain and the pan is probably the suspect item. IMHO, if you really want a copper pan, the drain should be bronze, so you can solder the copper to it. It's lots harder to set the pan on a sloped surface like the plumbing code requires, but it is possible...just not done often or correctly.

Anything that you do to patch things is a patch, and not a valid repair. I think that to fix it properly would mean tearing out the pan and starting over. Once that's been done, it usually ends up being more efficient to just trash the whole thing and start over, this time, hopefully done to industry standards.
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Unread 06-05-2020, 05:29 PM   #4
Davy
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Looks like a clamping drain to me. I see nails sticking out of the OSB, makes me wonder if those are holding down the bottom flange section of the drain or if they go thru the copper pan.

Tommy, re-grouting won't help.
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Unread 06-05-2020, 05:46 PM   #5
jadnashua
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Those tile look like they're saturated. That tends to happen with natural stone with a pan that isn't sloped and the mudbed has filled up.
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Unread 06-06-2020, 02:19 PM   #6
nyc_sport
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Thanks all. The shower slope is fine, and it is a rainhead shower directly above the drain so the water for the most part stays around the middle of the shower (and my wife and I squeegy the walls and floor after using). Pulling out the pan is a fairly unattractive option as the wall tile is unique, ridiculously expensive and not sure I could find replacements if they break.
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Unread 06-06-2020, 03:54 PM   #7
Davy
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Tommy, Jim is talking about the tiles looking saturated due to clogged weep holes or from the copper pan being too flat and without a pitch. The waterproofing (copper pan) should have pitch too, not just the tile. When the pan doesn't have pitch, water has no way to get to the weepholes and the mudbed under the tiles become saturated. That's the reason for the preslope but like was mentioned, it's hard to get a metal pan to fit a sloped floor.

I can't tell if the marble is saturated or not. I've seen marble that shade right out of the box.
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