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Unread 09-22-2012, 08:51 AM   #1
bayne
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Failed flood test

My shower pan liner leaks...now what?

I used a PVC liner and I believe the leak is coming from where I seamed two pieces together. Last night (or rather early this morning) I reglued the seam with hopes of recitifiing the problem. I haven't tested it again, yet. I really don't have much remaining confidence with this system.

Is it too late to switch to another pan system? I used an Oatey drain recommended for the liner, poured my preslope (thanks to the guidance of this site) and installed the liner. How much would I have to rip out? Could I just pour my last mud bed and use a Kerdi Type system over that? If so, how would it tie into my drain?

Thank you,

Bayne
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Unread 09-22-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Bayne.

Couple questions first.

1. Did you seam your liner outside the shower where the whole seam area could lay flat on the floor or other flat surface?

2. Does your seam run across the shower drain?

3. Can you see the leak or did the water just disappear?

Some photos of your installation would help. Use the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box to attach photos from storage on your computer.

If you elect to change to a direct bonded waterproofing membrane for your waterproofing (only other method I know), you would need to remove the existing pan liner and best to replace the drain. You might be able to re-use part your pre-slope, depending upon how your drain was set and how your pre-slope was made, but I'd recommend you remove what you have and start over. Mud's cheap. Labor's free. Showers last a long, long time.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-22-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
bayne
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Wow, thanks for the quick reply.

I did not seam the liner outside the pan - I see the benefit of that now...damn hindsite! I set a 2x4 and weight over the seam while it cured. The resulting bond was still less than desirable. The adhesive was dry with inconsistent areas of adhesion.

The seam runs upslope from the drain about 12 inches, I overlapped it by 12 inches as well.

The leak was quite evident; fortunately, in the garage and not in a living space.
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Unread 09-22-2012, 10:11 AM   #4
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Yep, some pics would help. How big is your shower?
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Unread 09-22-2012, 10:13 AM   #5
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I would recommend you try making another liner since that's the type of pan you're set up to build. I wouldn't overlap more than about three inches max on that seam, and I think your manufacturer will recommend less. And get roller of some sort to help with the seaming. A good wallpaper roller or similar is fine. You want that and/or a board to lay over the new seam to apply pressure for the first half a minute or so. A helper is of much benefit for long seams.

Do the on a flat surface and according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you're using Oatey's PVC liner and X-15 pookey, I think you need to wait an hour or more before handling the seamed liner and overnight is a better idea.

But making a good, permanent, watertight seam with that stuff is quite doable if you follow the instructions. I've got at least one second floor shower out there that's about 8x10 feet and has steps down into a tub area. I know it hasta have at least one, and probably two, full width seams in the pan liner and it's been holdin' water these 25 years now.

Don't be askeered to seam your liner if you want a traditional pan.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-22-2012, 10:21 AM   #6
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I don't have the capabilities right now to easily take pictures. I see Kerdi makes a clamping ring conversion drain. I thinking of ripping out the PVC, add the recommended 5/8" mud bed over my preslope for the new drain, and add Kerdi membrane. I don't see another viable option at this point. The drain cost about $120 though plus another $350 for all the membranes- I'm not happy about that. But I don't want to mess around with having more water in my garage. The PVC sheets cost less than $50 bucks...crap! This is why I went the PVC route to begin with. I think I'm just going to use the hose out back and a bucket from now on to shower...
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Unread 09-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #7
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Different strokes.

Davy, who axed for pichers, builds nothing but traditional shower pans with all mud walls and very likely gets to seam his PVC liners on a regular basis. I'm sure he can tell you the easiest and most lasting methods and convince you that it's really not a big deal. And I'd hafta agree with him.

If you elect to change to a direct bonded waterproofing membrane system, Kerdi or otherwise, I'd very strongly recommend you change your drain to a bonding flange drain (eliminating the adapter) and build a new mud floor to go with it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-22-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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I found pan liner material in 6' width at a tile store. It kept me from having to seam the 4' width Oatey liner most places sell. I was able to buy a 6' x 8' piece to use in a 4' x 6' shower. You might call some local tile stores to see what is available.
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Unread 09-22-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
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Glen is thinking in line with me. I was wondering the size of your shower and if you needed a seam in the first place. We have wider liner and some times you can eliminate a seam.
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Unread 09-22-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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I am posting because I thought your post said "Failed blood test". I suppose you should be thankful its only a flood test.
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Unread 09-22-2012, 09:27 PM   #11
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They can leak if you don't seal the liner around the drain. It will leak down the bolt holes.

Did you seal the underside of the liner to the drain with a butyl caulk or something?
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Unread 09-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #12
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Jim, explain a little about this please.

"It will leak down the bolt holes."
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Unread 09-23-2012, 12:09 PM   #13
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From personal experience, I can tell you that I have had failed flood tests that have soaked the prefloat and it was caused by either not using sealant around the drain or missing a spot with the sealant.

I assumed the water was traveling down the bolt holes but now that I think about it (and am looking at a drain body), it probably just went up under the liner?

Either way it leaks.
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Unread 09-23-2012, 09:10 PM   #14
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Okay, thanks Jim. I know there are many different drains out there and I have never seen one where the bolt holes went all the way thru.
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