Home & Garden

Shower drain leaking, and did the builder forget something?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 10th, 2021 8:55 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 28, 2015
1540 posts
762 upvotes
Nobleton, ON

Shower drain leaking, and did the builder forget something?

bought this home on Mar 2017 and somehow I began to notice there are 3 very tiny wet spots at the ceiling of my dining room. Suspected them to be shower drain leaks as the shower is right above the dining room, I thus took out the drain plate (see photo 1):

20211029_231543.jpg

and the pipe seems to be in good shape without cracks or leaks, but I noticed something else (see photo 2, circled out in red):


20211029_231526-circledout.jpg

that there seemed to be nothing between the tiles and the drain hole, no backplate or anything (lots of gunks from soap built up and filled the gap as you can tell from the picture), and is this the main reason the water seeped in between and eventually find its way to the ceiling beneath?

The google image I searched that for any square shaped cover, there seems to be a back plate cover with a round cutout meeting the circle drain and the square back plate cover would meet the surrounding tiles.

Anyone has experience can comment on the plausible cause of leak?

Btw, almost 5 years and is it still covered under warranty? If it were missing a back plate thus clearly the builder did a sloppy job.

Thank you
12 replies
Newbie
May 26, 2020
75 posts
64 upvotes
Unfortunately this is a 2-year warranty issue
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 28, 2015
1540 posts
762 upvotes
Nobleton, ON
JC00000 wrote: Unfortunately this is a 2-year warranty issue
Thanks, but did they really forget to put in the backplate around the drain to cause leak? Not a plumbing guy and want to make sure...

btw, how should I amend this wrongdoing? buy a matching backplate or fill the *void* with some caulk? thanks
Sr. Member
Mar 14, 2018
849 posts
779 upvotes
If you suspect that there is indeed leak, I'd call a plumber to take a look at it instead of guessing it yourself and do a patch up solution. It will be more costly but I think it's worth the money to properly fix this kind of issue and have a peace of mind.

p.s. that drain is nasty... please clean regularly lol
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 28, 2015
1540 posts
762 upvotes
Nobleton, ON
clutch31 wrote: If you suspect that there is indeed leak, I'd call a plumber to take a look at it instead of guessing it yourself and do a patch up solution. It will be more costly but I think it's worth the money to properly fix this kind of issue and have a peace of mind.

p.s. that drain is nasty... please clean regularly lol
We already bought caulk bottle and if it were missing a backplate we will patch it ourselves. For small things such as this no need for a plumber
Sr. Member
Dec 9, 2013
729 posts
657 upvotes
Toronto
Appears to be a dry pack shower pan. It's a thick piece of plastic at the bottom that keeps it waterproof. Nothing to do with caulking, tiles, grout etc... there are failure points due to incorrect installation.

Your only option is to open up the ceiling and see where the leak is coming from.
Deal Addict
Dec 31, 2007
4921 posts
1451 upvotes
Richmond Hill
xuanzh wrote: We already bought caulk bottle and if it were missing a backplate we will patch it ourselves. For small things such as this no need for a plumber
Not a "small thing". Echoing above, only way to see extent of damage and fix is to open things up.

I'd start with the ceiling first as drywall is easy to put back. Hopefully you can see most of the points of failure, and potentially do the fix underneath (I doubt it but worth a shot before going nuclear). Worst case scenario is you break the tile from the shower floor.
"Buy now, think later. This is the way."
Sr. Member
Mar 14, 2018
849 posts
779 upvotes
xuanzh wrote: We already bought caulk bottle and if it were missing a backplate we will patch it ourselves. For small things such as this no need for a plumber
I guess we are different. If I see any water spots in my ceiling below a bathroom I'd freak out.
Having already bought some caulk doesn't justify not calling a plumber... that's like the worst case of sunk cost fallacy. You will find other uses of the caulk in the future so don't feel so attached to that $10 you spent... jeez.
Deal Addict
Apr 24, 2007
2559 posts
856 upvotes
clutch31 wrote: I guess we are different. If I see any water spots in my ceiling below a bathroom I'd freak out.
Having already bought some caulk doesn't justify not calling a plumber... that's like the worst case of sunk cost fallacy. You will find other uses of the caulk in the future so don't feel so attached to that $10 you spent... jeez.
Ya, but that caulk tho....
Sr. Member
Jun 12, 2009
916 posts
337 upvotes
OP, the leak may not be from the drain at all; I had similar situation and the leak was from water getting through the dried up old caulking where tile floor meets vertical tile walls.
After that experience, I re-caulk my shower stall floor every 5 years with contractor-grade caulking (never Home Depot stuff; even if it's 100% silicone)
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 28, 2015
1540 posts
762 upvotes
Nobleton, ON
FastFret wrote: OP, the leak may not be from the drain at all; I had similar situation and the leak was from water getting through the dried up old caulking where tile floor meets vertical tile walls.
After that experience, I re-caulk my shower stall floor every 5 years with contractor-grade caulking (never Home Depot stuff; even if it's 100% silicone)
You might be right, the leaking spots formed a grid pattern that probably dripping down from the beam, definitely not from the U shaped drain...

Where did you get that contractor-grade stuff? thanks
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 28, 2015
1540 posts
762 upvotes
Nobleton, ON
Had patched the grout around the drain with some cement/mortar, and the old ones were all crumpled and shatterred.

No more leaks(yet! know on wood) and it was the builder did a sloppy job for the inferior grout mortar that eventually gave ways and causing water to accumulate at the rubber shower pan beneath and eventually sept through the seams between shower pan and drain into the beams downstairs.
Sr. Member
Dec 9, 2013
729 posts
657 upvotes
Toronto
xuanzh wrote: Had patched the grout around the drain with some cement/mortar, and the old ones were all crumpled and shatterred.

No more leaks(yet! know on wood) and it was the builder did a sloppy job for the inferior grout mortar that eventually gave ways and causing water to accumulate at the rubber shower pan beneath and eventually sept through the seams between shower pan and drain into the beams downstairs.
The shower pan liner is waterproof. Nothing should be getting passed it. Grout and tiles are not waterproof, nor are they supposed to be.

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