need help detecting the source of a bathroom ceiling leak

starfish11040October 23, 2011

This morning, quite a bit of water came down through a tenant's bathroom ceiling. It seemed to coincide with the upstairs tenant, whose bathroom is directly above, taking a shower. There was no water on the upstairs bathroom floor.This means to me that there are two possibilities: either the bathtub drain pipe is leaking or the shower water is going through the tiled wall.

So I had them do a test. First, the bathtub faucet ran for 10 minutes. No leak.

Then the shower was pointed at one of the walls for 10 minutes. No leak.

Then the shower was pointed at the other wall for 10 minutes. No leak.

There was a leak in the same ceiling about a month ago, We did the test, and water leaked when the shower was pointed at one of the walls. I had it regouted, tested it again and the problem was solved. Now it's happened again but I can't recreate the leak to determine its source.

This is puzzling. Any ideas?

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Make sure the surround on your shower valve is sealed properly. That was my problem.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 8:19AM
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Tub caulking, seal around valves.

Did you check every wall in the shower?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:33AM
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Fill the bathtub up 3/4 and try your tests again. I had a situation in my old house where a leak would expose itself after weight was put on the tub, because the house was really old and the underlayment had shifted a little. Doesn't take much of a gap to get leakage.

Also, pointing a shower at a shower wall does not usually soak the whole wall, and does nothing to the front wall where the shower head is.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:52AM
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A likely source (and one not tested) is the bathtub overflow drain.

The leak will only occurr when the tub is filled up to the overflow drain.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 4:44PM
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