leaking shower question (help)

I have a small leak from an upstairs shower to the room below. I had removed some sheetrock on the ceiling in the room below for some other work only to find this small leak. By small I mean aprox. 1 oz of water per average shower.
I have inspected all the tiles and grout lines. They all look good as far as I can tell.
It seems that when my wife uses the shower little or no water leaks vs. when I use it. This tells me that the water is splashing somewhere for me and not for her.
Any ideas where I can look further? Thanks for your help.
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poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (raymondj) wrote:

Try looking at the drain, is it sealed to the tub? etc
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You might want to check the putty job around the drain.
We had a leak that would only happed every so often. I could not see the leak when we ran the water, but the leak would happen very sporatically.
Well, it turns out that the leak only happened if the tub was filled even a little. The leak path in the putty was small and no leak happened when the shower water was free to go down the drain. Plugging the drain would make the leak in the putty the path of least resistance. I bought a tool to remove and tighten the drain, took it out, replaced the putty, tightened it back up and the problem was solved for about $8.
If you have a fiberglass tub or shower, maybe your petite wife (in case she is reading this!!) does not push down on the plastic floor as much as you do, so you cause more of a leak than she does???
Just a thought.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.gov (Rileyesi) wrote in message

Thanks for the advice I will check this. A little bit of more information though. This is a shower stall and not a tub (not that it makes a huge difference but maybe there's something different.)
The drain is in the center of the shower and the grate does come off. I am going to try what you advised - plugging the drain, etc. I'll let you know.
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I had the same problem in my house. Turns out, there was a wide gap between the tub and the surround, and the caulking wasn't quite holding up to the job. Water was coming down into my kitchen pantry. I got some of that adhesive backed rubber stuff as a temporary measure, which is holding so far, but I'm going to have to fill the gap and caulk over it again. That's on this weekend's itinerary. So check out the caulking, if you haven't done so already.
KD

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There really isn't much caulk. This is a shower stall vs. a tub. The tiles have unsanded grout between them and between the bottom row of tiles and the floor of the shower is sanded grout. I put some caulk around the soap holder in the wall because that was my first suspect but I taped it up tight temporarily and it makes no difference. The only other caulk is around the glass door metal frame which seems to be in good shape as far as I can tell.
As some of the other posters have recommended I begining to suspect the drain. If not the drain I am wondering about water leaking out from a valve inside the wall or the piece that attaches the shower head to the copper behind the wall?

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I had a similar problem about a year ago. It turned out to be leaking grout. The tiles were put on drywall by the builder (permitted by local code at the time), so the whole shower had to be torn out and re-done. This time, cement board was used.
Just a thought.
Dave
poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (raymondj) wrote in

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The differences in your weights might be opening the leak at the drain, check to make sure its sealed well, and since you have it open, reseal it anyways.
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Is this a tiled shower? If so the pan under the base may have failed. In prior years these were fabricated from tar paper and had a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. The newer ones are made with 30 to 50 mil PVC or chlorinated polyethylene sheet.
www.oatey.com/apps/catalog/instance_assets/ assets/Shower%20Pan%20Liner.pdf
If this is the failure mode the repair is significant because you will need to remove and replace the mortar shower base, and re-tile the shower.
RB
raymondj wrote:

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I have a question about this. BTW: that's a great diagram. The shower is tiled but the floor is not, it's a one piece unit, I don't think it's plastic. It has a light texture to it.
Would the top piece need to fail for a leak? If all the water slopes down to the drain I don't see how the failed pan can make a difference. Is it the pan liner that fails or the mortar? Thanks.

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What fails is the membrane which is usually sandwiched between two layers of mortar. Since you have a one piece base you probably don't have a membrane so another possibility is that the seal around the drain has failed. Is there any possibility that there is a crack in the base? Are the tiles above the base well grouted and sealed? Is there a leak where the tile and the base meet? I have had all of these failures over the years and they are not fun to repair, primarily because it is difficult to determine where the failure is without wrecking out the shower. You could try removing the grate on the drain and seeing if there is a leak there, perhaps a little caulk there will resolve your problem. Good luck.
RB
raymondj wrote:

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Re-reading your original posing I'd hazard the guess that you have a leak around the drain or a crack in the base and since (I assume) you weigh more than your wife you flex the base and open up a small void thus allowing water to pass. It's axiomatic that water will pass through any opening, no matter how small, if you don't want it to.
RB
raymondj wrote:

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