Shower leaking into wall?

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Here's a link to several pix of a nasty situation in my (only) bathroom.
http://i56.tinypic.com/2hrod3q.jpg" target="_images" rel="nofollow">
http://i56.tinypic.com/2hrod3q.jpg">
http://i56.tinypic.com/2hrod3q.jpg

I am scared to death that there is a leak somewhere in the wall which is showing up at the base.
Background: Some years ago the latch on the shower went bad, and water leaked out in this area. So I replaced the latch. Shower is used by another person, so I just now checked to make sure it closed tight, and it does, and OP is aware of this. I got in the shower, turned on the water, but did not see any leakage through shower door.
Any idea what could be causing this, and what I need to do?
TIA
HB
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That's not really enough to go on. Wallboard near the outside of showers often gets water soaked. Remove the wallboard. Look at the lumber behind it for signs of water staining. Leave the wallboard off for a while so you can check the inside of the wall after the shower is used.
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jamesgangnc wrote:

I think that is a very good idea -- first, just remove the wallboard and leave it open and see what is going on behind the wallboard. Replacing the wallboard will be easy.
I couldn't really tell from the picture where the shower is, but I guess others could. The OP's message says the link is to several pictures but I only see one picture.
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I had trouble downloading them all at once. I guess that can't be done. Here is one more:
http://i55.tinypic.com/2mwxzbp.jpg" target="_images" rel="nofollow">
http://i55.tinypic.com/2mwxzbp.jpg">
http://i55.tinypic.com/2mwxzbp.jpg

HB
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A decent picture showing the tub and the shower so we can undestand the situation would be very helpful!!
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On Fri, 17 Jun 2011 14:04:00 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

This is much better.

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jamesgangnc wrote the following:

That appears to be a lath and plaster wall with the 'brown coat' showing. As for the cause, I would suspect a leak in the plumbing behind the wall, perhaps above the valve, which may only leak when the valve is turned on.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Your reading bears out my worst fears.
Do I have to get a construction person to open up the wall?
Also: This shower backs up to another shower in the tub, which is partly visible in one of the pix.
How to tell which shower is leaking inside the wall?
Why is it showing up only at the base? Note there is some bare plaster above the area, where I never got around to re-papering. So why isn't that water-stained too?
Is this going to be an expensive job?
What will happen if I don't do anything? (I'm afraid I know, but need your input)
(I really needed this! Up to my *** in other expenses!)
HB
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re: "Do I have to get a construction person to open up the wall?"
Opening the wall is easy...it's closing it back up that becomes the issue. ;-)
If done properly (e.g. cutting the wallboard so that the cuts are centered on the studs) then it's a simple matter to cut a patch from some new wallboard, attached it to the studs, tape, mud, paint. QED
Are you sure that there isn't an access panel in a closet someplace so you can get to the plumbing? Did they really seal both showers up?
re: "What will happen if I don't do anything? (I'm afraid I know, but need your input) "
You already know:
Possible mold issues Possible rotten wood Possible collapse of ceiling below
Maybe even this:
http://tinyurl.com/MyLeak
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Hey, thanks for heads-up about cuts centered on studs!

They must have. There's nothing visible but the pipe coming out of the wall. For my info, what SHOULD they have done?
(This was decades ago, so I wouldn't even have known to ask! I encountered an analogous situation years ago with electricity in my office. The ***holes had sealed up the access! The REAL electricians I hired years later for upgrade pointed that out and left the access exposed. )

OMG!!!!
HB
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I don't know if it's a matter of "should" but oft times they will install an access panel so that you can easily remove a section of wall and get to the pipes.
I didn't do it when I re-did my basement bathroom, knowing that if I ever needed to get behind to the pipes, I'd add one then. (I needed to get the job done ASAP)
After many years the Pressure Reducer Vavlw went bad, so I cut open the ceiling, replaced the valve and built an access panel for next time.
If the shower valve ever goes bad, I'll do the same thing.
Something like these can be made or bought:
http://1-800fasthelp.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/access_pnl.jpg
http://www.diyadvice.com/diy/drywall/advanced-techniques/access-panels /

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Higgs Boson wrote the following:

Opening up the wall is the easy part. You can open up the wall yourself, but you may need a plumber to fix the leak and possibly a contractor to replace the wall, unless the plumber does that too. You'll have to check with the plumber to see if he does all three stages. The replacement wall will probably not be lath and plaster, but green board, a wet area sheetrock..

Does the water leak out from under the the wall onto the floor tile in that area? If so, you may try running one shower and look for water there. Then do the same with the other shower. It probably does not matter since the plumbing for both is in the same wall cavity.

It may be running down the inside of the wall, or down the pipe until it gets to the floor and then puddles and wicks up, or the source of the leak may be down in that area.

You'll have to get some estimates from local contractors. The cost may depend upon the local economy.

The water probably has been doing some damage to the floor under around the showers for as long as that leak was occurring. Can you get below that floor to check for damage? Another room, basement, crawl space?

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Correct. That is what's there now. My mistake originally saying lathe & plaster. That was before remodel w/greenboard.
Also: This shower backs up to another shower in the tub, which is

Absolutely not!

Correct.
Doesn't puddle or wick up, AFAIK. Most likely, from my amateur perspective, is that it runs down pipe, as you suggest, and emerges near the base.

What will happen if I don't do anything? (I'm afraid I know, but need

NO visible damage to vinyl floor tile adjacent to shower. Maybe I should pry up/cut out a few squares to see if damage to floor. Is this worth the damage/hassle?
Can you get below that floor to check for damage? Another room, basement, crawl space?
Crawl space. Bare dirt. Spiders. Claustrophobia. Ewww...
HB

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Higgs Boson wrote:

This time don't use greenboard either. Use cement board.
--

dadiOH
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Thanks! I didn't know about cement board. Looked it up and found beaucoup info at <http://www.single-family-home-remodeling.com / greenboard.html>. Very helpful!
HB
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On Fri, 17 Jun 2011 12:13:27 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

I woudlnt' do it. What if you find that it's wet? How will that tell you what it will be like when it dries?

Send a child. They love that stuff. Send him with a camera.
Or, how high is it? I wouldnt' do it either 3 feet or less**, but put down folded cardboard boxes on the dirt, wear old clothes, use a broom to sweep away the cobwebs before you get to them, and play the radio and maybe have extra lights to lessen the claustrophobia. (I have some of that too. maybe you have more.)
What would be really cool is a remote controlled car with a wireless video camera on it, pointed up. Tie a strong string to the car so you can get it back if it gets stuck.
Or just don't worry about it. IF it gets bad, you can worry then. Seriously.
** Eleveators are okay, but I did go caving one time, even knowing my problem. At one point we had to craw 10 or 15 feet with the rock just an inch or two above my back and my butt. When I moved my legs I would often press up against the "roof". Just thinking about that now upsets me, but at the time I tried hard to not think about it, to control myself. I"m glad I did it, but I'll never do it again.
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mm wrote:

you won't like mri's then.
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wrote:

So I hear. I've resolved not to get sick until they improve them.
And they clang, too, I hear. Not like the gentle radio soudns I wanted the OP to use.
Maybe people like me could get a vri instead. Violin resonance imaging.
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GOOD IDEA!
wear old clothes, use a

Mine is relatively mild. But when I was working at [studio] they wanted to put me in a windowless office, with dust and cobwebs, so I quit. Wouldn't have killed me to work there, but I felt under- appreciated. **** them.
Re: crawl space, couple of years ago when I was stringing the wire from hifi to speakers, I went under the house with a too-dim flashlight. To make it worse, I got slightly jammed between dirt floor and lumber above (and I am not a large person). For a moment, there, I almost panicked, then I told myself "***hole, get out and get a brighter light". So I did, and finished the job, but this is not my favorite memory.

YOU. COULD. NOT. GET. ME. INTO. A . REAL. CAVE. FOR. ANY. MONEY!!!
I did go touring in some huge cave in Kentucky? umpty years ago, but it was all lit up like a Christmas tree, and people all around. I've seen TV shows about spelunkers diving in water-filled "blue holes" somewhere in Central America? somewhere?. They go under in scuba gear and wind (wend?) their way down into the depths and around the corners...un-efffing-believable
HB
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On Sat, 18 Jun 2011 16:00:25 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

With my belly on the "floor" at all times

I used to want to learn SCUBA diving, or go some place where they will rent you equipment without trainging. After all, I've watched 50 episodes of Sea Hunt, and I think I know what I need to. Now, after I realize I'll probably never do it anyhow, I realized my claustrophobia would be as big a problem as my fear of the water.
But I do like commerical caves. Been to maybe 10, the only disappointment was Mammoth Cave, which was big but boring. This was the standard tour. They have other tours which are only offered once a day. Upstate NYS, Allentown Pa. 3 or 4 in the Viginia Mountains, others.
Four miles from my house are abandoned chromium mines. My part of Maryland used to be the world's leading producer of chromium, back when no one used it and little was produced. Into the mines are kite strings, used by previous guys to find their way back out. It's parkland now and of course they posted a sign not to enter, and it's also full of water everytime I've been there starting maybe 8 feet from the entrance. And I suppose the water has ruined the timbers holding up the roof of the shaft. OTOH, now with cell phones, I might be able to dictate my last will and testament to someone.

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