I own a townhouse with a leak in the basement ceiling. I believe it is coming
from the bathtub on the 2nd level of my house. The plumber resealed and cleaned
the fixtures in the tub and re-calked around in an effort to avoid tearing the
wall down to get to the pipe, last resort.
I already paid him $216 for this job and he is supposed to come back to do some
more pipe replacement in the other part of my basement (this one burst last
winter and is showing signs of bursting again). Looks like he really has to
tear the walls down for the first problem, because I turned the water on in the
upstairs tub to test and it is leaking in the basement ceiling once again. Have
any of you had this prob? How did you handle? How expensive was the job. I live
near D.C. area. Thank you so much.
Sounds like you have the classic problem of a tile over sheetrock tub/shower
combo with a curtain instead of a glass door. Probably with an old Price
Pfister "Verve" tub/shower valve, which is notorious for leaking into the
wall when the packings go bad. The spouts for these are terrible as well,
often conveying residual water on the underside to the tile wall where it
tends to tickle down the side of the tub & thru the seam where the tub meets
the floor. The curtain is often not tucked in the tub tightly, exacerbating
the problem. Probably the sheetrock is deteriorating under the tile from
constantly being wet. I'm assuming this description is pretty close to what
you have there.
I have the exact same problem here in the house I bought last year. I got
rid of the valve already, replaced it with a single lever, pressure balanced
valve with a "goof " plate to cover the extra holes. But the damage is done
to the tile, sheetrock & floor. I could cover the bad tile job with a tub
surround kit but I'll probably rip it all out & retile with wonderboard
under it. No easy fix to this problem. Wish I could tell you otherwise. If
you can't do the work yourself, be prepared to spend some major bucks to get
it fixed. Go with a tight fitting shower door rather than a curtain when the
tile is redone. Go with the single lever pressure balanced valve. Don't
waste money trying to make the existing bad job right because any quick fix
you try will ultimately fail.
With these leaks, it's usually smart to try what you've done. I hope the
plumber was smart enough to take the trim off the stems to see if the
problem was there. Try this test. See if it leaks if you use the tub and
not the shower. At least if it leaks only when you use the shower, then
you've isolated the trouble to above the floor.
I was curious about the pipes that "look like" they're ready to burst.
What type of pipes do you have?
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