12:29PM | 05/02/05
Member Since: 07/01/03
18 lifetime posts
Can someone help me with my problem? I have a shower upstairs (above my kitchen and dinette area) and it is leaking (not a lot, but somewhat in the ceiling downstairs). I narrowed the problem to the shower by not using it for a few days and the leak stopped.

I plan on doing some re-caulking to hopefully fix the problem, but was wondering about the drain itself...

I took the cover off the drain and there was water about 8-12" below the top of the drain, there has NEVER been a problem with the water backing up and flooding the shower as it is running, but it appears to be clogged... I poured draino in there lastnight and it didn't seem to change the water level much... is there really a clog? or should (could) the water level be seen down the drain in an upstairs shower?

Thanks for the help.


07:58PM | 05/02/05
Member Since: 08/29/04
227 lifetime posts
Two things.

The leak is probably coming from around the flange of the shower drain. When drains were originally installed in pans, many plumbers used plumbers puddy, an oil based sealant, that compressed and formed a gasket. This gasket typically leaked because of the movement of the shower base when people stepped into the shower. Because your weight is pressing down on the shower, it is flexing the base of the shower. This puts pressure on the flange of the drain, because the pipe below the shower doesn't flex at the same rate. So the pipe is pushing up on the shower drain. This allows water to get between the flange of the drain and the pan. Once the warm water gets in there, it breaks down the puddy and eventually leaks. You may have to remove the shower drain, clean it up and dry it off, then reinstall it with silicone, which won't leak if its properly installed according to the manufacturers instructions.

If this is a tile base, you may have a leak in your rubber membrane. In that case, you have to have a ceramic installer out and make a repair of the pan.

By the way, the water inside the drain that you see is there on purpose. This is the water inside the trap that prevents sewer gas from coming into your home. Every fixture has a U - Shaped bend below it, that holds about 3 cups of water. Look under the bathroom or kitchen sink. You will see a section of pipe that looks like a U, right under the vertical pipe that connects to the bathroom sink, before it runs horizontal to the wall. Without that trap, every smell that goes down the drain, would simply come up someplace else in the house. This is called a water seal. A water seal allows the water to flow down, but no air can come back up.

Good Luck

Raymond VinZant Plumbing Prof.


10:07AM | 05/03/05
Member Since: 07/01/03
18 lifetime posts
Alright, thanks... I will try to clean it up and re-seal the drain using silicone... hopefully I can do this without much trouble... we will see.

Thanks again


11:11AM | 05/03/05
Member Since: 07/01/03
18 lifetime posts
Do I need a special tool to remove the drain? or can I just use any wrench to unscrew the top part of the drain? (i removed the cover already)


07:04AM | 05/25/05
Member Since: 07/01/03
18 lifetime posts
I re-caulked around the shower door and around the fixtures in the shower wall and there is no longer a leak... There was no way that I could loosen the brass drain without cutting the pipe anyway, so that is a big relief. Just thought I would pass that on for anyone else with the same problem.
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