Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Blog

Here are 3 Tub and Shower Leak Detection Tips:

You stepped out of the shower and noticed an unusual amount of water on the floor? You might have a leak! A leaking shower or tub can cause dangerous mold and bacteria proliferation, and in a worst case scenario, structural damage.
Let’s look closer at the three most common causes of a leaking shower and tub, and how to easily detect them.
1. Splash leaks
Splash leaks are simply water escaping a shower curtain or a shower door. Shower curtains don’t always keep the water inside the shower preventing it from reaching your bathroom floor. This problem may sound minor, but depending on the type of flooring in your bathroom, this leak might cause major damage when water trickles into the sub-floor where the floor meets the tub or shower.
Signs of trouble:
• Damp, discolored, and smelly carpet.
• Curling vinyl floor or loose tiles next to the tub.
• Peeling, or bubbling peeling paint on the walls.
• Water marks on the ceiling or joists underneath.
• Mold spots on the wall or floor near the shower.
• If you use a curtain, look for standing water on the floor after you shower.
How to find the source:
• If there is a shower door, splash water all around the door and frame.
• If the door has rubber seals or a rubber door sweep, check them for cracks and flaws.
• Also check for any breaks in the caulk where the shower or tub meets the floor covers.
2. Drain leaks
Water that leaks around the seals of the drain can deteriorate the pipe and damage drywall, floors and furniture. This is especially common with plastic or fiberglass tubs and shower pans, since these materials can slightly curve when you stand on them, often breaking the seal around the drain.

Leaking showers can have issues caused by drains

In the case of a tub set on a concrete piece, the leak can damage the floor in the bathroom or contiguous rooms. Fortunately, most bathtub drains can be removed using a few tools. Once the drain is removed, reapplying a layer of plumber’s putty usually seals the connection and stops the leak.
Signs of trouble:
• Water marks on the ceiling or joists below.
• Loose floor covering near the tub or humid floors in contiguous rooms (if the tub is on a concrete piece).
How to find the source:
• If you can see underneath the drain through an access panel or open ceiling, partially fill the tub and then release the water. In a shower, plug the drain with a torn piece of old cloth and then release the water. Check the drains and traps for leaks from below.
• If you don’t have access to the underside of the drain, plug the drain and add enough water to form a small pool around. Mark the edge of the pool. Then wait an hour. If the pool shrinks, the drain is leaking. Remove the stopper and insert a test plug (find them at home centers). Don’t count on the tub stopper for this test; it may leak.
3. Tile leaks
This problem happens when water leaks through deteriorating cement or caulk and gets into the wall behind the tile. Subject to the materials used to fix the tile, this can lead to tile falling off the wall, severe rotting of the wall, and damage to the subfloor, joists or ceiling underneath.

Wall damage from leaking shower

Signs of trouble:
• Loose tiles.
• Mold growing.
• If the shower is along an exterior wall, you may find an area of peeling paint outside.
• Water marks on the ceiling under the shower.
How to find the source:
• Inspect the cement and caulk joints for openings. You almost always find mold here.
• If you have loose tile behind the tub spout or valve, open the access panel behind the valve and look for humidity or water marks.
Always keep in mind that as soon as the water reaches the structure, you will have to consult a professional for help because the water will quickly find its way behind the construction tiles and around the windows, which can deteriorate the entire property. Furthermore, if your bathroom is located on the second floor, the ceiling underneath could also need replacement because of the damage.
Showers and bathtubs are a specialty of ours at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of the Treasure Coast and North Palm Beach areas, and we provide installation and repairs on all makes and models. We also have the expertise and necessary equipment to detect a leak and fix your shower with minimal structural damage to your system and bathroom.


Bill The Plumber, Inc . (10 de May de 2017). How to detect a shower leak behind the wall . Obtenido de Bill The Plumber, Inc :
Roberts, H. (s.f.). How to Fix a Leaking Bathtub Drain. Obtenido de SF Gate:
the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. (s.f.). FInd and Repair Hidden Plumbing Leaks . Obtenido de The Family Handyman :
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