Leaking Shower

Shower Leaking from the Base? The Solutions to a Common Problem

Discovering your shower is leaking from the base can be a frustrating issue to encounter. A leaky shower not only has the potential to increase your water bill, but it can also cause significant water damage to your bathroom if left unaddressed.
Typically, several reasons may cause your shower to develop a leak at its base. Over time, normal wear and tear can degrade seals, or you may encounter issues with the shower’s structure itself.

Leaking Shower

Understanding the cause of the leak is needed so the correct solution can be implemented.
Faulty waterproofing or a failure in the sealant where the shower base meets the surrounding walls or floor could result in the leak.
Similarly, damaged grout or tiles can allow water to seep through and escape from the base. Each potential cause has a different method of rectification, and getting to the root of the problem quickly can save you time and expense.

Another common source for leaking showers is worn-out plumbing fixtures or pipes beneath the shower base. You will need a plumber for concealed plumbing problems.
Understanding the signs and common causes of leaks can help you take swift action, protecting your bathroom from further damage and restoring your shower to its proper function.

Leaking Shower(1)

Common Causes of Shower Base Leaks

When your shower leaks from the base, it’s typically due to a few specific issues. Understanding these can help you identify and tackle the problem effectively.

Worn Out Sealant

The sealant around your shower base, often made from silicone or other caulking materials, can deteriorate over time. Exposure to moisture and temperature fluctuations can cause sealant to shrink, crack, or peel away, allowing water to seep through the gaps.

Cracked Shower Tray Or Base

Your shower tray endures constant stress and weight. Over time, this can lead to hairline cracks or more significant damage. Even the tiniest crack can allow water to leak, so you must inspect your shower tray or shower tiles regularly for any signs of damage.

Loose Plumbing Connections

Plumbing fixtures connected to your shower can loosen, especially if they weren’t properly installed. Check for gaps where the pipes meet the base and ensure connections are tight. Any looseness can lead to water leakage beneath the shower base.

Diagnostic Steps

Before attempting to repair a leaking shower base, you must accurately diagnose the source of the leak. The following steps are designed to guide you through this process.

Visual Inspection

Firstly, conduct a thorough visual inspection of the shower base and surrounding areas. Look for visible signs of damage such as cracks or loose tiles that could be allowing water to escape. Additionally, inspect the seals around the base and the condition of the grout, as deterioration in these areas can often lead to leaks.

Water Testing

Next, carry out a water test to pinpoint potential leaks:

  • Block the drain: Use a watertight plug or waterproof tape to cover the drain.
  • Fill the base: Add water to the shower base until it is a few centimetres deep.
  • Mark water level: Use a marker to note the water level and wait for at least an hour.
  • Recheck the level: If the water level has decreased, the leak is likely in the shower base itself.
Leaking Shower3

Pressure Testing

If the above tests haven’t revealed the source of the leak, then you may need a pressure test:

  • Shut off water supply: Turn off the water to the shower to eliminate additional water flow.
  • Apply pressure: Engage a licensed plumber to apply pressure to the shower’s plumbing system.
  • Observe: Any drop in pressure, as indicated by pressure gauges, will suggest a leak in the plumbing rather than the shower base itself.

Repair Solutions

When addressing a leaking shower base, you must consider the specific issue at hand. The correct repair strategy will depend on the root cause, so implementing the appropriate solution is crucial.

Sealant Replacement

Over time, the sealant or silicone that waterproofs the junction between the shower tray and the surrounding walls can deteriorate. If this is the source of your leak, you must completely remove the old sealant and apply a new layer. Use a high-quality sealant designed for wet areas to prevent future leaks.

When we find this problem, we recommend our clients contact the team at Leaking Showers Sealed.
They will replace the missing grout or silicone

If you are prepared to tackle it yourself, these are the steps required.

  • Steps for Sealant Replacement:
    • Remove old sealant with a suitable tool.
    • Clean the area thoroughly, leaving no residue.
    • Dry the area to ensure it’s moisture-free.
    • Apply new silicone sealant evenly and allow it to cure.

Shower Tray Repair

If the shower tray itself is cracked or has sustained damage, it may need repair or replacement. Smaller cracks can sometimes be fixed with a repair kit, while more significant damage might require installing a new tray.

  • Assessment:
    • Minor cracks: Can be repaired with a specific shower tray repair kit.
    • Major damage: Consult with a professional for replacement.

Plumbing Tightening

Leaks can also stem from loose connections in the plumbing behind the shower. Inspect the pipes and fittings, and tighten any loose connections you encounter. This often rectifies leaking pipes.

  • Tightening Checklist:
    • Make sure that the shower is not in use and that the area is dry.
    • Tighten any visible fittings and replace worn out washers.
    • Test the shower for leaks after the adjustments.

Helping To Fix A Leaking Shower Base

By following these steps and addressing the root causes of shower base leaks, you can effectively mitigate water damage and maintain the integrity of your bathroom. Regular inspections and timely repairs are crucial in preventing minor issues from becoming significant problems.
Remember, whether it’s resealing, repairing cracks, or tightening plumbing connections, taking prompt action will save you time and money in the long run.
For professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Plumbmaster Plumbing. We are here to ensure your plumbing system remains leak-free and fully functional.

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