How To Check Your Shower For Leaks
You may not give it much thought, but the shower in your home can be a source of hidden plumbing leaks. The pipes and drains of a shower are usually blocked from view, so you may not see any water leaking. A small leak that goes on for years could cause mold to grow behind the walls or it could weaken the wood in the walls or floor. If you can hear dripping after you shower or if you see unexplained wet spots in the bathroom, the shower could be to blame. Here are some things to check.
A Worn Seal Around The Shower Door
The first step is to make sure water isn't leaking through the shower door. This might happen if a seal is leaky and needs to be replaced. Start with a dry shower track and floor. Then turn on the shower and aim it towards the door. Wait a few minutes and look for water dripping onto the floor. If the door doesn't seal well enough to hold in water, it's time to replace the seal. You might be able to do this yourself with a kit you buy from a home improvement store, or you can call in a plumber to fix your shower door.
A Clogged Shower Head Or Leaky Pipes
You may have difficulty detecting a leak in a shower pipe since the pipe is usually hidden behind a wall. One thing you can do is check the condition of the shower head. If it is corroded and clogged, it might be increasing water pressure in the pipe connection that causes it to leak. Soaking the head to remove hard water deposits might help. Make sure the head is screwed on tightly too. Water that leaks from the shower head may not drip straight down. Instead, it may flow along the pipe and show up as a wet spot behind a wall. Other leaks can form behind the wall too.
Since a shower wall is usually made from tile of some sort, you probably don't want to tear it open to look for a leak along the length of the pipes or at the connections. One thing you might try is renting a thermal camera. This camera can detect temperature changes behind walls that indicate water leaking. If you find a leak behind a wall or if you suspect there is one due to water stains or spongy flooring, then it's a good idea to call in a plumber to find the leak and make repairs as soon as possible.
A Crack In The Shower Pan
A crack or leak in a shower pan can be very difficult to notice and locate. However, it's important to fix a leaky shower, especially when it is in an upper level because of the water damage that can occur to the floor that supports the bathroom. You can block the drain in the shower and then fill the pan with a few inches of water. Wait overnight or a couple of days and then check the water level to see if it has dropped. While you wait, check for water dripping or leaking occasionally. If you discover a leak in the shower pan, you'll want to call in a plumber to replace the pan or find the leak and repair it.
Contact a plumbing company, like The King's Helper, for more help.