How to Check for Bathroom Leaks

How to Check for Bathroom Leaks

Plumbing leaks often begin near and around plumbing fixtures such as shower enclosures, bathtubs, toilets, and sinks. By exerting some effort to look for tell-tale signs of possible leaks, you can spare yourself from costly repairs and nagging headaches in the future.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when checking for leaks in various parts of your bathroom:

  • Shower – Make it appoint to inspect the seals all over your shower because an undetected leak can result in a bigger plumbing issue. If water continues to leak and comes in contact with the floor or wall, major damage can happen.

If you ignore the problem, it could lead to expensive plumbing repairs in the future. Your bathroom may also need extensive renovation work. Joists and wooden floorboards tend to swell and rot. They may require costly replacement. You may need to get rid of your enclosure or shower tray to accommodate the work on the affected area below.

Watch out for rotting flooring and peeling paint. You may be facing a bigger problem if you have a vinyl floor. This is because water puddles may force the floor to curl, and weaken. When this happens, water may affect what’s under the vinyl – which is often wood.

You should keep your shower curtains inside the tub when you take a shower. This will help minimize the risk of forming water puddles on the floor. Another sign of trouble is mold spots on seals and silicone. This often indicates gaps in the silicone that you must repair right away.

Check your shower doors, and inspect the rubber seals’ condition. Find out if there are gaps where the floor meets the shower tray. See if sealant was used. If it is rotting, and there are gaps, scrape them out and apply fresh sealant. Let the repair work dry thoroughly before you test or use your shower.

  • Bathtub – The tips given above apply to shower enclosure leaks as well. Inspect all seals and areas for gaps. Some leaks may be difficult to spot because water tends to disperse slowly.

Pipe leaks are also hard to spot because pipes are usually hidden behind bathroom walls and panels. It these cases, the signs you need to look for should be found on the room directly underneath the bathtub. Check the ceiling of that room for water stains.

  • Bathroom Floor – A vinyl floor is prone to rotting. It will usually curl at the edges if exposed to water for a long time. Tiled floors can have water leaks through cracked tiles. They may also have grouting issues. Problems involving this particular area of the bathroom can trigger major damages. It is best that you entrust the job to an insured contractor like Spartan Plumbing.
  • Bath Drain – Another area in the bathroom where leaks often appear is around drains and plugs. When a leak happens, water leaks slowly, making it difficult to spot.

To check a leaking bath plug or drain, try plugging the hold and filling the tub with some water. Leave the water for about an hour. Come back and check is the water level has gone down. If the water level dropped, it is an indication of a leak, but the issue may also be the plug stopper’s seal. Check it to make sure. Finding a leaking bath drain this way is a lot more cost-efficient this way than dismantling the entire bathtub to see if there is any problem underneath.

Drain leaks happen more frequently with fiberglass and plastic bath tubs. It is also common for shower trays and enclosures made of the same material. This is because fiberglass and plastic are softer compared to ceramic. They can move a bit as you move around while taking a shower. As a result, the seal around the plug hole or drain may break. Water will then leak to the area underneath.

  • Tiling – When there is a tile leak, water escapes through the damaged grouting or silicone. Water can appear behind the walls or drip down to the floor, resulting to damage. Moldy tiles are a tell-tale sign of gaps in your silicone or grouting. When this happens, tiles will fall off or come loose.
  • Toilet – Leaks that start from toilets are often caused by a leak between the waste pipe and the toilet. Each time you flush the toilet, water will leak. As toilets are more frequently used than showers, the damage they cause to floors can quickly escalate into more costly plumbing repairs.

A sign of toilet problem is when it moves while you sit on it. Over time, the slight rocking can break the flange seal. This will result to a leak. Inspect the seals surrounding the bottom of your toilet. This is to make sure that your toilet is secure.

  • Tap – Leaks surrounding the taps will almost always lead to a hidden area. Leak detection can thus be challenging. Deteriorating silicone and damaged seals around your faucets and taps can let water seep through, and cause damage to the area below.

It is often easy to get a good view of what’s happening under the sink. To check for leaks, pour some water above the tap area, then check the area underneath to see if there are leaks.

  • Sink – A leak in the sink can happen in the pipe joints or even in the pipes themselves. Always inspect the area for leaks. Water that runs down the pipe and into the floorboards underneath can cause swelling and rotting over time.
  • Sink Drain – A sink drain can leak similar to a bath drain, so inspect your sink drain the same way. Excess water and puddles at the floor basin are sure signs of a leak.

Final Word

While there are leaks that are easy to spot, some are hidden. You may not notice them until there is considerable damage already. If you suspect a leak in your Tucson, AZ home, allow the pros to handle the job for you. Contact Spartan Plumbing to schedule an appointment right away.

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