Place a screwdriver between the teeth of the channellock pliers. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, HomeAdvisor: How to Find & Repair a Bathtub Leak, American Leak Detection: Common Bathtub Leaks and Simple Solutions. Once the drain is removed, reapplying a layer of plumber's putty usually seals the connection and stops the leak. Having a plumber do an … If you use a metal putty knife, you may scratch the finish in your tub. You wouldn’t think a bathtub overflow drain would be the source of a water leak, especially if you never fill the tub to a level at which water would enter the … If you suspect it’s your shower drain that leaks, try this test: Wait a day or two for any leaked water to dry. Unless you're fully trained in plumbing, leave this one to the professionals to fix. Roberts holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both journalism and political science. A leaking bathtub drain presents a great disaster in your bathroom. Insert a drain-removal tool into the drain, locking the teeth of the tool between the cross-sections of metal at the base of the drain. You can find this tool at almost any home improvement center. Apply a great deal of pressure to break the seal on the existing plumber's putty. Bathtub drains give water a path from the base of the shower pan or bathtub to the horizontal drain pipe under the floor. Wrap the putty around the bottom of the drain lip where the drain makes contact with the tub surface. Leaks from your bathtub drain can have a few causes. Tick off the possibilities on this step-by-step checklist until you find the problem. 5 – The drain pipe is cracked and water is coming through the crack. Turn on a hairdryer to the heat setting, after making sure there is no water in the bathtub. Clean away any excess plumber's putty with a damp rag. The actual leak was occurring in between the gasket that sits on top of the bathtub shoe tube and the bathtub drain hole. Then, lay a few pieces of paper under the pipes you suspect the water are leaking. The drain key internally grips in a 360-degree pattern as it expands against the sides of the drain so you can screw it out. 2) shows the stopper correctly tightened down all the way. The putty should be the size of a silver dollar. Use a fan if possible to speed up the drying process. Allow the drain to dry. Take some channellock pliers and insert the grippers into the bathtub drain. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Steps for fixing a tub that won’t hold water: Bathtub drains consist of a visible trip lever, a plunger that seats in the drain to stop water, and two pieces of threaded rod which connect the lever and plunger. Remove the drain plug or bathtub stopper. Drain-removal tool or pliers and screwdriver. Fixing a leaking shower drain is a simple enough job that even the most novice DIYer can handle on their own. If that is the case, then you need a drain key. Unscrew the bathtub drain. Scrape off all the old plumber's putty from the edges of the pipe threads on the sides of the drain using a putty knife and a stiff brush. You should be able to confirm whether the drain itself is leaking if you see water on the paper. Gail Delaney is a writer in South Dakota and has articles published online at various websites. Just a note about shower or bathtub leaks over a garage. Sometimes drains need to be replaced due to rust or because the rubber gasket erodes over time. If the leak continues even after the shower is off, then the leak is probably coming from a water pipe. Hiring a plumber can be a costly and time-consuming task, but repairing the leak yourself is generally an easy fix. How to Replace a Lift & Turn Bathtub Drain, PlumbingKnowledge.com: Fixing a Bathtub Drain Leak, How to Get a Caulked Shower Drain Cover Off, How to Use Plumbers Putty on a Bathroom Sink Drain. To be sure these stains were not from the bathtub drain, run a little water in the tub and see if the drain is leaking. A leaky bathtub faucet can lead to excess water usage and the deterioration of your spout’s interior parts. Bathtub drains do just what they are named after - they drain the water from the bathtub TO the horizontal drain pipe beneath the floor. If you still have a leak, remove the drain again. Leaking Shower Drain. The first step is to unscrew the plate that holds the trip lever. Fit each handle into the space of the x-shaped cross hairs. Run water in the tub and look for any water leaking directly below it. Sometimes the cross hairs are missing. If your bathtub drain is clogged, it’s usually an easy fix. Roll a 1-inch ball of plumber's putty in your hand into a string about 5 inches long. When these types of problems occur, it is time to fix your drain. You can imagine the feeling when the whole bathtub dirt starts spilling on the floor. Age, moisture, and use can erode the seals around drains or connecting pipes. A more detailed explanation could involve one or more of these reasons: Faulty seals. Run the water for 60 seconds to check for leaks. Tip. And the bathtub shoe tube is the threaded section directly below the black gasket. If it happens that your shower or bathtub is located above your garage, you can cut costs by having the plumber cut the ceiling under those pipes and replacing it with a removable "door". Wipe off excess putty from around the drain lip. A leak inside a bathtub drain can become a real disaster if it's not fixed quickly. Bathroom sink drain parts identification 1 . Fortunately, most bathtub drains can be removed using a few tools. Simply remove the excess that squishes out from under the tub drain with a putty knife and put it back into the container. It is possible, however, that the leak is caused by a faulty seal around the drain assembly. Then, locate the leak by tracing the dripping back to the source. The material used to seal this type of plumbing fixture depends on the accessibility of the drainage pipe below your bathtub. If the sound comes from the drain when you flush a toilet or drain the washing machine, there's probably a vent blockage, and air is entering the pipes through the bathtub drain. Step 2: Clean the Drain Components. Wrap the string of putty around the middle of the pipe threads, pressing gently to adhere the putty to the walls of the drain. This will fit over the putty you just applied. Most of the time, bathtub clogs are caused by a build up of hair and other debris in the drain. Additional areas to watch are the grout, body of the tub and the drain. There are thousands of different faucet replacement parts available to fix a leaky bathtub faucet, so bring your old parts to the store for a proper match to fix a leaky bathtub faucet. "MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION"benefits when you subscribe today. Turn the pliers counterclockwise to remove the drain. The photo on the right (Fig. The video quality is bad the fix has worked for me. If you're not sure how to do this, check the drain manufacturer's website or consult the user manual that came with the drain. This guide explains how to get your compression valve bathtub faucet to proper working order. Old pipes collect grease and hair. If running water in the tub causes no leaking, run the shower water instead. The assemblies are adjustable to fit a wide range of tubs. Roll another ball of putty into a 1/4 inch thick string that's about 5 inches long. This requires the use of a licensed plumber to diagnose and repair. Robert. To fix a leaking shower drain, the old drain assembly should be removed to determine the cause of the leak so that any damaged parts can be replaced. If the issue is a leaking joint, tighten the joint and test it for leaks. Step 2: Use Channellock Pliers. Some drain plugs will simply lift out while others need to be unscrewed from the cross-hair piece. If the bathtub drain leak is problematic because of the plumbing that's located below the drain, such as pipes and fittings, American Leak Detection recommends calling a plumber for this type of repair. Plumbing fixtures, such as bathtub drains, are common sources of water leaks. A plumbing parts distributor will carry a much larger selection and may be able to special-order hard-to-find items. Step 1 - Ensure the Leak Is From the Drain To make sure your leak is coming from the shower drain and not from a compromised seal between the bathtub and the floor, use a funnel and pour quite a bit of water directly down the drain. Heath Roberts has worked as a professional reporter for several Colorado newspapers. How to Fix a Leaking Bathtub Drain Step 1: Remove the Drain Plug. Then clean the flange and apply silicone caulk. Have a helper remove the stopper while you shine a flashlight on the drain. Remove the drain cover. They are available at most home-improvement stores for purchase or rental. But if the leak is caused by a failing seal at the drain assembly, fixing the leaking bathtub drain typically is a simple task that almost anyone can master. If the new seal on the drain does not stop the leak, chances are there is a leak in the drain pipe itself. He has covered breaking news and features for the "Denver Post" and other local publications. Bathtub drain leak. Tighten the drain lip back in place. Depending on the nature of the leak, you have different repair options. If you do not have a drain-removal tool, insert the head of a small pair of pliers into the cross sections and place a screwdriver between the handle. caused by a problem with the plumbing below the drain itself, which will likely require a plumber’s assistance to fix. For the job you will need; 2 pairs of needle-nose pliers, water-based silicon, Channellock pliers, replacement rubber gasket washer, and friction washer. The left photo (Fig. To remove the clog, start by unscrewing the tub drain stopper. Don't worry if you get too much. Once you have the leak stopped, you can use the drain as usual. First, take a look for screws holding the cover in place. Run the drain under hot water for 30 seconds to clean the surface. Roll the plumber's putty between your hands for one to two minutes to soften. Warning. However, signs of trouble remain constant for both types of leaks. Tighten or repair them as needed. If you leave the leak alone, you run the disk of damaging your home. How to Fix Your Bathtub Drain Leak. How to Fix a Plunger Bathtub Drain Step 1: Remove the Drain Components. Inspect the drain for signs of cracks or other damage. If none are visible, fill the tub … You can try the following tactics: If the issue is a cracked pipe, cut off the section that is cracked and replace it with a new section (be sure to use compression joints on both ends). Water that leaks around the seals of the drain can drip off this pipe and damage drywall, floors and furniture. 4 – The drain pipe is off center and therefore a tight seal is not possible. (Fig. You A shower drain is comprised of multiple parts designed to fit together and form a watertight seal. To plumb the drain for the tub, dry-fit a 2-inch trap onto a length of 2-inch pipe that is longer than it needs to be. Clogged pipes. If the putty has turned hard and crumbly, scrape it away using a plastic putty knife. There are two main areas where a bathtub leak might occur: the faucet drip or the underlying pipes. Start with the stopper on the clicker mechanism and make sure it is tightened down all the way. Put a drain stopper in the tub and fill with at least six inches of water. 4. Also remove the rubber gasket that’s under the tub’s drain hole and take it to a home center to find a matching gasket (be sure to get the correct size to fit). I just bought a new construction house (2020) in Wisconsin a week ago and we have already found 3 leaks In the guest bathrooms. Remove the drain plug or bathtub stopper. Most bathtubs leaks can be categorized as one of three types: Drain leaks. Turn the handle on the drain-removal tool, or the screwdriver, counterclockwise. The drain fitting in the bottom of the tub, or the surrounding drain and drain-trap piping, may loosen,... Faucet leaks. Unscrew the bathtub drain. I have experienced this problem at my rentals and house. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The gasket can be seen in the picture below as a black ring. Be sure to fill this up from another faucet in the house. Look for Signs of Leaking. How to Fix Pop-Up Tub Stopper Leaks. 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