Understanding Plumbing Basics
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Understanding Plumbing Basics

As a new homeowner, I can tell you that things aren't always as simple as they appear. I started thinking about it a few years ago, and I realized that there were some serious problems with our plumbing system. We had issues with drains working correctly and toilets flushing like they should, so I started focusing more heavily on understanding the basics of our plumbing system. Within a few short months the entire system was operating more fluidly because of a few changes that I made, so I wanted to create a blog all about my journey. Check out these articles to learn more about the plumbing basics.


Understanding Plumbing Basics

Addressing Bathtub And Shower Drain Leaks

Jorge Alexander

The drains in bathtubs and showers are prone to develop leaks as time goes on. Unfortunately, such leaks represent a potentially destructive force for your home, since they can lead to rot, mold growth, and other serious structural issues. If you would like to learn more about how to recognize and attend to such leaks, read on. This article will provide a useful overview of the bathtub and shower drain leak repair process.

The Basics

The trick with such leaks is that they can be quite difficult to detect. That's because the water is generally escaping into hidden areas: beneath the tub, behind the walls, etc. The best place to spot a drain leak is on the ceiling of the floor below. Here you may notice discolorations and stains caused by the leaking water.

Of course, this approach doesn't work when dealing with bathrooms build directly atop a concrete floor or subfloor. In that case, the water will have no lower floor it can reach. Instead, it will move outward away from the drain's location. This often leads to problems forming at the base of nearby walls--even in other rooms. It may also cause the flooring near the tub or shower to begin to work loose.


To verify that your hypothesis of a drain leak is correct, you will need some way to inspect the drain. This is relatively easy for those who have a panel providing access to the underside of their tub. Simply stopper the tub and fill it with water. Now open up the panel and watch the drain while a helper removes the tub stopper. As the water rushes out down the drain, you will likely notice a drip starting up around the drain.

It is possible to verify a drain leak even if you don't have an access panel. Once again, begin by stopping up the tub and filling it with water. Use a pencil or erasable pen to mark the height of the water on the sidewall of the tub. Then check back in an hour or two and look t see whether or not the water line has changed. If it is lower, chances are you are dealing with a drain leak that has been allowing water to escape around the drain.


The most common solution to a leaking drain is to replace its flange gasket. This component is located beneath the drain basket, and may require some disassembly to expose. Contact experienced plumbing contractors if you do not feel capable of performing this repair on your own.