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Leaking Shower. Could it be water under tiled shower base?

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  1. #1
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    Default Leaking Shower. Could it be water under tiled shower base?

    Hi All,

    We recently noticed that the bottom of the door jam and architrave beside our shower was getting water damage at the bottom. The bathroom is only around 5 and half years old and when the builder looked at it he reckons it might be a leaking pipe behind the shower. I've got a plumber coming to pressure test that this week but I think the problem is that there is actually water leaking from the shower and under the floor tiles and soaking into the bottom of the timber from there. There are a couple of pin holes in the grout on the shower floor, one right in a corner and water is still weeping out of it after not using the shower for over a week.

    I looked at the photos taken during construction and I'm not sure if the base was built correctly. It has a smart tile set in screed and the water proofing is done on top of the screen. To me it seems that water has gotten under the tiles and is not able to get out past the waterproofing. I've attached some photos taken during construction to get some comments? If that is the issue, would that be the sort of thing covered by the builder warranty after that period of time?


    Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails recessed-shower-base-slab.jpg   smart-tile-holder.jpg   screed-smart-tile.jpg   waterproofed-shower.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Is there a waterstop angle under the shower door? The last pic of the waterproof membrane shows a clear path where water could get out under the door, and travel around past the waterproofing to get into the wall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by commodorenut View Post
    Is there a waterstop angle under the shower door?
    Hi, I don't recall a waterstop angle being installed, I'll have to check some more photos. I'm assuming it would have been installed before the tiling?

    I can see that no water is getting out under the door on top of the tiles, but is the waterstop to prevent water getting under the tiles?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fozzy View Post
    Hi All,

    We recently noticed that the bottom of the door jam and architrave beside our shower was getting water damage at the bottom. The bathroom is only around 5 and half years old and when the builder looked at it he reckons it might be a leaking pipe behind the shower. I've got a plumber coming to pressure test that this week but I think the problem is that there is actually water leaking from the shower and under the floor tiles and soaking into the bottom of the timber from there. There are a couple of pin holes in the grout on the shower floor, one right in a corner and water is still weeping out of it after not using the shower for over a week.

    I looked at the photos taken during construction and I'm not sure if the base was built correctly. It has a smart tile set in screed and the water proofing is done on top of the screen. To me it seems that water has gotten under the tiles and is not able to get out past the waterproofing. I've attached some photos taken during construction to get some comments? If that is the issue, would that be the sort of thing covered by the builder warranty after that period of time?


    Thanks.
    this should be moved to the waterproofing section. I can spot at least one defect in the WPing which may or may not be of consequence. There is a possible plumbing defect as well.
    inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    this should be moved to the waterproofing section. I can spot at least one defect in the WPing which may or may not be of consequence. There is a possible plumbing defect as well.
    inter
    Thanks. How do I move it to the waterproofing section?

    Are you able to tell me what the defects are? I want as much info as I can for when I approach the builder about a possible claim under the builders warranty.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fozzy View Post
    Thanks. How do I move it to the waterproofing section?
    Done

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fozzy View Post
    Thanks. How do I move it to the waterproofing section?

    Are you able to tell me what the defects are? I want as much info as I can for when I approach the builder about a possible claim under the builders warranty.
    There is no WP turn up angle under the edge of the drop in bath, the side of the bath was completely WP without the bath being bedded & possible not properly connected to the floor drainage & leak tested, they may not be the source of the water problems but they are defects & not up to the standard for WPing or plumbing, on further reading i make it out that you say the WP membrane was over the top of the smart tile floor waste , that too is a defect as it is meant to go under and down into the puddle flange. Also there is no WP angle at the shower entry.
    inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Done
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    There is no WP turn up angle under the edge of the drop in bath, the side of the bath was completely WP without the bath being bedded & possible not properly connected to the floor drainage & leak tested, they may not be the source of the water problems but they are defects & not up to the standard for WPing or plumbing, on further reading i make it out that you say the WP membrane was over the top of the smart tile floor waste , that too is a defect as it is meant to go under and down into the puddle flange. Also there is no WP angle at the shower entry.
    inter
    Thanks inter. We don't really use the bath so I don't think the water issues are from that, but it annoys me that it isn't up to standard. The smart tile is the bit that worries me. I think the smart tile was in place and the screed done around it and then the membrane was installed up to the edge of the smart tile.

    I'm also not sure there is a puddle flange. I'm assuming that is the puddle flange shown in the first photo, but then it was removed and the smart tile fitting was put in its place. I'm not sure if that is how it was supposed to be installed?

  10. #10
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    Without closer examination, it also appears as if the waterproofing stops dead at the smart tile as opposed to terminating onto the leak control flange. End result is if water ends up on the membrane, it cannot get out via the flange and so builds up until the water pressure eventually pushes it outside the shower (especially since there is no waterstop angle).
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  11. #11
    Golden Member havabeer's Avatar
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    If it's only 5 and half years old can you look at a builders warranty insurance claim?
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by wspivak View Post
    Without closer examination, it also appears as if the waterproofing stops dead at the smart tile as opposed to terminating onto the leak control flange. End result is if water ends up on the membrane, it cannot get out via the flange and so builds up until the water pressure eventually pushes it outside the shower (especially since there is no waterstop angle).
    Thanks, that is what I was thinking as well, but without pulling up some tiles there is no what to really verify that.

    Quote Originally Posted by havabeer View Post
    If it's only 5 and half years old can you look at a builders warranty insurance claim?
    Thanks. We had a pressure test done by a plumber and as expected that was fine. I've spoken to the builder again and he is going to come out and have another look. Naturally he isn't super happy about it. He thinks the water might be escaping from the shower screen, but to me it seems like the water is coming from underneath the tiles. He said he might have to scratch out some grout to see if he can determine what is going on and whether he can repair it.

    From what I understand the builders warranty insurance is only useful if the builder is insolvent or not around any more. Otherwise I just have to deal with the builder directly, is that correct?

  13. #13
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    You have basically summed it up yourself.
    (A) there is no puddle flange
    (B) The smart tile is above the membrane, so any water getting through the grout (which is not waterproof) will find it's way out of the shower due to no waterstop angle.
    Scratching grout out will tell the Builder nothing he does not already, or should already know, and that is it has not been done correctly as everyone has said, so it needs rebuilding correctly with waterstop angle and puddle flange.
    Don't accept anything less, and let the BSA in your state know you may need their assistance should the Builder not want to redo the job to your satisfaction.
    That way, you have made notification to them should there be a time limit on making good the job.

  14. #14
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    In the second picture there is the remains of what looks like a hacked up puddle flange laying on the floor, you may already have the evidence of a defective installation.
    inter

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fozzy View Post
    From what I understand the builders warranty insurance is only useful if the builder is insolvent or not around any more. Otherwise I just have to deal with the builder directly, is that correct?
    I think it makes it EASIER to claim. Our builder died so builders warranty insurance company had no option but to pay out. I think the insurance just makes you get the builder back to fix the issues before it pays out.
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

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