Leaking Shower Pan

How to Check for a Shower Pan Leak

By Mark J. Donovan




There are two common types of shower pans used in today’s modern homes. There are prefabricated fiberglass shower pans, and there are mortar based shower pans constructed using a flexible shower pan membrane liner.

A prefabricated fiberglass shower pan commonly can leak around the drain area. In addition, if something heavy was dropped into the shower pan, a minor crack could have been created.

A mortar based shower pan can also leak around the drain area.

However, if a mortar based shower pan is leaking it may be more likely due to either a failed shower pan membrane liner or an improper installation of it.

To determine if a shower pan is leaking, remove the shower drain grate cover and plug it with an expandable plug.

Then fill the shower pan with 1-2 inches of water and allow it to sit for awhile.

Make sure you record the height of the water in the shower pan using a marker. Wait a period of time and determine if the shower pan water level has dropped.

If the water level has dropped then indeed you have a shower pan leak. For fiberglass shower pans you can purchase an epoxy to seal any cracks. If, however, the drain assembly of the shower pan is leaking call a plumber. Repairing a shower pan leak around the drain area can be complicated.

How to check if a shower pan is leaking.

If you have a leaking mortar shower pan, then again you will need to call a plumber. Repairing a leaking mortar shower pan requires extensive work, as the entire shower pan will need to be removed and replaced.  Unfortunately this includes removing ceramic tile in the shower pan and along the lower portion of the shower walls.


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