Why Is My Shower Pan Leaking?
August 24, 2023
Were you grabbing a cup of coffee in the kitchen downstairs and noticed a damp spot in the ceiling under the upstairs shower? Maybe the carpet in your bedroom is damp by the wall shared with the bathroom. Either of these can indicate a leaking shower pan. Water flows under the shower pan and into areas it shouldn't, often causing damage and creating an ideal environment for mold and mildew.
Common causes for a leaking shower pan include:
- Poor Installation
- Old Age
- Excessive Water Pressure
- Shifting or Settling of the House
When you notice any sign of a shower pan leak, call a professional plumber to diagnose the issue and fix it. Water damage can happen quickly, so minimizing the impact on your home is important. This blog describes the most common causes of a leaking shower pan so you can understand how to control the risks and when to call a plumber.
Is Your Shower Pan Leaking? Get Help From a Licensed Plumber Today!
At Red Cap, we treat you like family and always have honest, upfront pricing. If you need fast and convenient scheduling to fix or replace your shower pan, call (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or click the button below.
Your shower pan is the waterproof cover between your subfloor and the water from your shower. When properly installed, it's level, sealed at all seams, and works with the drainpipe to guide used shower water out of your home. However, not all plumbing work is created equal.
During installation, an inexperienced plumber might use the wrong type of sealant, which can crack or shrink while in use. You might be dealing with leaks under the shower pan in a few short months from installation. Poor installation might also include shortcuts like failing to level the subfloor or installing a drainpipe with a slight height difference, making it harder (and sometimes impossible) for the shower pan to fully drain. Whenever you seek plumbing services, ensure the company you choose is reputable, experienced, and insured. That way, if something does happen, you don't need to worry since your contracting company will likely make free repairs without question.
As homes age, seams loosen, and fixtures wear out. Old age affects everything, and your shower pan is no exception. Say the shower pan in your bathroom is original to your home, it likely needs replacing. If you didn't buy a newly constructed property in the past decade, your shower pan has probably exceeded its expected lifespan. What does that mean? It means the shower pan may start to degrade without warning, and you could have invisible water intrusion long before you notice any signs of a problem.
Shower pans typically last between 10 and 15 years before they start to degrade. If yours is more than 15 years old, don't wait for it to start leaking before you take action. Replace it as soon as you can fit it into the budget. Replacing a shower pan doesn't require you to do any other work in the bathroom because shower pans are separate pieces that can be taken out and installed without disturbing tile work or other fixtures.
Excessive Water Pressure
One of the causes of a leaking water pan is excessive water pressure. If you've recently replaced your shower head with a high-powered version, it could lead to a leak in your shower pan. Higher water pressure can wear away at the sealant that keeps water inside your shower stall. Caulk and other seals wash away under high pressure.
Over time, that excessive water pressure can lead to a substantial leak and force you to replace or repair your shower pan earlier than planned. High pressure can also degrade your shower pan faster than normal. During normal wear and tear, your shower pan should last for at least 15 years, but excessive water pressure could have it leaking in 10 years or less. The pan in your shower is manufactured to withstand standard water pressure settings. When you upgrade beyond the standard, you could be doing damage every time you take a shower.
Shifting or Settling of the House
As houses age, they shift and settle. Wood and concrete expand and contract with changing temperatures, gradually shifting the foundation and support of your home. Over time, these shifts affect everything in your home. You might notice cracks in your walls or slight changes to your floor levels. If you notice your shower stall is no longer level and that it's causing leaking, the culprit might just be time.
If settling is causing your leaking shower pan, you'll likely need to replace it. Before a new one, your floor may require re-leveling to ensure a proper seal at the edges. Have a licensed plumber take a look and make repair or replacement recommendations as soon as you notice the issue. The faster you fix a leaking shower pan, the less damage it can do to the rest of your home.
Need a Professional Plumber for Bathroom Repairs? Call Red Cap!
Call Red Cap today at (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or schedule online to get help from one of our friendly and knowledgeable licensed plumbers. We'll always arrive on time—guaranteed—ready to handle any kitchen or bath service.
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