Five Common Causes of Bathtub Leaks

bathtub leaksWater leaks are a constant in our line of work. We see every kind of leak imaginable: window leaks, toilet leaks, roof leaks, washing machine leaks, and of course, bathtub leaks. We recently responded to a home in Oakland Park, Florida that had been partially flooded as a result of a simple bathtub leak. The master bathroom, bedroom, guest room, and play room were all affected, even to the point of some mold growth in one of the rooms. Luckily for the homeowner, Joe Taylor Restoration knows exactly what to do about water and mold damage.

But what can you, the property owner, do if you suspect your bathtub leaks? The first thing you want to do is try to locate the source of the possible leak. There are five places a bathtub leak is generally located:

  1. The Grout – Many times when a leak occurs the property owner thinks it is coming from the pipes. Most often that is not the case, and the leak is actually the result of shrinking grout around the tiles that are hit by shower spray and splashes. This causes water to run down behind the tiles and then onto the floor. The difficulty with this type of leak is in locating it. The water often flows to places that are distant from the origin of the leak. If you can correctly locate the leak source, this is a repair most homeowners can do on their own by re-grouting the tile.
  2. The Bathtub Faucet –The faucet is the most common area for a bathtub leak. Most of the time simply replacing the washer and using plumbers tape to seal the valve threads fixes this type of leak. Remember to shut off the water prior to unscrewing the faucet.
  3. Leaking from Bathtub Body – If you discover that the bathtub leak is not coming from the faucet it could be coming from the actual body of the bathtub. To find the hole, fill up the bathtub with water and then turn off the water. If the leak is in the bathtub body you should be able to find it fairly easily. Bathtub leaks from the actual tub body are not very common. If the enamel is cracked, you will begin to see rust forming along the crack.
  4. Overflow Pipe – Between the back of the bathtub and the overflow pipe is a beveled rubber washer. Fixing a leak from the overflow pipe and replacing this washer should most often be done by a plumber.
  5. The Bathtub Drain – It is also possible that the outlet pipe is clogged and causing the leak. A mixture of a half-cup of baking soda followed by a half-cup of vinegar down the clogged drain can be used to try and clear it. The drain may take as long as 3 hours to clear. If that does not work you will need to call your local plumber.

As stated above, once the leak source is located, it can either be fixed by the property owner, or it may require the expertise of a plumber. If you have discovered a bathtub leak at your property, do not delay. A leak left unattended can cause damage to other parts of your bathroom, leading to more expensive repairs. It can also lead to mold damage, as it did for the homeowner in Oakland Park. Get the bathtub leak fixed as quickly as possible, and then, if the leak has left water and/or mold damage, call Joe Taylor Restoration to take care of the rest.