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fessmali
Leaking shower to basement

I had my house built in 2007. Two weeks after I moved in my Master Shower leaked to the basement. Builder came back and had floor of shower(tile)regrouted and sealed. All was good for two years and the same thing happened. Builder doesn't return phone calls now.

The basement is unfinished and is easy to look at things after removing the insulation. I noticed the water is running down around the electrical, not coming from the PVC pipe ending up filling the fire/carbon monoxide cap. I've had a plumber in, who thinks the best thing is to gut the shower stall and start over. My whole shower is tiled including the ceiling. Haven't used the shower since. HELP!:

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Leaking shower to basement

Your plumber is probably correct.

Your best bet would be to take some pictures and head on over to the John Bridge Tile Forum. You'll be able to post pictures there and get speedy answers specifically aimed at your shower.

Re: Leaking shower to basement

This is (unfortunately) quite common. The shower was never built properly and the builder probably got away on his second visit by just injecting caulk into every joint and void which bought him enough time to make a get away.

Unless John Bridge can refer a quality orientated tile installer in your area you need to start asking around in your circle or visit a professional tile showroom and ask for a couple referrals there. (Not the big box stores)

dj1
Re: Leaking shower to basement

I agree with the above answers, since no plumber can see what's really going on in there until they open it up. Could be a tile leak, a plumbing leak, or whatever leak.

And the builder...he won't answer because his warranty expired.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Leaking shower to basement

Perhaps the 'warranty' hasn't expired. Here in SC, builders are responsible for structural issues for 5-13 years according to their nature. Since this is pertaining to incorrect building practices you should be able to get relief in court. You have a history of the problem at two years- far too young for a leakage issue to crop up here. Their 'repair' was topical, not actually a repair at all but rather a patch. Tile and grout are the first thing that control the water, not the only things. If the walls and pan were done correctly the shower wouldn't leak even if there were no grout at all.

You're going to need a complete tear-out and re-do, a substantial cost to you. And your builder obviously isn't the one to do that. Sadly it is attorney time here. This shouldn't have happened at many levels- the installer should have done a better job; the builder should have known it wasn't being done right; and if inspected per code, there may have been an error there as well. If this is a bigger builder their insurance carrier may settle- if not go after them in court; you should win easily.

It's so sad that my business has people like this in it and that all too often attorneys and courts are the only solution available for problems which should never have happened in the first place. I wish there were a way to cull out the incompetent ones when something like this happens and send them to McDonalds to work where they might be able to cut it. They certainly don't belong here among proud and competent craftsmen!

Phil

fessmali
Re: Leaking shower to basement

Thanks Phil. I hope I haven't waited too long to go to an attorney. Unfortunately, in PA structural is only covered for one year. My builder is now under another name too.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Leaking shower to basement
Quote:

Unless John Bridge can refer a quality orientated tile installer in your area you need to start asking around in your circle or visit a professional tile showroom and ask for a couple referrals there

Referrals on the site are quite common. Make a new thread in the Pro's hangout with a title such as "Shower rebuild needed in (insert city name) and give a few details. The John Bridge Forum has qualified craftsmen and women covering the USA pretty darn well.

dj1
Re: Leaking shower to basement
fessmali wrote:

Thanks Phil. I hope I haven't waited too long to go to an attorney. Unfortunately, in PA structural is only covered for one year. My builder is now under another name too.

I know you want to sue your slick builder, but contacting a lawyer will be a waste of your time and money at this point.

If it were me, I'd concentrate on mitigating and solving the problem. I just don't want a problem like this existing in my house and I want to be able to use this bathroom. Good luck.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Leaking shower to basement
dj1 wrote:

I know you want to sue your slick builder, but contacting a lawyer will be a waste of your time and money at this point.

If it were me, I'd concentrate on mitigating and solving the problem. I just don't want a problem like this existing in my house and I want to be able to use this bathroom. Good luck.

You may be right, but until you ask you don't know. Laws vary so much from one place to the next that nobody here can give you all the specifics. Your results will also depend on your approach if there is room for legal redress. If you take the moral high-ground and tell you're attorney you want him to take this on a contingency basis and you'll split the win 50/50, they'll either say no up front or fight like crazy for you. I agree that at this point you don't want to spend much on something you may not win at, so go with the contingency angle and at least you'll get something back in the end or it will have just cost you some time, nothing more. Good luck and let us know here how it goes!

Phil

johnjh2o
Re: Leaking shower to basement

Take it apart and redo it, just take plenty of pictures showing what was the cause of the leak. Then present it to your re-named builder. If he refuses to make good for it then file a complaint to the BBB. If nothing else it may prevent someone else from using him.

John

plumbingjim17
Re: Leaking shower to basement

I am a plumber in the Utah area and this is what it sounds like to me when they installed the grout they didn't do a very good job he came back and fixed that now what do we know about grout? Well grout is sand and what happens to sand over time that its exposed to water? Well it starts to break away and breaks down now the water seeps thru and fills up your shower pan and overflows causing leaks! it lasted for 2 years? that's about how long it would take to break it down you are suppose to seal the grout every 5 years I recommend every 2 it probably never was sealed I would plug the drain with a test ball and fill the shower up with hot water and let it sit for a while and see if it leaks if it does wallah if it doesn't you know that your leak is somewhere in the plumbing drainage to avoid it could be coming from shower head or water etc fill it with a bucket from another tap. hope this helps.

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