How to Locate the Source of a Shower Leak

11 February 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


When your shower starts leaking, you'll need to track down where the leak is coming from so that you can see if it's a DIY job you can tackle yourself, or if you'll need to call out a contractor to do the job for you. Here are some tips on how to locate the leak.

  1. The first thing to check is that the seal around the shower door and the shower tray are both watertight. To do this, turn on the shower, close the door and observe. You'll soon see if water runs down the outside of the door indicating a faulty door seal. If the door seal is tight, block the drain with tape and fill up the tray with water so that the seal is covered. Leave it for an hour or so and then look to see if the water level has dropped, indicating a leaking seal around the tray.  
  2. Next check to see if the drain is loose. To check this, attach a piece of rubber hose to a tap outside the shower and run water through the hose down the drain for a few minutes. Allow an hour and then look to see if the leak manifests itself. If it does, this indicates a problem with the drain plumbing.  
  3. To check the drain itself, fill the shower tray with water to below the level of the seal. After an hour or so, check for a leak that would point to a problem with the actual drain.  
  4. If your shower constantly drips when you're not using it, it's likely that there is a leak before the valve. If not, the next step is to check the plumbing of the shower itself.  
  5. Block up the shower outlet and open-up the valve completely to pressurise the pipe. Take off the shower head and block the pipe with a threaded cap. Run the water for a few minutes to fill the pipe with pressurised water. If the leak appears, you'll know that it's originating in the valve-to-shower head.  
  6. Damaged tile surrounds are a common cause of leaking showers. To test this, just wash down each of the shower walls individually using the hose. Test each wall until the leak manifests itself. Cracked or spongy tile grout could be responsible for the leak, in which case you'll need to re-grout the shower cubicle to fix the problem.

You can locate the cause of a leaking shower by methodically checking each area as outlined above. If the leak still can't be determined, always consult companies like The Shower Doctor.