Bathrooms have three different fixtures that use water and can leak. If left alone, the water will seep into the walls and subfloor, causing damage. Once the wood or drywall has water damage, it will need to be repaired or replaced to keep it from crumbling or rotting. Here are a few things to check if you notice something is leaking in the bathroom.
Splash Leaks Around a Tub or Shower
One of the most common causes of water dripping from the bathroom is around the tub or shower stall. These leaks are not necessarily due to a plumbing issue as much as a splashing one. If you have doors on the stall, turn the water on and face it toward the doors then quickly close them. Let the water run for 5 to 10 minutes and see if there is any seeping out. When you have curtains, make sure everyone in the family knows to keep them in the tub and to close them completely when bathing.
Bathroom Plumbing Leaks
If you look under the sink and see water dripping, it is pretty obvious where the problem is. However, to find out about a leak in a tub or shower, you will need to look for a few different clues. If you have tiled walls, check to see if any of them are loose or falling out. If you have a fiberglass insert, take the faucet and other hardware off and look into the holes to see if you can find any wet areas. Check the flooring around the enclosure to find a leak in the drain.
The toilet can leak from the tubes or pipes that connect it to the water supply, from the seal where the drain pipe and toilet meet, or from the holding tank. Generally, the floor will be wet in the area regardless of where the problem lies. Shut off the water supply. If this stops the leak you know the problem is with the line going to the holding tank. If the tank stays full but the bowl loses water, the problem is with the seal. If the holding tank empties without anyone flushing the toilet, that is where the leak is located.
It may be hard to discern a leak because the floor may get wet when people bathe or use the sink. However, if there is more than just a bit of water, or if you notice a wet floor first thing in the morning, it is time to look for a leak. Click for more information on leak detection.