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Common Types of Bathtub Leaks & Their Causes

Bathtub Repair

Leaky tubs need bathtub repair as soon as possible. Bathtub leaks can be dangerous, so it’s important to take care of them right away. In this article, we’ll discuss some common causes of leaking bathtubs and how to repair them.

Why Bathtub Leaks are Dangerous

If you think you have a leak coming from your bathtub, you need to address it straight away. Bathtubs can leak a lot of water at once and cause many different issues for your home. Bathtub leaks can damage floors, walls, ceilings, bathtubs, and other fixtures. Leaks can cause cosmetic and structural damage from water. It not only can cost you a fortune to fix these issues in your home, but structural damage can also put everyone’s safety at risk. 

Some signs to look for that could be a bathtub leak include:

  • Discolored walls
  • Peeling paint
  • Loose or uneven floor tiles
  • Wet floors after a bath or shower
  • Sounds of dripping water

Why is My Bathtub Leaking?

There are many reasons you may experience bathtub leaks in your home. Plumbing repairs depend on the root cause of the leak. You can often diagnose bathtub leaks on your own with a little bit of time and effort, or our team can help identify the leak’s source. Here are some common repairs needed for leaky tubs:

Worn Overflow Drain 

A common cause of bathtub leaks are overflow drains. These drains are an important safety feature for your bathtub. Overflow assemblies allow water to flow through them and down to the drain line when you overfill the bathtub. This helps prevent the water from leaking over the sides of the tub and flooding the bathroom. However, just like any other plumbing fixture, these can wear out and lead to leaks and other problems in your home. If a worn overflow drain is the cause of your bathtub leak, typically you will only notice signs of leaks when you’ve filled the tub quite full with the water line above the overflow cover. 

Bathtub repair for overflow drain assemblies depends on the source of the leak. In many cases, the drain assembly has simply come loose and needs tightening to keep the overflow cover connected to the pipe. 

Cracked Gaskets

Other times, it could be that the rubber gasket that helps seal the cover to the pipe has become worn, cracked, or brittle. Repairing this issue typically involves removing the overflow cover, removing the old gasket, and replacing it with the new. However, this may be more difficult than it sounds, as the bathtub is already in place, so you may need a plumber’s help for this repair. 

Damaged Pipes

Finally, it could also be that the pipe connecting the overflow to the drain line is damaged. Over time, pipes can experience cracks, pinholes, rust, and corrosion that can lead to leaks. If this is the case, our plumbers may need to replace that section of pipe to stop the leak. 

Worn Drain Sealants

Sometimes bathtub leaks are the result of worn out drain lines or drain sealants. In most cases, these leaks only appear when you’re draining water from your tub (or shower, if you have a shower/tub combo in your bathroom). In most cases, it is either that the sealant around the tub drain is worn out, or the drain pipe leading to the sewer is damaged or deteriorated. 

How to Find Where the Bathtub Leak Is Coming From

To determine where the leak is coming from, fill the bathtub with water and stop the drain. Make note of where the water line is in the bathtub, then leave the water inside for a couple of hours. If the water line is lower, then you may need to simply seal the drain with plumber’s putty. 

However, if the water level stays the same, then drain the water and look for signs of leaks. If you have a leaking tub drain, then it’s time to call a qualified professional for plumbing repairs

Why Should Bathtub Faucet Leaks be Repaired?

If the sound of dripping water from your bathtub keeps you awake at night, then it’s likely a leaky bathtub faucet to blame. Leaky faucets are incredibly common, but it’s still important to get bathtub repair for them as soon as possible. Faucet leaks can cause some pretty serious damage:

  • They can increase your monthly water bills by wasting water.
  • Over time dripping faucets can discolor your tub or even wear away the tub material, one drip at a time.

If you have a leaky bathtub faucet, there are a few options for repair. 

What Causes Leaky Bathtub Faucets?

In many cases, a leaky faucet is due to worn-out washers. Faucet washers are made of rubber, which can become hard and inflexible over time. In these cases, you can simply take the old washers out and replace them with new ones to provide a better seal inside the faucet. 

If replacing the washers doesn’t work, it could be that the faucet assembly is worn out. For this issue, the easiest and cheapest way to fix the faucet is to replace it with a new version. Our plumbers can take care of this for you quickly to prevent ongoing issues from faucet leaks. 

What Does it Mean if My Bathtub Won't Stop Leaking?

Continuous bathtub leaks can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time, so it’s important to get bathtub repair as soon as possible if you notice this. In many cases, this is a sign that the pipes that supply fresh water to your bathtub are leaking. Water supply lines are typically under constant pressure with water waiting in the pipes for you to use. However, as pipes age they may experience cracks and corrosion that cause them to leak. Fixing leaking pipes is a job for a professional plumber. Turn off the water to your bathroom (or entire home if needed) and call our plumbers right away. 

How to Know if Your Bathtub is Cracked

Now, a leaking bathtub due to cracks in the tub itself is pretty rare, but it can happen. You might be thinking that you would definitely notice if your tub was cracked, but hairline cracks are often difficult to see unless you’re close up. If you keep finding water on the floor of your bathroom even if you’re sure you didn’t splash any out, then it could be that you have a cracked bathtub.

To test this, make sure the tub exterior is completely dry. Then, place newspaper or paper towels around the outside of the tub and fill it with water. Look for signs of moisture on the newspaper or paper towels, or look to see if water inside the tub seems to be sucked under in a certain area around the edges. From there, you can typically closely inspect the tub to find the crack.

For cracks in bathtubs, you may be able to repair them or you may need a replacement tub. 

Re-Grouting for Bathtub Leaks

In other cases, leaks around the bathtub might not be a plumbing problem at all. Grout and caulking tends to shrink over time and can also develop cracks. This allows water to seep through the flooring when it splashes out of the bathtub and can look a lot like signs of a plumbing leak. Check around the edge of your tub for signs of worn grout or caulking. You can re-grout or re-caulk to seal the area and stop the leaks from happening if this is the cause of your bathroom leak. 

Santhoff Plumbing – Houston’s Best Plumbing Company Since 1974

There’s a reason homeowners say Santhoff is the area’s best plumbing company. We’ve been providing high-quality, affordable plumbing services since 1974. As a family-owned and operated business, we are proud to provide friendly service for everything from plumbing emergencies to remodeling projects. Our team of experienced plumbing professionals is qualified and ready to address all your plumbing needs. We are available 24/7 so you always know who to call for late-night leaks or plumbing issues. Schedule an appointment for plumbing repairs, maintenance, or installation today or call our 24-hour emergency line at (713) 360-2185 for immediate service.

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