Shower Leak Causes – Diagnosing a Leaking Shower – Shower Pan Hob Test

Published : 21/02/2014

It’s a horrible feeling when you realise your shower is leaking. The thought of tradies trumping through your home, whilst dealing with a situation that is unknown to you can be quite stressful. Causes for a leaking shower can include grout, or silicone disintegration, which can be caused by building movement, and the most common, existing waterproof membrane failure.

Most people are unfamiliar with how to handle a leaking shower and automatically assume it’s a burst pipe, calling out a plumber. Avoid paying the call out fee for a plumber and ensure your grout and sealant are still functional by conducting a ‘shower hob test’.  If you’re unsure about your shower leak, Megasealed can help. Contact us here to receive a hob test, and free advice in your home.

Not everyone can conduct this test as you must have some kind of barrier which prevents water splashing out onto the bathroom floor, it could be a tile step barrier, or curb. Many of the contemporary Australian showers these days are hob free, so if your bathroom and shower floor are the same (sloping on an angle to the drain), then this test isn't for you.

To carry out this test, tape the shower drain with duct tape to form a water tight seal. Ensure the grout surrounding the drain is not taped up otherwise if the leak is occurring from this area, the hob test won’t work.

Fill the shower hob with water to the top, marking the level with tape. Let it sit for 20 minutes to see if the water level drops significantly, and escapes to the ceiling or neighbouring floors. If so, then it is likely water is seeping through the tiles or grout.

The amount of time the leak could take to show in neighbouring walls or ceilings also depends on the extent of grout or silicone degradation. Megasealed has had examples of the shower hob test taking longer than 2 hours for the leak to appear, as the grout and tiles only had hairline cracks.

You should be aware there are limitations of the shower hob test. Water will not show through to neighbouring ceilings, floors or walls if your shower is leaking due to a misaligned waste, as the water will escape to the mortar bed underneath the tiles.

View another of Megasealed’s article for more advice on how to fix a leaking shower.

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