Let’s face it - leaky drainage pipes are possibly one of the most annoying plumbing problems homeowners face today.
Not only is it wasteful, but it is also quite unhygienic. Just think about it - would you like to see drainage water all over the bathroom floor when you relieve yourself in the morning? Yeah, we didn’t think so!
On that note, leaky bathtub drains are problematic because they are tricky to detect and diagnose. But there’s no need to worry, for this guide has discussed dealing with such an issue easily.
So, without any further ado, let’s get going!
Signs Of A Leaking Bathtub Drain
As mentioned before, detecting a leaky bathtub drain is more complex. This is because the bathtub differs slightly from other traditional bathroom fixtures like shower heads and faucets. Luckily, there are some signs that accompany such an issue, which we have discussed below.
1. Water On The Bathroom Floor
This is the most obvious symptom of a drainage leak. When there’s a leak in the bathtub pipe, the water often collects on the bathroom floor in small puddles.
2. Bathtub Drains Out Automatically
Naturally, the water will drain out of a leaky bathtub on its own. Therefore, when you notice the water level dropping while taking a bath, it means that there is a leak in your bathtub drain.
3. Wet Patches On The Walls And Ceiling
If your bathtub drain is leaky, you might notice dark, wet patches on the walls and ceiling of the room directly below it. Such a problem is caused by the leaked water seeping through the ground and the walls.
4. Growth Of Mould And Mildew
This is another obvious symptom of a leaky bathtub drain. Usually, when your bathtub drain leaks, wet patches are created on the wall and ceiling, which provides the perfect environment for mould and mildew to thrive.
Common Causes Of Bathroom Drain Leaks
Leaky bathtub drains may be caused due to several reasons, as discussed here.
A clog is one of the most obvious reasons behind a leaky bathtub. Drainage pipes can become blocked when debris and waste accumulate inside them, such as toilet paper, grease, or hair. When that happens, the flow of water gets disrupted, which increases the water pressure inside the pipe. Consequently, the increased pressure causes the water to leak out of it.
2. Improper Installation
Often, a leaky bathtub drain may result from a faulty pipe installation. For example, if you have used a narrow pipe, the water pressure inside it will be higher. That, in turn, will give rise to leakages. Similarly, the water will start leaking out if you have yet to seal the pipe joints properly during installation.
3. Rust And Corrosion
Rusting or corrosion is inevitable in most drainage pipes, given their nature. On that note, if you use pipes that are not made from rust-proof materials, this process will be accelerated further. As a result, the pipe will become damaged, and you will end up with leaks.
4. Temperature Changes
Bathtub drain leaks can be caused by temperature changes too. As the water temperature fluctuates, the pipes expand or contract. The repeated process of expansion and contraction loosens the joints, which eventually causes a leak.
5. General Wear And Tear
Leakages can be the result of wear and tear as well. This is especially true in situations where the bathtub is used quite frequently.
How To Check For Bathtub Drain Leaks?
Once you notice the symptoms, you will need to diagnose the problem before attempting to fix it. A proper diagnosis will help to identify the cause behind the problem and the exact location of the leakage.
In order to check the source of the problem, you will need to remove the side panel of the bathtub first. Then, using a dry piece of cloth, soak up any water from the bathtub. Make sure to dry the pipes, fittings and the underside of the tub as well.
Afterwards, you need to place a layer of paper towels below the tub. Subsequently, plug the tub and fill it with a small amount of water. Then, you must unplug it and observe where the paper towel gets wet. If you are having trouble, fill the tub a little bit more and use a flashlight.
DIY Solutions For Bathtub Drain Leaks
Based on the diagnosis, you can adopt a suitable strategy to resolve the problem. We have listed all the possible solutions you can implement for your convenience.
1. Replace The Pipe
If the problem is due to cracks or pipe damage (either due to rust or wear), you can replace the faulty section with a new one. First, you’ll need to dislodge or cut off the damaged section carefully, and then, you’ll need to place a new section with a similar length and diameter.
2. Clear Out Clogs
In case the leakage is caused due to pipe clog, then you will have DIY solutions to clear out the clog. You can use a drain snake, vinegar, and baking soda solution. However, if the clog is stubborn, you might have to use a pressurised water jet.
3. Tighten The Joints
If the leaks are due to faulty joints caused by improper installation or temperature changes, you must tighten them with a wrench. Then, you will need to apply a sealant to secure the joints. In some cases, you might have to replace the washers, too, especially if they have become damaged.
When Should You Call A Professional?
The task of repairing a leaky bathtub drain is simple enough for an experienced DIYer. However, there are a lot of people who need to gain such experience. And the best way to tackle the problem in such cases is to call in a professional.
That said, the problem may sometimes be complicated enough to address alone. For instance, if some underlying issues with the water supply causing the leakage, then even experienced DIYers may find it challenging to resolve. So, it is a better idea to let the professionals handle it.
How To Prevent Bathroom Drain Leaks?
If you wish to prevent future leakages, you must monitor and maintain your bathtub drainage pipes regularly. Not only that, but you will also have to use the bathtub carefully so that it keeps working optimally at all times. The latter is especially true for those who use this bathroom fixture frequently.
Likewise, you must ensure the pipes and fittings are properly installed. Ensure to use high-quality pipes, sealants and washers during installation to prevent such problems.
Don’t Let a Leaking Bathtub Ruin Your Day!
A leaking bathtub drain pipe may seem like a minor problem at first. But believe us - the quicker you can resolve it, the better it will be.
However, there’s no need to worry if you are not well-versed in plumbing systems or have little DIY experience. Here at Woolf Plumbing, we have a team of certified experts who can help you. So, if you suspect that your bathtub is leaking, then give us a call right away!