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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 quickly.

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. The bathtub differs slightly from traditional bathroom fixtures like shower heads and faucets. Luckily, some signs accompany such an issue, which we have discussed below.

1. Water On The Bathroom Floor

This is the most apparent 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. Therefore, when you notice the water level dropping while taking a bath, it means that there is a leak in your bathtub drain.

Removing 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.

1. Clogs

A clog is one of the most obvious reasons behind a leaky bathtub. Drainage pipes can become blocked when debris and waste, such as toilet paper, grease, or hair, accumulate inside them. 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 leak if you have not properly sealed the pipe joints during installation to create a water-tight seal.

When installing or replacing a bathtub drain, it’s crucial to use the appropriate pipe size and ensure all connections are securely fitted. Applying a plumber’s putty or sealant around the joints can help create a water-tight seal but remove excess putty that may obstruct water flow. Using tools like channel locks can aid in tightening the connections and achieving a properly sealed drain assembly, preventing future leaks and water damage.

3. Rust And Corrosion

Rusting or corrosion is inevitable in most drainage pipes, given their nature. On that note, this process will be accelerated further if you use pipes that are not made from rust-proof materials. As a result, the pipe will become damaged, and you will end up with leaks.

Showerhead Remove Stains Bath

4. Temperature Changes

Temperature changes can also cause bathtub drain leaks. As the water temperature fluctuates, the pipes expand or contract. The repeated process of expansion and contraction loosens the joints, which eventually causes a bathtub leak around the tub drain.

5. General Wear And Tear

Leakages can also result from wear and tear, especially when the bathtub is used frequently. Over time, the constant use and exposure to water can deteriorate the sealant or plumber’s putty around the tub drain, leading to a bathtub leak. In such cases, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further water damage and ensure the longevity of your bathtub and surrounding areas.

How To Check For Bathtub Drain Leaks?

Plumber Fixing Bathtub

Once you notice the symptoms, you must 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.

To check the source of the problem, you will need to remove the side panel of the bathtub first. Then, using a dry cloth, soak up 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

You can adopt a suitable strategy to resolve the problem based on the diagnosis. We have listed all the possible solutions you can implement for your convenience.

Replacing Bath Faucets

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

If a pipe clog causes the leakage, you will have DIY solutions to clear 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?

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 cause 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?

You must regularly monitor and maintain your bathtub drainage pipes to prevent future leakages. 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 correctly installed. Be sure 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!


Ashley Woolf

Ashley Woolf

Find them on their website: Woolf Plumbing & Gas, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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