Installing a shower plumbing access panel should be a top of the line job, but some people try to cut corners. By cutting corners in this area you may end up with a bigger mess than you started with or a plumbing emergency that requires more attention than you thought necessary. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because someone else did the work that they automatically know more than you do. Here are some shower plumbing tips that may help.
Don’t put your floor behind the drain! That’s a very big no-no! Even if you have a shower pan that is waterproof, the shower floor needs to have a liner under it to stop leaks. Without the liner, the floor will absorb the leaks which means that the leaky pipes below the floor will get into the drain and cause that huge mess we call water damage. If you can’t get the leaks under the floor to the drain or shower, you should try caulking or even using heavy duty rubber or plastic flooring to plug the leaky pipe joints.
Do not repair drywall behind a drain! The reason that this is so important is because the drain and/or shower plumbing access panel is there to drain the water from your shower. Any cracks or leaks in the drywall are going to allow the water in while you are showering and can cause quite an expensive repair project. Drywall cracks can be repaired using caulk, but the cost is much higher. So please don’t repair drywall behind a drain.
Don’t put an RV water tank access panel under your RV drywall. Again, this is not only an unsafe situation but it’s a very expensive one as well. Not only is it likely that the water will freeze in the RV tank while the heater is running, it’s also likely that it will expand if left in the same position for too long. You certainly don’t want to find out you can’t heat your RV because the RV water tank plumbing access panel was left in the way!
Use caulk around and under your shower plumbing access panel when you do take care of leaks. Make sure that the caulk is of the same consistency and type as the surrounding area so it won’t wear off too quickly. If you have any leaks, you’ll want to make sure the leak isn’t going to be an issue in the future. This will help keep future problems from arising down the road. In addition, you want to put some kind of sealing on the leaks to protect the cement and prevent future problems.
Make sure that the plumbing of your shower is not leaking through the drywall on the exterior wall. Check to see if you have any caulking or foam insulation between the plumbing and the drywall. If you have foam insulation, you will need to use a patching compound to cover the joint so you don’t get a hole in the drywall.
To help with larger or longer plumbing issues, you will want to get someone to verify whether or not you have a drain in your shower plumbing system. Look for a sign or something similar on the outside of the access panel. If you do have a drain, you should get someone to run a drain cleaner through it to clear the water out. This is an inexpensive fix, but it’s better to prevent a problem than repair it. If you don’t know how to do this, your best bet would be to hire a plumber who knows his job inside and out.
If you have a water leak in your plumbing, it is imperative that you take care of it as soon as possible. Plumbing issues are a major pain in the neck, especially if you live in an older home where plumbing has not been around long. If you have a plumbing issue, chances are the plumbing of your entire home is faulty as well. You will find that old homes have a tendency to leak more than newer homes because of age and all of the drainage problems that may have accumulated over time. It can cost a lot of money to replace the plumbing of a home, so make sure that you take care of any plumbing issues as soon as you can.