Discovering water leaking underneath your bathtub should be a cause for concern for any homeowner. Not only can it lead to extensive decorative damage but may also cause structural issues too. This article explores why baths sometimes leak, and what to do about it.
Stop mopping wet floors with towels
It’s time to act and resolve the problem properly. Things to check:
Damaged or loose caulking
Caulking is a sealant applied around the edges of your bath to prevent water from seeping through gaps. Over time, caulk can deteriorate, crack, or become loose, allowing water to escape. Regularly inspect the caulking and remove any damaged portions. Clean the area thoroughly and reapply a fresh bead of waterproof caulk to ensure a tight seal.
A leaking waste or clean water supply pipe are the most frequent causes of water leakage. Pipes connect your bath to the main plumbing system and also to the waste drain. If there is a crack, loose connection, or damaged seal anywhere it will result in water seepage. Try tightening the connections or replacing the damaged parts but if the problem persists seek professional plumbing assistance. Catching a dripping pipe early will greatly help to reduce remedial works.
Located near the top of the bathtub, the overflow prevents water from cascading over the bath rim should the taps be left running, accidentally. If the gasket within the waste becomes worn or damaged, it can allow water to leak underneath the tub. You may need to remove the cover plate and replace the faulty part or check the connection. Consult your bathtub’s manufacturer to see if it’s covered by their warranty or ask a professional plumber for guidance.
Even a hairline crack in a tub can lead to water leakage, especially if the crack is located near the base. Unfortunately, fixing a cracked bathtub typically requires specialist assistance to assess the extent of the damage, and recommend repair or replacement options based on the severity of the problem.
In some cases, water leaking from underneath your bath may not be directly related to the tub itself but rather an issue with your plumbing system. Clogged or damaged pipes, water supply line leaks, or problems with nearby sanitaryware can result in water pooling beneath the tub. If there is no obvious sign of where the water is escaping consult a professional plumber who can conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s plumbing system.
Prevention is better than cure.
To prevent bathtub leaks and minimise potential damage, consider the following preventive measures:
- Regularly inspect the caulking around your bathtub and reapply as needed.
- Avoid placing excessive weight or pressure on the bathtub, this can contribute to cracks or loose connections. Do not overfill your bath… water is heavy!
- Use plug hole strainers to catch hair and debris and prevent clogs in the pipes. If you have long hair pay extra attention to regularly unclogging the plug hole possibly using one of the many proprietary fishing wires, or a squirt of chemical drain cleaner.
- Ensure your bath is installed correctly, with a properly functioning overflow and drain system.
- Periodically inspect the surrounding tiles and grout for any signs of cracks or damage.
Water leaking from underneath your bathtub is a common problem and requires prompt attention to prevent further damage. Remember to prioritise safety when dealing with leaks, especially if the water is anywhere near electrical circuits. If you are unsure about the source or severity of the leak it is always advisable to consult a professional plumber. We have the expertise and tools necessary to diagnose and repair complex plumbing problems.
Take care of your bathtub, and it will provide you with relaxing and leak-free happy bathing.
For assistance with bathroom leaks – or leaks anywhere in your home – please call us for a friendly chat on 01442 832202.