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Plumbers: Back Then, Today, and Tomorrow

When talking about any profession, most people tend to focus on the here and now. That's understandable. it's really important to know what's going on in the present tense. But you are missing out on some vital information if you never read and learn about the history of a profession. This applies to plumbing, in particular. You can really further your understanding of the profession by knowing how it began and what changes have been made over the years. That's why we sometimes reference the history of plumbing on this blog. We'll also dive into the future of the profession from time to time because, after all, you have to know where you're headed.




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Plumbers: Back Then, Today, and Tomorrow

5 Signs There Is A Leak Behind Your Shower Wall

by Madison Dean

In most homes, the water lines that service the shower run behind the wall, where they are sealed from the site by both the wallboard and a tile or plastic shower surround. Leaks can go unnoticed until the damage is severe unless you know what to keep an eye out for. 

1. Weak Water Pressure 

A leak in a supply line can have an immediate effect on your shower's water pressure because you aren't getting the full flow from the tap. You may be able to determine whether it is the hot or cold water supply line is leaking by testing each temperature tap individually. Keep in mind that low water pressure may not mean you have a leak, as it also occurs when a pressure regulator on a water line requires replacement. 

2. Moldy Grout

Excess moisture in the walls will seep out somewhere, and often first affects the grout between tiles or the caulk that seals a plastic surround to the wall. If mold is a new issue in your shower or if it seems to be worsening more quickly than normal, then it's time to check for leaks behind the wall. 

3. Loose Wall Tiles

If your surround is made of tiles, then moisture in the walls from a leak can cause them to loosen over time. It may begin with the grout crumbling out, then later the tiles themselves may loosen and fall off the wall. Plastic one-piece surrounds may also loosen along the top or bottom seams as the caulk that seals the edges loses adhesion. Never ignore loose tiles, especially those that cover the wall where the shower's water lines are located.

4. Water Stains

Water stains may not appear where you think they will, as water will flow between the walls until it comes to an outlet. For a shower wall leak, you may first notice water stains on the wall of the room behind the shower, or on the ceiling below the shower. Sometimes stains first affect the baseboard area or even the flooring near the shower stall. Any new water stain should be investigated until the source is found. 

5. Dripping Sounds

When turning off the water to the shower, keep listening closely for a moment. If you continue to hear moving water or dripping after the tap is off, then there may be water dripping inside the wall. Small leaks may not lead to visible external water damage right away, but you may be able to detect the sound of water dripping from the leak early enough to avoid more severe damage. 

Contact a residential plumbing contractor immediately if you suspect there is a leak behind the wall.