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Shower Drain Leaking Into Basement: 6 Possible Troubleshooting with Solutions

Nasty dripping from the shower drain into the basement is a nightmare for homeowners. 

Not only does this cost a huge amount of money to repair, also the struggle is indescribable. Do you need to identify-

Why is the shower drain leaking into the basement?

The first problem with the shower drain leaking into the basement is leakage in the drain pipe. A cracked shower drain gasket could be another reason. Leakage of the shower faucet and broken tiles are also some of the common reasons.

I’ll discuss how to locate the shower drain leaking that’s dripping into your basement. The easy detailed solutions will save some bucks of yours. 

Not going to waste your time. I know you’re already suffering. Continue reading to overcome the situation-

Reasons Behind Shower Drain Leaking Into Basement

Finding the source of a shower drain leak in the basement is the first step in resolving the problem. Shower pan rubber gaskets may be the source of the leak, but they might also be the drain flange. 

You can’t only blame the drain for leakage. During new constructions, water leakage troubleshooting in the basement can also happen.

A broken shower pan or a leaking P-trap under the drain might also be to blame.

Leaks may also be caused by a leaky shower faucet or a broken bathroom tile. To help you fix the leak, I’ll go through how to determine where it’s originating from in this section.

Reason 1: Leakage in the Drain Pipe

The drain pipe that connects the shower drain to your home’s main drain pipe may be the source of the leak. To begin, go to the basement and clean down the drain and the P-trap to remove any remaining moisture. 

Open the shower and inspect the P-two trap’s locking rings. Water can only leak from the trap if any of these connections start leaking water. 

Reason 2: Cracked Shower Drain Gasket

Rubber gaskets separate the drain from the shower pan in shower drains. In order to keep water out of the drain pan, these rubber gaskets are needed. 

If the shower is not often used, these gaskets may ultimately dry up and fracture. When the rubber dries out, the gasket fails to seal the gap. It is between the drain and the shower pan, allowing water to travel through.

Remove the drain using either one of two procedures depending on the drain type. 

In other cases, the drain may be screwed right into the shower pan itself. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the drain lid from its socket.

Next, remove the drain by locking a pair of vise-grip pliers on the drain or by using a drain wrench. Counterclockwise rotation is required to free the drain.

Reason 3: Inappropriately Installed Shower Pans

Finding the source of a dripping shower drain requires additional effort. To check shower pan cracks, you’ll need to add a few inches of water to the pan. 

You’ll need to remove the drain cover. Then, seal the drain if your shower doesn’t have a drain cutoff.

When the pan is submerged to a depth of several inches. Go to the basement and look for the source of the leak. Shower pans might take a long to leak, so you may have to be patient. 

Shower pan leaks might take a long time to become apparent. Leave the water in the drain pan for eight hours.

Additionally, you may look for signs of leaks in the shower pan by checking the water level in the pan itself. Once the leak is discovered, the repair may begin.

Reason 4: Drain Flange with a Leakage Problem

Overlapping the shower pan, the drain flange is made of metal. The plumber’s putty forms a watertight barrier between the flange and the pan. It prevents any leakage from occurring below.

The threads of the shower pan and the drain may potentially be leaking water.

Inspecting the drain flange is one of the simplest methods to locate a leak. Plug the drain as instructed above. Then, fill the drain pan with water to check for a leaking drain flange. 

Once the tank is full, check the basement for water around the drain. Drains may have gotten partly unscrewed and can let water seep out of the drain rim.

Reason 5: Broken Bathroom Tile

Tiles in bathrooms are meant to keep water from flowing through. If a tile in the subfloor is broken, water may seep through it. 

It may ultimately seep into the basement. This is why you need to perfectly set the floor drain tile to avoid such problems.

If the basement flooring seems to be the source of the leak, look for fractures in the tiles above. The flooring and frame underneath may decay if the tiles are breached by water. 

Thus, it’s imperative that the problem be remedied as soon as possible.

Reason 6: Leakage of the Shower Faucet Leaks

It’s possible that the leak isn’t coming from the drain. This might be due to a malfunctioning shower faucet. 

It is possible to have a dripping shower faucet that causes water to be wasted. If water isn’t coming from the drain in the basement, it’s most likely coming from the shower’s faucet.

Supply lines and the floor near the drain are likely to get saturated with water if the faucet is leaking. 

A faulty connection between the shower faucet and the supply pipes is caused by a leaking faucet.

Having a leak in the frame underneath may rapidly lead to serious structural issues. It will make a big increase in your water bill.

How to Fix The Troubleshooting of Shower Drain Leaking Into Basement

I know the fixation needs some bucks and sometimes costs vary depending on the situation. Install ductwork in the basement and take some time to fix it as soon as possible. 

Here are some recommendations to fix the troubleshooting.

Solution 1: Repair the Shower Drain

Shower drain leaks may occur in two places: between the threads of the pan and the drain or in the flange.

Plumber’s tape is used to seal threads in plumbing connections so that they don’t leak. And, a lack of it causes a leak between the threads.

The repair for this kind of leak is usually rather easy. After removing the strainer, make sure the threads are free of any old plumber’s tape. 

Wrap the screw threads with a new plumber’s tape. Be careful while covering the whole diameter of the drain.

Reinstall the tub drain by tightening the screws. Water will not be able to get in between the tub’s threads and the flange thanks to the plumber’s tape.

This plumber’s putty between the flange and shower pan has to be replaced if the leak is coming from it. Once you’ve removed the drain, scrape away any remaining plumber’s putty. 

Roll new putty into a snake form and apply it to the whole diameter of the flange. To ensure a tight seal and proper tightening, use a drain wrench. 

You can also use locking pliers to crank the drain one more quarter turn. Shower pans may shatter if the screws are overtightened. With your fingertips, gently wipe away any extra putty.

Solution 2: Replace Shower Drain Gasket

After connecting the drain and the drain pipe, a rubber gasket ensures a watertight seal.

Sometimes this rubber gasket will get dry and cracked. Particularly if the shower is infrequently used and the rubber is left to dry out. 

After removing the drain cover and the flange, gently remove the rubber gasket. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers.

When a gasket is dry or damaged, water is more likely to be able to get through. Use the old gasket as a guide when purchasing a new one. 

Before fitting the replacement gasket, remove any debris lodged between the drain pipe and the drain.

Then, place the rubber gasket over the drain pipe, making sure the bevel side is facing up. You should press the drain seal all the way down in order to secure it. Replace and tighten the flange and connect the drain cover.

The gasket is situated between the drain rim and the shower pan surface on pans. It is with a drain that threads directly into the pan. 

After removing the drain, take the gasket off the threads. Replace it with an exact replacement gasket.

Replace the drain, and apply the plumber’s tape to the threads. Tighten the drain to compress the new gasket and seal the hole.

Product 1
Product 2

Purchase a good quality rubber gasket from the suggestions to avoid such problems.

Solution 3: Fix Damaged Shower Pan

Installing a fiberglass, acrylic, or plastic shower pan is significantly less expensive. It is also less time-consuming than setting up a ceramic tile foundation. 

It calls for mortar and a certain level of ability. Also, there are some downsides to this method.

They aren’t as sturdy as ceramic shower pans. They may occasionally shatter, producing a leak.

It may be difficult to identify these cracks. They are only noticeable when the pan bends under the weight of an occupant. 

Even if the fissures are large, it is possible. For more extensive cracks, a new shower pan will be required.

You’ll need an acrylic repair kit to mend a minor crack. Use a cloth and home cleanser to clean the area surrounding the crack. Then, remove any debris that may be in or around it. 

Using an applicator stick or putty knife, apply the putty or paste to the crack. Some repair kits may need you to mix a hardener and resin before applying.

The putty knife or stick may be used to smooth the region, making it flush with the rest of the pan. 

Follow the manufacturer’s directions before sanding the paste smooth. Polish the repair with a towel to make it seem new.

Solution 4: Fix Leaking Shower Drain Pipe

Sometimes the leak coming from the drain of the shower isn’t the drain at all. An airtight seal may be created by filling this trap with roughly a cup or two of water.

With two connections, a conventional P trap features one that links to the drain pipe. Another that extends horizontally to the main drain and the sewer.

Both P trap connection cuffs provide a compression seal with both drain pipes, preventing leakage. 

If these cuffs were not correctly fitted, it might damage the seal, creating a leak.

The majority of the time, repairing a P trap leak is a simple task. Tighten the locking rings on the seal using a plumber’s wrench by a quarter turn or so. 

Compression fitting seals might fail if this fails. The complete P trap will have to be replaced in this situation.

The P trap may easily be removed by loosening the locking rings on both sides of the device. In the event of water in the P trap, you’ll need a cloth or cup to collect it. Go shopping with the classic P trap in order to get the proper size.

After threading the drain pipes into the new trap, tighten the compression rings by hand. Be careful and try not to damage the fittings by over tightening the rings.

Why Must a Faulty Shower Drain be Fixed Immediately?

While it may be enticing to put off fixing a leaky shower drain, particularly if the problem is small, don’t. A tiny leak may cause severe damage to the supporting structure.

This might easily elevate the issue from a low-cost minor fix to a high-cost big one. The water will seep into the frame underneath and damage the wood. It may also lead to a mold issue, affecting the air quality in your house.


Why is my shower leaking downstairs?

Damaged gaskets, O-rings, or washers are the main reasons to shower leaking. On the other hand, a clogged pipe creates blockage and water can’t go down. Another reason can be an overflowing pan. Under the shower pan, the silicone gasket might dry up, split, and leak.

Can a clogged shower drain cause a leak downstairs?

Yes, absolutely. A clogged shower drain stops the water flow. And, it resists the water to go down. You need to fix this troubleshooting as soon as you find it, otherwise the bad smell will be all over the place.

Can you replace a shower drain?

To make things go more swiftly, a drain assembly is required. Install a new top-mounted drain. A shower drain may be replaced without having to break off the ceiling underneath it. Install the sink components by following proper instructions.

Bottom Line

I hope you are now relieved after identifying the reasons behind the shower drain leaking into the basement.

Follow the given instructions properly to avoid mistakes. In case you fail to understand or fix it, call a professional. 

Good luck fixing the shower drain leakage!