1st floor tub drain is leaking onto basement ceiling (picture inside)

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Mozgus

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I'm just looking for suggestions on how to tackle this easily. I'm a new homeowner and very new to handyman stuff still. The 1st floor's bathroom tub seems to be a copper drain leading into this black plastic piping, and water is clearly leaking from the seam as circled here. It collects onto sheetrock ceiling below, travels to the corner of the segment and then drops onto the floor through a part that has crumbled away. Its a finished basement bedroom.

Is there a kind of sealing I could smother around this joint one handed? Its a pretty tight spot to reach and I can only get one arm in there.

 

Diehard

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Be forewarned that the professional plumbers would not recommend a temporary repair but rather fix it properly in accordance with your applicable plumbing code.
Of course the fact that the brass drain being connected into an ABS(plastic) coupling violates code, is a separate issue unless a professional plumber got involved.
Being that it doesn't appear to be a simple fix due to access problems, I would be inclined to clean and dry that leaking joint. Making sure there is no water allowed to run down the interior of the drain pipe, and apply a sealant as you had planned.
You may get some positive feedback from some of the very experienced handy man types on the forum.
Here's something I found.

Make doubly sure that the leak is not dripping down from the joint above. Wrap with a folded paper towel for example.
 
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Jeff Handy

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Yes, any attempt to get info on a “quick and dirty” fix will be met with scorn and ridicule from many on here.

However, you may as well try it, it will be cheap and if it fails you can hire a pro to somehow get in there and do it nice and fancy.

You can soak a Scothbrite type of plastic scrubbing pad in vinegar, and wrap it around the leaky area and use good hand pressure to grind off all the sediment and crud at least an inch above and below the leak.
No adhesive or sealant will stick properly onto crud.

Then wipe it all down with clean water at least twice to get rid of the vinegar.

Then roughen the surface all around where you just cleaned with coarse sandpaper, all the way around the pipe and at least an inch above and below, not just where you see a leak.

Remove all sanding dust, then glob on a good layer of marine sealant.
You should wear a disposable surgical type glove, hardware stores and big box sell those.

Make sure you spread sealant all the way 360 degrees around the whole joint that leaks, and go an inch above and below.

This is a good sealant, I used it to repair a cracked bottom of a plastic toilet tank overflow pipe on a heavy wall-hung toilet, that would have otherwise had to come off the wall to repair “properly”.
Ten years and the overflow pipe does not leak a drop.

I used the 5200 formula, which sets slower.
I think you want this fast set formula, it will be less saggy.
Either way, add an extra thick layer slightly above where you want it to slowly sag onto its final location around the leaky joint.

This stuff is ok to apply over a slightly damp joint, but get everything clean and roughed up first.

You can add a second layer after about an hour, if you want.

https://www.amazon.com/3M-Marine-Adhesive-Sealant/dp/B07MMTDZGR

Here is a fast setting version of the formula I used on the plastic toilet overflow pipe.

https://www.amazon.com/3M-Marine-Adhesive-Sealant/dp/B07M5C26JZ
 
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frodo

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easy fix for a home owner

you will need a hacksaw a 5/16 nut driver, a tape measure
a pair of pliers

cut the pipe/ remove blade from hacksaw and cut the pipe with te blade only
or use a sawzall or use a nylon string
unscrew the female adapter, discard
install a FTG x thread female adapter
install a pro flex band in the adapter
install another pro flex band on the pipe you cut
measure between the 2 bands, for a new pipe

easy fix.jpg

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Nibco-I026050-1-1-2-Spigot-x-FIPT-ABS-DWV-Female-Adapter-58032?utm_source=bingad&utm_medium=shopping&msclkid=23db054719ef1b3ea5a458e60c3b602c

you need 2 fernco proflex [home depot]
part number 3000-150 1-1/2" CI, PL or ST to 1-1/2" CI, PL, or ST
 

Mozgus

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Thanks for the replies. I'm gonna try the 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant following the instructions above. If it fails then I'll go frodo's route. If I can buy myself 10 years on this thats a massive success. The tub may need replaced by that point anyway. Nothing in this house electric or plumbing wise is proper, I'm afraid. So much of the plumbing was done with sharkbite joints, as I found out the hard way by unscrewing a ruptured outdoor spout from what I assumed was copper threads, but instead a sharkbite in an area that was finished and covered and not reachable.

After cleaning it, it seems its actually not leaking from that seam. Its legit cracked below the seam. Hope this works regardless. I'm gonna smother it entirely.
 
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Jeff Handy

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The 5200 fast set seems to be a tougher sealant, it is labeled as permanent, not removable.
But pbly any formula of that same family of marine sealants would work.

The ABS might have cracked due to some movement of the tub, maybe the supporting floor or framing is getting soft with age.

A tub full of water with an adult is pretty darn heavy.
The bather plus water will add at least 600 pounds to it.

Try to force some sealant into the crack, as well as creating a wide and thick bandage all around the entire circumference above and below.

All formulas of this sealant are flexible.

If and when you have to cut the old ABS stuff off, you might have a problem when threading on a new female adapter to the bottom of that Tee.

By the looks of it, that Tee seems pretty iffy and corroded.

So you might very well develop a leak at the top or side connection of the old Tee.

Good luck with your adventure!
 
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Mozgus

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The 5200 fast set seems to be a tougher sealant, it is labeled as permanent, not removable.
But pbly any formula of that same family of marine sealants would work.

The ABS might have cracked due to some movement of the tub, maybe the supporting floor or framing is getting soft with age.

A tub full of water with an adult is pretty darn heavy.
The bather plus water will add at least 800 pounds to it.

Try to force some sealant into the crack, as well as creating a wide and thick bandage all around the entire circumference above and below.

All formulas of this sealant are flexible.

If and when you have to cut the old ABS stuff off, you might have a problem when threading on a new female adapter to the bottom of that Tee.

By the looks of it, that Tee seems pretty iffy and corroded.

So you might very well develop a leak at the top or side connection of the old Tee.

Good luck with your adventure!
Basically all the pipes in this place are corroded. I now know why the house was way cheaper than the rest on this block. I am just hoping to pay it off in 11-12 years and then focus on the major plumbing and electrical overhauls.
 

Jeff Handy

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Buying the cheapest house on the block is one of the original real estate genius moves.

When you fix it up, every dollar will come back to you in resale or home equity value.
 

Mozgus

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It seems to be sealed. Not a drop to be seen when the tub is used. Thanks guys. Now I can get to repairing the sheetrock damage.
 

Jeff Handy

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After you replace the water damaged drywall, you could set one of these on it, close to under the pipe that you worked on.

Not directly under, a leak might drip inside it.

Lay a small rag towel down first, and set the water alarm on it.

So if it leaks anywhere, the water will be drawn by the towel until it hits the metal contact sensors at the bottom of the alarm.
9 volt battery will last several years.
Pretty loud, and cheap.

Battery-Operated Water Alarm

https://www.homedepot.com/p/100038838
 

Jeff Handy

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I do some Randy Travis songs pretty good.

If I get to recording this one soon, I will post a link here, now that it is rattling around in my empty head.
 

Mozgus

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Am I literally being mocked for taking the advice given here? Frodo your advice is not for me. Don't get so damn offended. I asked for a patch solution and got it. The permanent solution is not what I am interested in right now. If it gets me 10 years for $7 thats a massive success. Sheetrock and spackle is cheap. My budget goes to paying off my house right now FAR before the 15 year term. NOT on anything major. My standards are low and I am happy. Perfectionists have a time and place and you weren't called upon. I thank everyone else who acted like a mature, reasonable adult here. Wow.

If Jeff has a paypal I will happily throw him a donation for his patience with me.
 
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