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Ask Dave: I woke up to a shower full of water. How do I find the leak?

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Dear Dave,
I was at a rally this week and this morning I woke up to bathroom shower full of water. Where do you recommend I look first, and what is the best way to find the leak? —Jack, 2019 Casita

Courtesy Casita Travel Trailers

Dear Jack,
My first question is: Were you connected to city water pressure? Most rallies are held out in open field areas and you would be running off pressure from the onboard pump. If so, you should have had a pump cycling often or even running full time.

The first thing I would do is isolate the components to help identify what general area it might be leaking from. Put a plastic bag over the shower head and secure it with a rubber band. If the bag fills over night, it’s most likely the handle letting water through when it should be shut off.

There are rubber seats in the valve body and they can get cracked, broken, or get jammed due to calcium and lime in the hard water. These are easily changed out since your shower head connects to the sink faucet and it has a hot and cold handle.

Could be plumbing

If the shower still has water in the morning, it could be the plumbing going up to the valves. This is typically plastic “PEX” line with either crimp connectors or compression fittings. You should have access to the valves and lines either with an access panel on the back side, or with a removable false panel on the front of the shower. If a fitting is leaking, it will most likely drip down the water line and may be coming into the shower pan from the back side of the shower material at the lip of the pan.

I believe your Casita has a one-piece shower surround and a lower pan that it overlaps into. From what I see online, it looks as though your Casita has what we call a “wet bath” which has the shower, toilet and sink all in one area. With that, there should be water lines coming up inside the cabinet for the sink that you can access. If you can isolate the top from the bottom, you should be able to look at the leak closer.

Could be ceiling

Another question: Did it rain overnight? I see a small ceiling vent above the shower that could have leaked, or you might have a vent pipe or other leak that is allowing water from the outside in. Look at all vents and pipes on the roof and make sure the sealant is good on them, as water can migrate inside the roof material to an opening so it could be anywhere.


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Richard Hubert
1 month ago

Very surprised that Dave did not mention that often water in the shower base is caused by a full grey tank – not by a plumbing problem. This has happened several times to us when our grey tank was beyond capacity. Easy solution to simply “dump” some grey water into a 5 gallon pail and pour it down a proper drain. Actually glad that having a waterproof shower pan contains an overly full grey tank.

Lynn
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hubert

I found out last week, while filling the black water tank in advance of cleaning…that the shower drains to the black water tank. I looked down and I was standing in about 1 1/2 inches of brown water. YUCK!!
Unfortunately I have not been able to locate an Owners Manual for my 2006 Snow River or I might have known this.

Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hubert

Should have been the 1st response..

Jim Johnson
1 month ago

RE: shower tub has standing water. Other than a clogged drain, the only way the tub could have standing water is if the gray holding tank is overfilled. The shower drain is the lowest drain on the holding tank. In addition to looking at the shower faucet, look for drips from any sink faucet also using that holding tank. Handle-type faucets are easily bumped open (by a cat in our instance).

Scott R. Ellis
1 month ago

Could just be the gray tank is full. More than full.

Bob p
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

My first thought, kitchen sink, bathroom sink all drain into the gray tank, the kitchen sink could easily fill the gray tank without noticing until water fills shower.

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