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bathroom beams and leaky pipes

Postby jade22green » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:27 pm


A couple of year ago my Dad fitted a shower in our upstairs bathroom. Since then we have had a leak coming through the ceiling, my Dad has had several attempts at fixing it but has never managed to stop it completely.
We have become worried about the constant leak from the shower and decided to fit a bath instead.
When my Dad took up the floorboards I noticed that he has cut away some of one of the joists underneath the shower to fit the pipes for it. The beam measurements are roughly 8 x 3inches and he has cut away about 3 inches down and 3 inches across to fit the pipes.
I don't want to call a plumber and pay if it is ok but what I really wanted help with is does anyone know if this is safe?
I know nothing abut DIY but am concerned about fitting a bath over the joist that has been altered.

Also any ideas what the constant leak could be?

We also have a new leak at the join of two pipes. My Dad said that when they were taking out the old shower they accidently loosened a joint, how would this be fixed?
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Postby Dadwood » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:15 am

This is a difficult one to answer without seeing the job, however, I hope these comments may help. Firstly, you talk about a 'permanent' leak. Do you mean it occurs all the time, even when the shower is not being used? Or do you mean it occurs every time the shower is in use, but only then? If it occurs all the time, there is probalbly a leak in one of the supply pipes bringing water to the shower unit. If it leaks only when showering, it might be; 1. Lack of sealant around the top of the shower tray or dodgy grouting of the tiles in the cubicle; (both these would allow water to get down beneath the floor). 3. There might be a leak in the pipework taking drain water out of the tray, in fact, the leak could even be at the point where the drain connection on the tray connects to the drain pipe. But since you've now removed the shower unit, all you have to do is satisfy yourself that there is no ongoing leak in supply pipes in the ceiling void beneath the site of the new bath.
It is quite common to remove small sections of floor joists to allow the passage of pipework. However, as each site is different, what may be acceptable and safe for one installation could be totally wrong for another, so it is not possible to be decisive without seeing the job. All I can suggest is that if you have any doubts or concerns about your home, do seek professional advice.
Do you know if that new leak you mention is from a plastic or a copper pipe?
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:25 pm

i have to be honest 3 inches of material from an 8 inch thick joist is a lot - shouldn't be any more than an inch - some would say half an inch, or one sixteenth of the overall thickness (though this is often flouted). more can be removed if drilling lower down through the joist but less if removing material from top or bottom.

how many joists have that much material removed? if only one then may be ok as the rest of the joists will bear the weight. but if on a number of joists then its probably alright to walk on but i'd think twice about putting a bath on them. a bath filled with water can weigh anything between quarter and half a ton depending on the size. i don't wish to scare you but i'd consider getting someone in to have a look before you put a bath in.
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