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Old 06-02-2009, 05:39 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 43
SUN #806
leaky bathtub

I have another problem that I am seeking advice on:

My 96 Saturn seems to have a leaky bathtub. We aren't the original owners, and we've only used it for 2 weekend trips so far.

There are some water marks on the floor near the bathroom door, but the floor seems firm. I'm not sure if these water marks are related, or from something else. It also looks like the bathtub has been recaulked by somebody.

I noticed there was a leak outside right below the tub by the small amount of dripping. It isn't a lot, and it only drips when the tub is being used.

It seems like there are two tiny holes in the bottom where the water drips out. These tiny holes look like they were poked with the tip of a knife through the fabric on the bottom. This picture is odd because what looks like the left wall, is actually the bottom. I was twisted underneath when I took it.

I would like to investigate and maybe repair it myself but I'm not sure where to start. How can I access the relevant pipes? The bottom on the camper seems to just be some type of fabric membrane. Do I cut a section of that away? It looks like somebody did that in the past. Anywhere else to look at to examine?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.


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Old 06-02-2009, 06:24 PM   #2
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SUN #264
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Is that leak directly under the tub drain? I had a similar problem, and access and some of the fixes turned out to be much easier than you might think.

If you think the leak is directly under the tub drain, poke around that fabric on the underside of the TT and see if you can feel the bottom of the "S" trap. If you locate the bottom of the S-trap, feel around a bit further and you should discover that there is a box frame around the S-trap, maybe 10" x 10" or so. Sunline did this because the S-trap actually has to press against that fabric because of the dimensions of the tub and drain piping.

My leak was right at the tub drain, so I cut away the square of fabric, and tacked to the framing. After I repaired the leaks - there were three different leaks all in the same place - I fabricated a cover plate of ABS and screwed it into place over the box frame around the S-trap. I did have to heat the ABS and put a big dimple in it so it would clear the bottom of the S-trap. I also drilled a hole right at the apex of that dimple so that any future leak will go directly to the ground, and not spread laterally into the framing.

My three leaks were:

1. The ABS pipe connecting to the drain fitting was fractured. I replaced it and installed a rubber fitting because the cause of the breakage was flexing of the drain itself due to lack of support for the plastic body of the tub around the drain. Now if it flexes, the rubber connector moves and the ABS doesn't break. That is a permanent fix.

2. The plastic material of the tub itself was broken in a couple of places right next to the drain fitting. Same cause. I temporarily fixed that with a large patch of outdoor anti-skid tread material.

3. The drain fitting itself is also fractured. It is also made of plastic and broke due to the same flexing. I have not replaced that yet only because I need a special tool and a second pair of hands to properly remove the old drain fitting. That leak is the least serious of the three, and since we don't use the shower, that repair will get done later.

I am contemplating replacing the entire tub pan. I am also thinking about how to provide adequate support around the drain so that it doesn't flex. The problem there is that the drain is physically located right where my left foot wants to be when I take a shower so eliminating the flex will be doubly difficult.

Keith, a couple of things for you...

Refresh my memory on what model you have. I found several access plates to get under the tub pan in my 2453, so there are probably similar places in yours.

If possible, please resize your pics down to 640x480 before you post them. The larger pics distort the screen display and make it difficult to see the whole pic and also to read the text.



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Old 06-02-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 43
SUN #806
Yes, my leak does seem to be right at the tub drain. I wonder if someone poked holes in my bottom fabric to drain in a similar manner to your hole in the ABS cover?

I have a model T-24A, 1996 24' saturn.

I will resize pics in the future, I didn't know they were a problem.

Now I'm anxious to take a look and see what cracks I have...

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Old 06-04-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 43
SUN #806
I found a way to access my tub drain. I removed some shelves, had my wife pour in a bucket of water, and watched.

It seems my leak is right between the tub itself (white part), and the first black fitting that attaches to it. Sorry for the lack of accurate plumbing lingo.

I circled the area I was describing, and you can also see a drip that is running down. This leak is collecting in the bottom, and draining out the small holes in the fabric. Everything else inside looks dry and good. I' was worried the water was going somewhere else and rotting things, but it doesn't look like that.

Anyway, how can I fix this? Tighten something, silicone something??? I don't see any actual cracks. Maybe they just aren't visible...

Thanks in advance for any plumbing advice

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Old 06-04-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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Unscrew the big nut that you have circled. Have someone push up on the pipe, that will lift the drain in the tub. Put some plumbers putty around the drain opening and tighten that big nut nice and tight. Clean off the excess putty that comes out from around the drain.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
SUN #616
I would remove the U trap first then remove the tub drain. The U trap has two large rings (nuts) that will unscrew from the tub drain and drain line. The first is just below the part you circled on the threaded part. The second ring ( nut) is at the other end of the U, the trap part. There should be plastic O rings under the rings (nuts) that provide the seals for the trap. Donít loose them. Once you have the trap out of the way you will have more room to remove the tub drain and reseal it as Mike suggested. You will see the same set up under most sinks.

Good luck
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:07 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 43
SUN #806
Problem solved!

I followed the suggestions and it was an easy effective fix.

Thanks again for the excellent advice from this forum.

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