How to Fix Shower Drain Leaks

A leak in your shower drain can cause a lot of damage to your home and should be repaired as soon as it is noticed. Any water that gets through the drain seal will run down into the foundation of your home and affect any materials that it passes along the way. Luckily, you can fix a shower drain yourself as long as you are somewhat familiar with your home's plumbing situation. Fixing the drain as soon as you've spotted the leak can save you a lot of money in repairs to the rest of the house.

Learn how to fix a shower drain leak.

Turn off the water supply that runs to the shower.

Expose the pipes that run to your shower drain so you can access them. Depending on where the shower is, you may need to tear up the floor in the bathroom, open a hole in the wall or even work from below the bathroom.

Cut into the pipe just below the drain with a handsaw. Make another cut further along this pipe so you can remove it entirely.

Remove the old drain. You may need to use a utility knife to cut into the silicone putty that is holding it place. Use a Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the drain cover and then use a basket wrench to remove the drain. Turn the wrench to the left to loosen the drain, then pull it out.

Put the new drain in place of the old one. Use plumber's putty to secure the new drain.

Glue the length of PVC pipe to the new drain with ABS cement. This is liquid cement that will give the pipe and drain a waterproof connection. If there is no leak in the pipe itself, you don't have to replace it. However, if there is a leak in the pipe, then you must change the entire pipe beneath the drain.

Secure the end of the existing pipes to the end of the new pipe. Use a slip coupling the same size as the pipes to connect the old and new ones.

Put glue on both sides of the coupling and insert the pipes into it.

Let the putty dry several hours before turning the water back on and using the shower.

Things You Will Need

  • Handsaw
  • Utility knife
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Basket wrench
  • Shower drain
  • Plumber's putty
  • PVC pipe
  • ABS cement
  • Slip coupling


  • Replace the drain at night, so the putty can dry before you wake in the morning.


  • If you cannot gain access to the pipes via a stable structure, call a plumber to perform the repair.

About the Author

Aryeh Raphael has a degree in journalism and has worked with Fortune 1000 companies helping them to increase their online brand exposure through innovative website design, content creation, advertising and marketing. Additionally, Raphael is a writer for a slew of high-traffic blogs, including eHow and Tech Crunch.

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