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Shower Tray Pooling: Common Reasons & How to Fix Them

When we walk into our bathrooms, seeing a pool of water in our shower tray is not a comforting sight. That growing puddle in your shower often points to more deep-seated issues.

Ignoring this issue can result in mold, discolored tile, and a musty odor in your bathroom. In addition, if a leak causes your shower tray to pool, you can be left with water damage.

shower tray pooling
Source: Houzz

This article will help you get rid of pooling before it transforms into a more serious problem. We will discuss common causes of water pooling in your shower along with all the information you need to get rid of this problem.

Why Does Water Sit In My Shower Tray?

Leaks In Your Shower System

Leaks are a homeowners nightmare and can result in heavy water damage repair bills. Therefore, it pays to inspect all the elements of your water supply a few times a year for any sign of leaks.

There are a few places a leak can originate that will cause pooling in your shower tray. Faucet leaks are common, but for them to cause pooling, they need to be severe or occur over a long period of time.

Your showers cartridge is another possible suspect. Shower cartridges control the flow of hot and cold water that comes out of your showerhead. Sometimes these cartridges can crack or have other issues which can create a leak.

Your plumbing may have a leak that can end up on the floor of your shower through cracks in your walls, tile, or even the shower tray itself.

Incorrectly Installed or Worn Out Shower Tray

How well your shower tray was installed will decide how many years of service it can give you. Unfortunately, shower trays are usually used beyond their lifespan and can give out.

Not many homes are built on perfectly level ground. Your foundation is supposed to make up for this slope, but that’s not always the case. For example, a shower tray installed on a slope will cause water to pool at one end of the shower tray.

Shims hold up your shower tray. It’s possible that these shims will wear out with age. In addition, these broken shims will create an uneven slope and pooling that has nothing to do with installation but with time.

A shower tray that is visibly uneven and buckles or moves when you walk on it is a sure sign that your shower tray is the cause of your pooling.

Clogged Drains

Though it may be disgusting to imagine, down below your drain may lie a ball of hair and dirt mixed with old soap and conditioner. Unfortunately, there are many things that can easily go down your drain that will end up clogging it.

If you have a clog, it will become obvious after you bathe or shower as you will see the water struggle to go down the drain. Or, in worse cases, it does not go down the drain at all and begin pooling.

Clogged drains are pretty common and are the most likely cause of pooling in your shower tray. Luckily there have been many products and tools created to get rid of clogged drains.

How to Fix Shower Tray Pooling Problems

Repairing Leaks In Your Shower System

To repair a leak, you must first figure out where it is coming from. Some leaks are more difficult to detect than others. You may need to enter your crawlspace or basement. For other leaks, you’ll need to take off your faucet or showerhead.

Your leak might be easy to fix by installing a new shower cartridge. Applying fresh caulking or installing a new faucet are generally simple methods to get rid of those leaks.

But if your leak lies in your plumbings water lines, you may have a more difficult repair ahead of you. Accessing your plumbing alone can have its challenges. But once you have found a leaking pipe, a product like water weld can work temporarily on small leaks, but severe leaks require you to replace those pipes.

Fixing Your Shower Tray

Removing your shower tray can be challenging and time-intensive. It’s not the best DIY job. If you can afford it, you would be best off hiring a professional to do this job for you.

But if you feel capable of fixing your shower tray on your own, it can be done. Depending on how your shower tray was installed you may have to remove tiles or even part of your wall.

Once your shower tray is removed, it’s a simple matter of replacing bad shims or putting the proper amount of shims to make your shower tray level removing the slope, which will get rid of the pooling water it created.

Unclogging Your Drain

Clogged drains are usually easy to fix, and there are many ways to get rid of this problem. If your clog is not severe, using a liquid chemical product poured down your drain overnight can clear your drain.

If chemical products don’t unclog your drain, you might need a tool like an auger or drain snake. However, if tools and chemicals both fail to get rid of your clog, you still have another option available to you.

You can take apart the piping connected to your drain in order to clear it of any debris. However, this should be a method of last resort, and be sure to turn off your water supply before attempting to take apart any pipes.

James B. Parker

I was taught carpentry at a young age by my father. After highschool I worked with my father as a Union Carpenter for six years.

Though I no longer practice carpentry professionally I still do projects at my home and for family and friends.

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