The most common cause of bathtub leakage is failure of the caulking around the edge of the tub.

The most common cause of bathtub leakage is failure of the caulking around the edge of the tub. If that’s the case, here’s a tip to keep in mind as you recaulk. Fill the tub with water first. That’s because adding the weight of a person or water in the tub later can break the seal of the caulk.
Of course, there are several other possible sources of a tub leak.

  • The seals around main and overflow drains can eventually go bad. The drains will need to be removed and their gaskets replaced.
  • Water could be leaking from the spout or faucet and travelling back behind the escutcheon plate. That can easily be resealed with caulk.
  • It could be as simple as water spraying out around the shower curtain. One simple solution is a plastic shower guard at the edge of the enclosure.

If there’s still a mystery leak after checking those possibilities, the cause could be a crack in the tub itself. The bad news is, the only solution is a complete replacement.

HGTV. Tips on Recaulking Your Bathtub, [Online]. Web address: http://www.hgtv.com/home-improvement/bathtub-leaks/index.html (Page consulted on June 21 2011)