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After finding a leak in room below my shower, I discovered that the silicone like ring that was attaching my shower pan to my drain pipe was peeling back

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I pulled the seal the rest of the way out, and found some sort of chalky substance under it that seemed to absorb water fairly easily, I am not sure how these are assembled, but I assume that water is able to pass through it and was making it to the drywall below.

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What is the correct way to reseal this? I assume I could just add some standard bath silicone again, but with the peel back happening once already, I'm curious if there are better options. I also have seen some say that plumbers putty is good for this, but I've also hear that that is not supposed to be used directly on plastic.

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it was installed wrong, there's no real correct way to fix this other than starting again and using the correct fitting.

The correct way is to use the pipe fitting that matches the shower base, you may be able to do from below or it may require disassebling the shower floor and walls in addition to cuttihg a hole in ceiling of the room below.

Next best is probably to weld the pipe to the shower base if the two are made of compatible plastics, this could be a fusion weld done with a heat gun with a plastic welding head or (it it's all PVC) a solvent weld done with that Marley stuff.

if you want to make another doomed attempt at sealing it with caulk choose a product that has low shrinkage (preferably no shrinkage)

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  • So looking at it more, that substance in between the pipe and shower floor is some sort of chalky grout like substance. I don't understand why this is here, but it seems like this would make it impossible to weld the plastic pipe to the drain pan. – David Jun 20 at 19:20
  • yeah, it seem like the wrong stuff was used. you can possibly bridge over it with the right kind of plastic and then weld to both sides. – Jasen Jun 22 at 8:10
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    What do you think about filling the hole with an Epoxy like WaterWeld? Says its designs for PVC, fiberglass, and concrete which is the 3 ingredients in there assuming that is concrete that is the filler material. – David Jun 24 at 18:40
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    Actually the Loctite marine epoxy looks like an even better fit. – David Jun 24 at 20:13
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So although I agree with Jason's answer that there is no technical way to fix this the "Correct" way without tearing it out and starting again, I decided to try my own permanent solution to attempt to avoid a costly repair.

What I ended up doing is going out and getting two packs of Loctite's marine epoxy. This is supposed to bond to PVC, concrete and fiberglass. What I am unsure of is what the base pan was made out of. The instructions to this epoxy said it did not recommend it for PP, PE or Nylon, which could have been in the base, but we'll see

At first, I was skeptical, but it turned out way better than I had imagined. After completely filling the gap between the pan and the pipe, there is an absolutely solid bond between the two and I can hardly think of a scenario where it would be possible to leak unless the epoxy fails to bond to the pan of the shower due to material incompatibility. I scratched up the pan base some in the drain to increase my chances. So far I have no regrets, and I spent $10 instead of the thousands for a new shower. The epoxy looks wet in the finished shot, but it is hard as a rock and is supposed to withstand up to 3000 PSI as it's intended for boat repairs.

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    Thanks for coming back to post your solution! Make a note to come back in a year and follow up to let us know how it's held up - that would be super helpful. – FreeMan Jun 28 at 16:11
  • Yes, I'll try to do that. Unfortunately, this ended up not being the only problem with the shower as the drain trap is messed up and leaking, so as long as the shower does not need replaced for other reasons, I will hopefully update the status later on. Overall, no news from me here is probably good news. I will try to definitely update this post if it fails. I have another shower downstairs installed in the same way (but even sloppier), so I will be doing this again myself if it seems to hold. – David Jun 29 at 18:32
  • My only concern would be if there needs to be some flex between the pan and the pipe. – Steve Wellens Jul 2 at 13:52

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