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I had to cut out a hole in my downstairs ceiling due to the water damage caused by a small leak in the master bath tub spout above it. After removal and inspection of the spout, I'm curious if it was installed correctly by the previous owner, as the only thing preventing the leak was a single o-ring.

My question beyond the original installation is, should I simply replace the o-ring and add some silicone grease, or should I also add something below the spout where the hole in the fiberglass is for the pipe like a gasket or putty, as a secondary measure to prevent another instance in the future?

Pipe All spout components Seal Bottom view

Thanks for any help here.

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  • Are you sure that's where the leak is coming from? There are lots of other, more likely places that could be leaking into the wall cavity.
    – gnicko
    Apr 17, 2023 at 20:33
  • I did, yes. After cutting a hole from the downstairs ceiling, I was able to identify it coming out directly at this connection from below. The previously installers luckily had a section of the entire subfloor cut out (maybe for similar reasons?) which made it easy to see straight to the piping from down there. The first image shows it slightly, but the metal plate that the pipe goes through is completely rusted out, so that is another sign it's coming from above it. I've added an additional 4th image just now showing it from the bottom. Came from a small hole in that rusted plate.
    – JSess
    Apr 17, 2023 at 21:08

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Cleaning off the pipe with some emery paper and replacing the "o" ring is a good start. Problem is the "o" doesn't look like a standard one so you might have to check with the manufacturer for an exact replacement, check out a plumbing supply store or get a new spout. You'll have a better idea once you remove the "o" ring.

If shoving some plumbers putty in the space around the pipe helps you sleep at night, go for it. Those spaces are not usually filled in and a "simple "o" ring or washer is usually the only thing between a leak and a no leak.

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  • Ok thanks. I couldn't find any markings of a manufacturer on the spout or handles unfortunately, so I may go to a hardware store with the spout itself to see if they'll be able to assist. These spouts are crazy expensive for some reason, so I'd rather go that route if I can find a proper fitment to feel comfortable again. Anyway, appreciate the affirmation with additional prevention and confirming the "o" ring is actually the only required measure. Seems odd for as the only failsafe to drip into a completely inaccessible space, but I'm no expert obviously :) Thanks!
    – JSess
    Apr 17, 2023 at 21:00

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