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Determining if Shower Pan is Cracked?

I really can't tell if it's cracked or not. I have tried looking with a flashlight but no luck. So far the fix is to line the walls and floor or rip it out, but if it isn't really cracked why do it?

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By MLO

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March 7, 20130 found this helpful

It does sound as though you have a leak somewhere in that stall. You may want to check seams first as you may find your leak is the caulked join where the pan meets the side-walls.

If it's not the seams, you could try 'mapping' the leaking pan by pouring a pitcher full of Kool-Aid or food colouring tinted water on the pan and looking for darker lines appearing on the pan floor as the tinted fluid seeps through the cracks.

I found a cracked pan that way by accident years ago when I tried to dye a pan by staining it deliberately with a pitcher of food colouring tinted water. It did give a lovely colour to the pan but those dark lines appeared and my then husband said 'Holy moly, that pan is cracked and probably has been for years!' We ended up having to replace not only the entire shower stall but most of the bathroom sub-flooring because oh yes, that leak had been at work for a very long time!

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Using the 'mapping' method may cause staining so be sure you are willing to put up with that if you can't get the staining off. Bon Ami should get the colour off without scratching the pan surface but that's not guaranteed so be sure to use a complementary colour in case you're stuck with it.

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