Testing for Leaking Shower Recess

By | March 31, 2015

An easy way of testing for leaks in a shower recess.

1. Firstly you’ll need dry the shower recess and block the drain. The easiest way to do this is to apply a waterproof tape over the drain grate. I use duct tape. It’s cheap, sticks well and is waterproof

.Tape over floor drain
2. Make sure the dye can’t stain your carpets or floor coverings. pull back your carpet if your confident you can re-attach it and remove any mats or towels near the shower. If your shower is upstairs, be aware that dye testing for a leaking shower recess could potentially soak through to the ceiling below and stain it. (not a good result). If the ceiling below needs to be repaired anyway, then go ahead and dye test it. A stain in an area that has to be repaired won’t matter too much.
3. Get a vibrant coloured food dye. Any colour except yellow. Yellow food colouring is hard to see and finding a leak will be too hard. Red will make your bathroom look like a murder scene. If you use green or blue colouring make sure the kids stay out of it. They’ll think it’s cordial and want to get involved in the whole process! Pour about 30ml onto the floor of your shower and add water slowly to it so it mixes as you go. Be careful not to splash too much or you will spend the next 10 mins cleaning the shower walls. Now fill the shower until the water is at least 30 mm high or about an inch deep. If your shower screen is sitting on the floor and not up on a hobb, only fill until the dye covers the bottom of the shower screen. (Maybe 10 mm deep).

Adding food dye to shower floor

4. Constantly check around your shower recess for leaks while your adding water to the shower recess. When it does leak, it will be sudden. As soon as you see a leak, pull the tape from the floor waste and let the dye run out of the shower down the drain. Don’t worry, food dye is safe to the environment and won’t cause any damage.

Dye dripping through floor



If your shower does leak with the dye test your not covered under any General Australian Home Insurance Cover. You may be able to get some type of specialised cover for a leaking shower recess, but more than likely it will not cover you for failed waterproofing. Most, if not all insurance companies only cover for leaking pipes and the damage they cause. So if your shower leaks, it is only covered if it’s the pipes leaking in the walls. You have to get a plumber to fix the leak at your cost. Then your insurance will cover the repairs caused by the leak