Few weeks ago, Kara started complaining that the water is not draining well in the tub during the shower.
I figured that the drain was clogged with her hair but then I noticed that the trip lever that stops the water from draining for taking bath was not working correctly. In other words, the water was not draining because it was in the "bath" mode rather than in "shower" mode.
After looking at few youtube videos, I tried to pull out the lever but it was stuck and would not budge so I ended up calling a plumber but even the plumber could not pull it out.
He then warned me that he can try to force it out but there's a chance that the linkage might break and if it does then we would have no choice but to open up the ceiling below the bathtub in order to get to the pipes
At that point, I had no choice since the bathtub was not usable with the water not draining at all so I asked him for go for it... after 15 minutes of struggling and cursing, he miraculously pulled out the water stopper!
But I was more amazed of the fact that the water still was not draining even without the stopper.. After all it turns out that it was Kara's hair accumulation over the years that clogged the drain...
Good news was that I was able to snake it out through the overflow opening now that trip level was taken out.
See how much hair came out from snaking the bathtub drain... this is all Kara's hair since she's the only one that uses this tub...
A week later, when Kara was taking a shower, I heard a sound of rain drops in the basement and it turns out that water was dripping from the ceiling below the bathtub!
I immediately turned off Kara's shower and the water stopped dripping from the ceiling. I was afraid that I may have snaked the drain too aggressively, which can puncture the plastic pipes sometimes.
I had to call the plumber again and told him that we have no option other than opening up the ceiling to fix this leak. When he came over, he turned on the water and let it run from the spout for good 15 minutes but water was not leaking from the ceiling. He told me that it's good thing that we didn't open up the ceiling since the cause of the leak is not the pipe but rather the bathtub spout that needs to be replaced because it's not making a good seal with the copper pipe when the shower diverter is pulled up from the spout.
So I ordered the exact same model as my old spout from Amazon to replace it myself but I also wanted to be 100% sure the exact cause of the leak because water dripping down from a ceiling like a rain drops is one of the scariest things to experience. I decided to open up the wall behind the bathtub, which was a linen closet, so I can visually see what's causing the water leak and make sure it can be fixed.
I used an endoscopy camera, which is pretty cool gadget, so I can have clear visuals of the pipes connected to the bathtub then I turned on the water on the spout. I waited few minutes but did not see any water leaking from the pipes or the ceiling below, which was a good news. I then pull the diverter knob on the spout to change from the "bath" mode to "shower" mode and I immediately saw water shooting out from the pipe that is connected to the spout. At last, I found the cause of the leak... When I pulled out the spout after unscrewing the allen nut underneath the spout (as I had a slip-on spout type), I noticed that there was a gap around the copper pipe coming out from the wall and based on my youtube research, this is one of the biggest culprits in plumbing since the water can back out to the wall through the gap.
Apparently, the inside of the original tub spout was so corroded from hard water over the 10 years period, it wasn't making a good seal when the diverter was used and was bouncing the water back, which made it behind the wall through the opening around the copper pipe.
So I sealed the gap with waterproof silicons then installed the new tub spout and confirmed that water is no longer leaking behind the wall. (I also sanded the copper pipe before installing the new tub spout)
Mystery and the problem solved! Now I just have to fix up the wall behind the behind the bathtub and the ceiling underneath.
Plumbing can be very fun but mad scary at the same time... hopefully we don't have to learn plumbing the hard way..