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Old 09-16-2023, 12:47 PM   #1
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Leaking shower and other bathroom issues

Hi SMB owners,

I have a 2015 sprinter sportsmobile with a full-sized shower which I bought used last year. I am finding that when I have the water pump on, water leaks out of the shower head (a lot of water!). I tried to fix this by adding a small shut-off valve at the base of the showerhead, and sealing the connection (pic 1). This pushed the leak back to the base of the whole unit, where it then started leaking out of the bottom (pic 2). So I added a burlier shut-off valve at the top of the hot/cold water unit (pic 4), which then pushed the leak down to a drip from its base. Even though it's much less water, this leak is behind the drivers' seat, so now I just leave all the connections open and keep the showerhead in a big pot so that all the water is contained and reusable.

Any suggestions on how to fix this? Do I need a new hot/cold water unit (green thing) or a just a new shower-head that's more compatible with the high pressure of water coming from the water pump? Or where should I place a shut-off valve?

Side note -- I'm also dealing with drainage issues given that the drain is slightly raised from the base of the shower (why??). I'd like to install a shower pan but the floor dimensions are weird (34.5" x 21"). Note that I've already removed the toilet since it was a nuisance to keep clean.

I feel like I have a big, expensive, pain-in-the-ass waste of space in my van and don't know how to make it usable again. Help!
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Old 09-16-2023, 12:56 PM   #2
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Since each section you close off results in another leak farther down the line, my first question would be What pump? And how much pressure is it putting out?
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Old 09-16-2023, 01:08 PM   #3
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Since each section you close off results in another leak farther down the line, my first question would be What pump? And how much pressure is it putting out?
I have a Shurflo 7.5Amp 55 PSI/3.7 Bar water pump.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Old 09-16-2023, 01:57 PM   #4
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It is not un common for some RV showerheads to dribble water while their switch is off by design. The shower control valve should shut off water completely. I suspect when you say adding valve moved leak to the base of the unit , that you mean the shower control valve (green thing). I expect that is your problem child.
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Old 09-16-2023, 02:27 PM   #5
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Most RV systems are designed to accommodate 40-55psi. Not something I would recommend since water is a limited resource (especially if you aren’t in a position to easily refill). I have about 20 running through ours to help conserve water.
Most times there is a Phillips head screw under the pumps pressure-switch plate which you can turn to increase/decrease your cut-off pressure. Turn your pump on after you’ve accessed that screw, and see if decreasing the pressure helps solve your issue. If it does, you’ll at least know the high pressure is causing the problem. You may also find that the lower PSI is acceptable for your use.
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Old 09-16-2023, 02:48 PM   #6
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Leaking shower and other bathroom issues

Ya, I canít tell if youíre saying the water is leaking out from the normal areas it usually comes out of, just continues with the valve shut off or if itís coming out of areas itís not supposed to like the threaded base of the shower head wand.
If itís coming out of normal areas, just continues with the valve off, I also suspect itís the control valve thatís the culprit, the internals wear out allowing water to flow through the unit.
It almost sounds like thereís a few things going on with the water then leaking behind your seat.
If the water is coming out where itís not supposed to, like any fittings or points of attachment or the green shower valve itself, shut your water off and tighten those fittings or replace with new fittings, plumbing thread tape and/or hose clamps and tighten, if thereís water leaking out from the bottom of the valve through a crack and not one of the fittings, replace the valve.
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Old 09-17-2023, 09:26 AM   #7
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I feel like I have a big, expensive, pain-in-the-ass waste of space in my van and don't know how to make it usable again. Help!
We almost never use our shower stall for showering, but still get at least some use out of it. When not used as a bathroom or auxiliary storage for odd-sized cargo, it is effectively our mudroom, for wet coats, boots, skis, etc. We also have a laundry line set up in it for wet towels, washcloths. I suggest you put up a gazillion Command hooks of various sizes, they come in handy and don't get in the way when actually showering.
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Old 09-17-2023, 10:36 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your help. It sounds like I can try to reduce the water pressure. When I have all the downstream valves closed, it looks like the leak is a slow drip coming from a corroded fitting at the base of the shower control valve, which is tight, so I will look into replacing that as well.
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Old 09-17-2023, 10:42 AM   #9
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Ya, I canít tell if youíre saying the water is leaking out from the normal areas it usually comes out of, just continues with the valve shut off or if itís coming out of areas itís not supposed to like the threaded base of the shower head wand.
If itís coming out of normal areas, just continues with the valve off, I also suspect itís the control valve thatís the culprit, the internals wear out allowing water to flow through the unit.
It almost sounds like thereís a few things going on with the water then leaking behind your seat.
If the water is coming out where itís not supposed to, like any fittings or points of attachment or the green shower valve itself, shut your water off and tighten those fittings or replace with new fittings, plumbing thread tape and/or hose clamps and tighten, if thereís water leaking out from the bottom of the valve through a crack and not one of the fittings, replace the valve.
With the shower control valve closed, water leaks out of the shower head (where itís supposed to come from) - it will fill up a large pot in a day of normal use of the pump. With the fitting I attached to the top of the control valve closed, it leaks out where itís not supposed to (beneath the unit).

Should I just replace the whole control valve since it doesnít really stop the flow of water when closed?
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Old 09-17-2023, 10:50 AM   #10
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Leaking shower and other bathroom issues

Sounds like it is the culprit, yes Iíd replace. Do you leave your pump on all the time? If you do, Iíd consider getting into the habit of turning the pump off when not in use, itíll be piece of mind and potentially save you from a disaster down the road, plus less wear on the system if the plumbing isnít constantly pressurized. Iíd still at least replace that shower valve though.
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