Q. Our stall shower leaks and a plumber says it will cost around $600 to fix it. This seem high to us. He wants to replace the lead shield beneath the shower floor, a $400 job, plus tile replacement and miscellaneous work for $200. Someone else suggests we use Thiokol to mend the shield and then replace the shower floor tile. What do you say? John B. Bassemir Centerport, N.Y.
A. A veteran plumber friend tells me that a leak in a tile shower can be repaired only by replacing the shower pan. Use lead, copper, or a mopped-on type as allowed by the local plumbing code.
In the replacement process, a bottom row or two of wall tile and waterproof paper should be replaced so that the vertical paper and tile lap the new shower pan.
If the $600 estimate sounds too high to you, get a comparative bid from another good plumber. Make sure both bidders are figuring the job on the basis of the same materials and labor. Also, insist that both b ids be written.