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ellie09 07-09-2009 11:54 AM

diagnosing a leak
I posted earlier about a mysterious water spot on our dining room ceiling. Here's a quick recap: We just moved into the house and the spot was on the ceiling when we moved in, but not there at inspection. It is located under the floor of a bedroom about three feet away from the bathroom. We have used all plumbing in the bathroom many times and the spot has not changed size or appearance, felt wet, dripped, etc. I am thinking of just painting over it since I have no evidence of a leak, but I don't want to ignore a problem.

I caulked the bathtub floor edge because it was only caulked halfway across. I don't think there is a drainpipe running where the stain is, because I can hear water draining through the wall behind the tub (the opposite direction of the stain). The only thing I can think of that I haven't tested is the bathtub overflow. Is it possible to unscrew the decorative cover and look at it to see if anything is wrong with it before I actually overflow the tub? I'm running out of ideas. I'm also thinking about getting a moisture meter to see if there is moisture I can't feel tot the touch. Is this over the top or a good idea?

We have a home warranty, but I can only call a plumber if there is an actual leak. If there is a problem, I would like to figure it out before the warranty runs out.

DUDE! 07-09-2009 04:25 PM

You won't see much, when you take off the cover, you'll see the elbow at the top of the pipe which runs down. Try googling tub overflows, it will give you an idea what the plumbling looks like. If you are intent on finding this leak, while its still covered by warrenty, go for it. Just don't tell them you found it by looking for it. You could really get into it by cutting the water damaged section out and seeing what is up there. You will get to try many of your fixing skills.

ellie09 07-09-2009 09:05 PM

Thanks for the advice Dude! I am intent on finding a leak if there is one, but I am not convinced there is one. I don't think cutting out the ceiling is in the plan at this point. My husband would rather me drop the whole thing and paint over it since we have NO evidence of a leak. Would that be a terrible thing to do?

joeofpville 07-09-2009 09:18 PM

Waste and overflow
Feel the spot. If it is wet cut a hole big enough to look in and then have someone run water in the tub and you will see where the water is coming from. Use a flashlight if necessary. More than likely you have a drain leak at the waste and overflow drain. They do fail.

Leah Frances 07-09-2009 09:26 PM

Any chance you have a window A/C unit in the bedroom above the mystery leak?

ellie09 07-09-2009 11:01 PM

Thank you all for your help.

Joe of Pville--The ceiling is not wet. It never has been while we've owned the house. Everytime I use any plumbing in that bathroom, the first thing I do is feel the stain and all around it. There is never any wetness. What is your recommendation since it isn't wet?

Leah Francis--No, there isn't a window unit in the room above.

Is it possible this could have been a one-time thing? It's been almost three months and I have no evidence of a leak other than a ceiling stain from the former owners that must have occured in the final four weeks of their living in the house.

biggles 08-25-2012 04:12 AM

cold water pipe might of dripped some "swet"condensate running to the bathroom in the ceiling.... how big is the spot?

nsmahony 08-25-2012 04:42 AM

diagnosing a leak
Check if the water spot is wet, if it is, then I suggest that you cut a hole on the wet spot, maybe you can start from there to discover if there is really a leak, then you can call a plumber.

plumbing service

wassermeister 08-25-2012 04:35 PM

Drywall can absorb a lot of moisture before it feels damp/wet. If you are uncertain drill a small hole in your ceiling with a regular drill (1/4" tip). If the white powder is completely dry and creates a bunch of dust only - you are probably without a leak. If you find that there is not an instant powder but white stuff that sticks to your drill you have a leak.

TheEplumber 08-25-2012 05:29 PM

199 Attachment(s)
Isn't this thread a tad old? :whistling2:

wassermeister 08-25-2012 05:32 PM

You are right. It is ancient. I guess 5 years later he will have found out whether there was a leak or not. Haha.:laughing:

Alan 08-25-2012 08:50 PM


Originally Posted by TheEplumber (Post 996260)
Isn't this thread a tad old? :whistling2:

wassermeister 08-25-2012 10:11 PM

Good picture.

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