Dye For Finding A Leak? - Plumbing - DIY Home Improvement | DIYChatroom

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-22-2010, 08:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 228
Rewards Points: 184

Dye for finding a leak?

I have a leak someone in 1 of two bathrooms, either in the sinks, toilets, or bathtubs, is there any dye I can use to find out which one is leaking?


abefroman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2010, 03:04 AM   #2
Long-Time DIYer
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
Posts: 1,460
Rewards Points: 500

Yep. It called food coloring. Do not use anything that will stain your fixtures.
Good luck!


Mike Swearingen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2010, 06:19 AM   #3
Chicago, IL
Michael Thomas's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,037
Rewards Points: 500

Originally Posted by abefroman View Post
I have a leak someone in 1 of two bathrooms, either in the sinks, toilets, or bathtubs, is there any dye I can use to find out which one is leaking?
Note that if the leak is in a drain line, and it's downstream from multiple fixtures, your results may be misleading unless you test least two upstream fixtures - for example your dye test might indicate a given fixture was leaking, but also have would give a "positive" result from any fixture upstream of the leak.

Also, you may be tempted to use the result to "locate" the leak source based on where it becomes apparent - this information can be useful as long as you keep in mind that it's common for drain plumbing leaks to manifest at finished surfaces at a considerable distance from the source, here's a example from a recent leak investigation:

where water from a leaking roof drain traveled around 10 feet – including past the 2x4” support, before it dripped down onto the ceiling below, traveled along a drywall seam, and became visually apparent on the ceiling two truss cavities over from the drain line, at the opening nearest the center of the room:

so your dye test could easily be misleading as to the source of your leak if you depend on the visible leak "location" to narrow down the source, which is an easy mistake to make as it's tempting to identify a "source" which "seem to make sense" if you assume a closer but incorrect source for a leak.


You may have done this already, but if not a simple first step in diagnosing such leaks is to take each toilet bowel between your knees and attempt to rock it sideways and front-to-back, and then attempt to pivot it side-to-side; if you find one that's loose on the floor, that's you likely culprit.

Another possible diagnostic step, if it's a fairly active leak, is to run the fixtures in only one bathroom for a few minuets, and observe the results. If it's a slower leak, don't use one for a day or two.

I’m paid to be suspicious…
Home Inspections, Infrared (Thermal Imaging) Leak Identification and Inspection Services, Roof, Attic, Building, Basement and Foundation Moisture Intrusion and Water Leak Inspections, Troubled Building Consultations - Serving Chicago and Suburbs http://paragoninspects.com/
Michael Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Freon Leak captainron19 HVAC 3 04-16-2010 04:30 PM
Shower leak (what else) Old home, new owner... Rubbertree Plumbing 8 09-25-2009 01:26 PM
Water Leak Detection AppleMac*Fit Plumbing 16 12-29-2008 06:30 AM
Leak in incoming supply line under slab playstationdork Plumbing 13 08-05-2008 08:18 AM
Cathedral Ceiling - mystery roof leak kamadus Roofing/Siding 4 05-06-2008 01:18 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1