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nikeman 12-19-2012 10:21 AM

Found a bad leak under my house
 
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I found a bad leak under my house yesterday that appears to have been leaking for a long time now. I was under the house a month or so ago but the leak must have been covered by the insulation. Now the insulation has fallen down and it looks like a nightmare. I had 2 plumbers come out and look at it yesterday and they both said basically the same thing. They will have to cut some sub flooring out just to get the pipe out. It's leaking at the master shower drain pipe

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Bondo 12-19-2012 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nikeman (Post 1076005)
I found a bad leak under my house yesterday that appears to have been leaking for a long time now. I was under the house a month or so ago but the leak must have been covered by the insulation. Now the insulation has fallen down and it looks like a nightmare. I had 2 plumbers come out and look at it yesterday and they both said basically the same thing. They will have to cut some sub flooring out just to get the pipe out. It's leaking at the master shower drain pipe

Ayuh,... So what's the question,..??

Ya gotta be able to get To something to fix it...

Sounds like it's either tear up the floor, or dig out the crawl space enough to get in there...

jagans 12-19-2012 11:26 AM

YA, so vats da qvestion????

nikeman 12-19-2012 11:58 AM

Sorry. The crawl space is plenty big enough. I am 6' and can almost stand up under the leak. Question is, what's the worse case scenario here? It's right under a fiberglass shower and the guys coming to work on it said they will use a sawsall and then a chisel when it gets close to the shower so they won't tear that up and cause more expenses. I know there's a away to tell what wood needs to go by poking it with a nail or something but what are the measurements that determine if the wood needs to go? It's just about a4 or 5' section of one support joist that's soaked and covered in Mold/mushrooms and some weird looking bugs. Maybe sistering that section would be good since its the first joist from the wall? I just want some idea of what's going to happen to my house right at Christmas time because of this stupid leak that was supposed to have been fixed 2 years ago but was obviously rigged to not leak long enough for me to close on the house!!

nikeman 12-19-2012 12:01 PM

The biggest problem seems to be how they drilled the hole for that pipe when they built the house. The drilled threw about a quarter of the floor joist and made the hole just big enough to fit the pipe so now its impossible to fix without tearing stuff up. Plumbers said it should have been an easy fix if the builders would have boxed out an area where they drilled the hole for the drain.

Very frustrating!

jagans 12-19-2012 12:32 PM

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You pictures are rough, but it looks like what I would consider to be a situation where a bad condition existed before you bought the house, and they sold it to you unawares. I see foam up there, where somebody tried to stop a leak.

This would be my approach:

1. Put a test plug in the drain pipe. The pipe only.
2. Fill just the drain well with water from a glass. Observe. No Leak?
3. Fill just the pan with water. Observe. No leak?

You see where I am going with this? You work from the bottom up till you find out what is actually leaking. You could have a leak behind the fixture that is running down behind the wall to the floor and it is coming out where there is a hole in the floor. You need to use logical deductive reasoning.

By Using a sawsall on the floor, these guys stand a good chance of punching through the pan. I would use a multi-tool with a half-moon blade. on the floor below the pan.

TheEplumber 12-19-2012 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nikeman (Post 1076064)
The biggest problem seems to be how they drilled the hole for that pipe when they built the house. The drilled threw about a quarter of the floor joist and made the hole just big enough to fit the pipe so now its impossible to fix without tearing stuff up. Plumbers said it should have been an easy fix if the builders would have boxed out an area where they drilled the hole for the drain.

Very frustrating!

Better late then never- get in there with a sawzall and cut back the damaged joist, sister the joist on each side and box out the drain. You shouldn't leave the damaged joist there.
Is the leak at the drain itself or the pipe?

jagans 12-19-2012 02:03 PM

Thats what remains to be seen, the origin of the leak. If he does what I say, work from the outlet up he can find out. It wont hurt to remove the bad stuff so he can see what hes got though. He should jack that joist on each side, put in a header across joists on each side, and open up under the pan, I agree.

If it matters :laughing:

nikeman 12-19-2012 11:28 PM

Both plumbers seem to know the source of the leak and i think it's from a gap between the pipe and where it meets the shower floor. Not 100% on that but I do know both plumbers saw the source pretty quickly. They just can't get to it easily to fix it the right way. I have one of those oscillating tools that I might see if they want to use instead if the sawsall.

ddawg16 12-20-2012 07:06 AM

Is the PVC your drain or the water pipe?

Is there any rear access to the wall?

(Makes me glad I did copper for all of my water pipes)

jagans 12-20-2012 07:47 AM

Post a picture of the shower pan, and a close up of the drain from the top.

nikeman 12-21-2012 08:23 AM

What is the shower pan? Is that the water trap under the house?

Looks like its all PVC which one plumber said wasn't a good idea either for a not so old house.

jagans 12-21-2012 08:52 AM

In many cases there is a fiberglass shower pan at the bottom of your shower stall. There is a metal well into which a rubber doughnut is pressed around the pipe, in your case DWV PVC. If your shwer pan was made of lead, or some type of membrane, your drain has to have a flanged top and a compression ring to seal the lead or the membrane. Thats why I asked fot a closeup picture from the top. Pictures really help those trying to help you. You posted one picture of what appears to be the drain outlet from your shower pan. There is no trap shown here, where there should be one, but maybe they installed a running trap? We need pictures. One thing is for sure, whoever did this work is questionable at best. I gave you leak test instructions above, did you ever try them? This pan could be leaking from anywhere, you have to start at the lowest point and work your way up.

nikeman 12-21-2012 11:31 AM

Plumbers just finished up and were able to cut out the old pipe and put in a new one. He said that with my kind of shower the floor tends to drop with weight just a little and it pulls the drain away from the pipe. My shower did not have anything to compensate for this so he put a rubber bumper or something between the 2. He explained it and it made since to me. He also said that the wood didn't seem to be to rotted but wants to let it all dry out good so it will be easier to tell. It appears to not have been as bad as everyone thought. I'm going to put a fan down there for a while to help it dry.

He also said to go under there while my wife is in the shower to look for leaks and to give him a call if it happens to still leak with weight in the shower.

EDIT: Just saw your post above and it seems we are talking about the same thing. Lol. I didn't know the names for everything though.

nikeman 12-21-2012 11:36 AM

Also, there is a trap. It's just beyond what you can see in the picture.
Thanks for all the replies. That's why I love these forums! I will keep you posted if it still leaks


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