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Old 11-19-2011, 02:01 PM   #1
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


Hi Everyone,

I am working in my attic on an insulation project and I came across this vent pipe. It appears to be dripping, slowly, but dripping none the less. This vent is for an upstairs bathroom and it comes in from the old attic (to the right in the photo) and goes out and up to the roof (to the left).

It seems to be dripping where the PCV pipe meets the PVC joint.



What would be the best way to fix this? it is in a very tight spot, so I would prefer to slap something on it instead of replacing the PVC. However I want to do the correct thing since I will be covering the pipe in cellulose insulation.

Thanks much!
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:39 PM   #2
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


That should slope upwards to the roof vent!

Can you look down into the pipe from the roof with a flashlight?

I'll bet it is filled with water! (Which would not happen is if was sloping so water would drain...)

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Old 11-19-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


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That should slope upwards to the roof vent!

Can you look down into the pipe from the roof with a flashlight?

I'll bet it is filled with water! (Which would not happen is if was sloping so water would drain...)

I will have to see about getting on to the roof, but the pipe looks more tilted in the picture. I checked it out with a level, it is not sloping upwards, but it is just barely sloping downwards. Should I just try to patch the PVC with something?
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #4
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


cold outside air infultrating inside the pipe is picking up the attic air around the pipe and condensating...
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:59 PM   #5
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


It should not leak. You should investigate if it is filled with water first and if so why. If it is level or slightly sloping up to the roof, then rain water getting into the vent should drain out and it should not be leaking when not raining! If it is clogged, you may need to snake it.

I would take a peek on the other side of that old roof and see if there is plenty of room to cut out a section lower than that.

And see if that top section was "forced" onto the pipe coming out of the old roof. Notice the strap holding it down! That looks like it is there to hold it down onto that pipe coming out of the old roof. Probably because it is not a proper fit!

Then maybe use a sawsall and cut a big oval out of the old roof. Do not cut any supporting beams or rafters. But make a big oval hole going down. Then you can easily cut the pipe lower in the old area and join it up with the new vent pipe.

Then cut the PVC lower down and properly connect it to the vent so no pressure is on any joints and is sloping downward.

Go to the store and you will see they have many different angles of PVC. Some are just slight angles. But with a combination of those and cutting to a correct height on the other side, you can get a proper fit which does not "force" one section onto the other. They would stay that way without a strap to hold it down.

Once things are that way, then glue the new pieces together.

Also I would stick a "T" (sideways T that is) where it meets the old pipe below the old roof. And get a cap for that. Then you have an easy cleanout if it is difficult to get onto the roof.

If it looks like you would have trouble doing that when looking at the other side, post a picture if you can.

Last edited by Billy_Bob; 11-19-2011 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:13 PM   #6
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


That pipe is way wrong---it is a trap and filled with water---and no longer working as a vent===

Unless that picture is very distorted---

You must be able to shove a hose into the vent from outside and have it drain completely dry---
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:46 PM   #7
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


I put a level on the pipe, closer to the roof and it is only running downward a little bit.



I don't think it is enough to completely block the drain. And the leak is at the high point of the run, so I don't think water would pool here. I have rotated this picture to look a bit closer to reality. The surface where you see the recessed lights is actually the top of a cathedral ceiling. It is sloped upwards.



Green line represents the angle I could follow if I had to cut the pipe.

I would not be able to get to the area where it penetrates the roof. So I could only cut it on the horizontal run, and then anywhere along the other side of the attic. Should I still go for it?

This is what it looks like from the "other attic." I can lower it if needed to fix the angle.

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Old 11-26-2011, 03:16 AM   #8
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


"the level is only running downward a little bit" --------- WTF , it's a half a bubble on a six inch level.
Three feet away it's going to be 2 inches higher than it should.
Cut that strap and I'll bet it springs up !!
I'll bet if you shake that pipe you will hear the water in it.

You can patch if you want, but that is just a band aid.
It is not fixing the problem.

Last edited by jammin06; 11-26-2011 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:48 AM   #9
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


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"the level is only running downward a little bit" --------- WTF , it's a half a bubble on a six inch level.
Nicely...well not so nicely put but your point should be taken.

Hey Ohmzoned: does it leak all the time or only when it rains?
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:08 AM   #10
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


Plenty of room on the other side!

So you can saw down a big oval hole around and below where that pipe goes through the old roof. Then cut the pipe near where the vent goes through the new roof and cut lower on the inside of the old roof.

Then find pieces to reconnect so it then slopes down. And I would stick a T and plugged cleanout on the old roof side. Then you can snake going straight down and not need to get on the roof.

Note you can buy extra plumbing parts, then return what is not needed. So you can get several different angles. Then haul them up there and try fitting different pieces together. Then return what you don't need.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:08 PM   #11
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


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Nicely...well not so nicely put but your point should be taken. Hey Ohmzoned: does it leak all the time or only when it rains?
It is starting to seem more like it is leaking all of the time. It isn't full on "leaking" but there is a drop of water that seems to always be around the rim.

I am going to just cut and lower the pipe (with a t-trap). I am having a leak on the roof repaired so I will just make sure it is nice and caulked from the roof. I think taking the pressure off of the vent and redoing the pipe may just be the best way.

Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:48 PM   #12
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


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I am having a leak on the roof repaired so I will just make sure it is nice and caulked from the roof
"Caulking" is not the correct way to seal the passage of the vent stack through the roof, and will likely end up leaking.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:52 PM   #13
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


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"Caulking" is not the correct way to seal the passage of the vent stack through the roof, and will likely end up leaking.
Right - I didn't mean actually caulking. I figure they would have to check the flashing and rubber boot around the vent stack. Then use the correct materials to seal it up even more... roofing tar?

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:09 PM   #14
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


I my experience, the most durable vent stack boot is the lead type, which turns down into the the vent at the top. In my Chicago climate, the "rubber boot" types are good for 5-7 years max
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:35 PM   #15
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Vent pipe is leaking in attic


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I my experience, the most durable vent stack boot is the lead type, which turns down into the the vent at the top. In my Chicago climate, the "rubber boot" types are good for 5-7 years max
I will make sure that there is a proper boot up there - maybe lead if I can find it. I am in Philadelphia, so we get similar weather which lately means 20+ inches of snow at a time

What does the actual flashing get adhered with? If I already have a rubber boot (which I think they just replaced this year), what can I use to seal it up until I can replace it when I redo the roof (thinking 2-3 years)?

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