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timtrice 03-15-2012 08:58 PM

Water leak in bathroom; no known source
Recently noticed trim in bathroom and closet was peeling. Took apart and trim was definitely molded with some trim from bathroom water-logged. I took section of wall down. However, water line is fine - no leaks. We flushed the toilet numerous times. No leak.

The vent pipe runs down into the foundation between two pieces of 2x4. I did noticed discoloration from below on the 2x4's (all other framing seemed fine - no sign of moisture).

The vent pipe runs down from the roof, but across the attic for several feet before running down the wall to behind the toilet. So, despite some recent heavy rains, I don't think that was the cause.

I thought due to recent droughts perhaps our foundation shifted a little (I've seen other signs of this being true) and that may have cracked the vent pipe (allow recent rain waters to back up or leak). However, tonight I stuck a hose down the pipe for several minutes. Nothing.

I'm completely dumbfounded to the source. Neither my girlfriend or I can recall backing up the toilet. All water damage is within seven inches from the bottom of the sheet rock. I can't see any other reason why we're having this issue.

House is just over two years old but out of warranty for plumbing issues.

Any help would be tremendously appreciated!

Plumber101 03-15-2012 09:09 PM

Where is the toilet in realationship to the water damage

DannyT 03-15-2012 09:54 PM

is there a tub or shower in the room? or in the room next to that one?

joecaption 03-15-2012 10:14 PM

Look at the seal on the vent that goes through the roof from the out side while on the roof.
Very common for them to fail.

timtrice 03-16-2012 06:39 AM

There is a tub and shower in the bathroom but it is on the other side. The water lines/pipes for each of those aren't near the toilet (by at least 10-feet).

The trim directly behind the toilet had the greatest water absorption with most of the water being on the right side of the toilet. It's a small wall - 3' - but about half of the right side of the trim piece was heavily water-logged while the left side was rather dry but still damaged. Note that the water line is actually on the left-hand side of the toilet.

I did get on the roof last night and checked the seal but did not see anything of significance. I sprayed all around the vent pipe for about a five foot radius with a pressure nozzle (from a distance) for several minutes. There was no noticeable leak. I went into the attic and no noticeable water damage there, either.

timtrice 03-16-2012 06:47 AM

Also want to note some discoloration of the grout in the back right corner.

We've tried to recreate any toilet leak only by flushing constantly (literally as soon as it refills) for several minutes. We had also shut off that water line and turned it back on thinking maybe a rush of water was pushing through the line.

If the toilet is, in fact, leaking, what other ways are there to recreate that? I've had paper towels and toilet paper down the past couple of days and we've used it normally but no sign of water.

AllanJ 03-16-2012 10:17 PM

Check for condensation on the outside of the toilet tank, particularly after taking a shower.

Or does refill water splash around inside the tank after each flush, and some shoots up and comes out between the lid and the tank?

Frankly 03-17-2012 05:05 PM

Check Boot
On the roof, there should be a vent pipe boot that covers the vent pipe around the outside edges. This boot also has a flange on bottom at the shingle level. make sure the lower section is above the shingle so water drains on top of lower shingles, and the opposite for the upper section of boot flange, it should be below the shingle so the rain drains onto it from above. if you spray water on roof around your vent pipe, then check again for moisture.

crankcase 03-17-2012 05:43 PM

How much water damage? Long shot, but what about a drywall screw or nail into the side of a vent pipe? Pressure test on plumbing may have been done before drywall was hung and with a rain the water down the vent pipe may migrate from the wall. This happened in my last house where I finally figured out that I had a screw from hanging my kitchen cabinets in the vent pipe causing my problem.

jaydevries 03-17-2012 07:27 PM

if it is a 2 piece toilet check to see if it leaks between the tank and bowl when you flush also is the tank loose from the bowl. wiggle tank slightly back and forth and look at gap between tank and bowl and also the screws that hold the 2 together for water driping

cleveman 03-17-2012 10:00 PM

I'm on board with the guy who said toilet tank condensation.

You should put your profile in your location.

We've had weather in the 80's here for a week. Perhaps you can imagine what kind of condensation is going on.

The guy's post about condensation during hot showers is particularly insightful. Imagine two hot showers in the morning and at least two toilet flushes. Cold, cold water and a hot, humid atmosphere.

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