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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Hi. Ok - here it goes…I opened up the ceiling to find a million wires, tubes, pipes. At first made quick assessment that it was coming from the only black foam covered pipe…but then ran the water and saw drips coming from above. It’s so jam packed, can’t fully/easily expose the pipe I think it’s coming from. I believe it’s the large white PVC 3” pipe that’s at the top. I saw a few drops and thought it was from the seam/joint but tried to squeeze my hand up there and I feel moisture from on top and also feel a “fork” In the pipe where I think it branches off.

i believe this pipe feed the kitchen.

Any tips on next steps or am I way in over my head and need to pay to get a professional.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You’re not over your head ... you just have difficult access. Start by removing a bigger area of drywall on the bottom and side.
Love the vote of confidence. Thought to get on top by cutting through the side wall, only to discover it’s completely blocked by plywood sheet. So only access is from under. Will keep cutting away and try to get more access.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You sure cutting into & removing all that plywood won’t compromise the structure of the house? (Sorry - have to ask. These are the things I think about!)

…and I only have a reciprocating saw, or jigsaw. Are either of these OK? I’m so afraid of accidentally cutting through one of those other wires, tubes…
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't think there's any plywood on the bottom of the chase.
Yes. Only plywood on the side. Had trouble understanding Eddie’s drawing but I think he’s spot on.
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after cutting through the plywood, does it need to be replaced after the leak is fixed and when closing the wall back up?

I got the phone up inside to try to see more. This is that branch from that main pipe I mentioned.

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
What room is on the oher side of that wall?
Is it a finished room?
I am wondering if it might not be better to work on that pipe from the other side of the wall?
It’s a finished basement and this is the other side of the wall. Not sure easier from the other side bc of that other soffit - not sure if there’s an AC vent duct?
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And yes it’s strange there’s a leak but I have a feeling there was an old leak there that stopped for a while (as in 1-2yrs) bc I did notice some drywall staining a while back. We had some major floor renovation on the 1st floor that required jackhammering the subfloor. I wonder if all that vibration is the reason any compromised joint may have gotten worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
You guys have all been so amazing and helpful. Love learning from you all! I think I’m at the critical point of “way in over my head” and might have to call in a pro. Ugh - any educated guesses on estimated cost to fix this?

:cautious:
Also, not sure if related or not but another problem. This morning came to make my iced coffee and the entire ice bin was a solid block of ice. I got it out and see water is dripping into the bucket & freezing and the cubes are not being made and dripping in. The leaking pipe, I believe is connected into the kitchen…is there any possibility the pipe problem is now causing Thai freezer ice maker problem or is this just coincidence?
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Ok guys. You’re giving me some hope & confidence to try but I’m a bit nervous. But you really sure a damsel in distress can manage this? I want to try but a little scared.

about the side soffit plywood. Once I cut into it will it have to be replaced after or Ok to leave when closing the wall back up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
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Oh man - I really struggled with cutting through that wood bc I was so afraid of cutting into pipes and such behind and the jigsaw that I had was difficult to maneuver into that space. Combo of drilling holes around, using jigsaw where I could manage, a Dremel, and a hammer - here’s the result. I know. It’s ugly (don’t laugh) but gave me closer access.

So yes, it’s definitely a leak at the joint/connectors at the branch. Still difficult it to access but here it is. I’m guessing it’s what I thought. Over the years, was already compromised and during the jackhammering above, it just loosened it more.

OK. So now for the fix. What do I do? To completely remove the pipes and replace with new pieces and reconnect, it’s going to be tough bc of the access. Any simple fixes through the tight access?
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Thanks @Nealtw for staying with me on this. I watched those videos - that string thing is crazy!

ok. Sorry for the questions but I’m confused. Is this where I need to make the cuts?
then-using that special socket saver tool, I would need to use to clean out The blue circled sides? And then I’m using the black couplings to re-attach at the yellow lines?

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Why cut out a perfectly good fitting?
ok. So I see there’s a debate about how much to cut out. @TheEplumber are you suggesting centralizing the fix just in the leak pipe? So my pic from post #46 above?

and Neal, I think you’re suggesting cutting out the entire branch piece + the short leak pipe & fittings. I got a better photo.
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also after cutting a little more, not sure how much more access it’ll give me but I was thinking about cutting through the ceiling. I did my best to feel up around there and think it’s open just above the ceiling there. The only problem is that the area is still Blocked by 2x4s which is just next to the main leak location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Even better is epoxy putty
Thanks Dave and Navane. I actually missed these posts and came back to give an update/pose another question. I didn’t feel confident cutting the pipe myself so we called a plumber (someone we don’t know) who agreed to do the fix for $300 and then he came down to $200 after we opened the wall ourselves. I assumed he would replace the pipes but he walked in with just glue cans. I asked if he needed a ladder or any other supplies bc I found it odd and he said no. That’s when I realized all he was going to do was put cement around it. I was a bit appalled that he would charge that much just to brush some glue onto the seam. I have no idea if you professionals feel that’s a fair charge or not, but I felt a bit had.

Anyhow, so here I was about to ask if I could just try to brush on a new layer of cement and whether it would work. Sounds like based on the last few posts, at least worth a try. I’ll do my best to “dry” out the drain by not using for a day. Thank you very much for your suggestions and guidance!!!

I guess I’ll skip the PVC cement we already have and go buy some epoxy putty and try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Product Liquid Font Material property Fluid

Are all epoxy putty’s generally the same? Is this product Ok? I noticed there are ones specifically that say “plumbing” In the name but aren’t a highly rated as this one
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Thanks Navane. Already have that so I guess I’ll try it once I can limit water usage as much as possible. Any tips on what to use/how to best clean/prep the dirty pipes? I’ve read sandpaper and acetone (read somewhere alcohol is not recommended although many assume it’s good to use)
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
So you paid him for glue?
No, we agreed to disagree that it didn’t seem right that he didn’t explicitly state that was his fix approach was fair, as I sent him many pics and felt it was assumed the repair we expected by going to a professional was cutting and replacing the pipes where the problem was.

with that said @romeojk27 this is why I came back here asking for additional advice bc we will tackle the gluing ourselves. Will have to wait until after the weekend to maximize the driest pipe as possible. I think going to just go with the purple stuff & cement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
Hey all. So still living with this issue. Finally got around to trying to fix this by adding more purple + cement. Cut into the ceiling and have better access but of course the exact spot is right next to the frame studs - so any which way, there is no easy & direct access.

cleaned the area with acetone and of course now the leak is worse and so having difficulty with it being fully dry. I thought this was a good time bc minimal water has been used through these pipes, so I thought but there is a constant drip (like 1 every minute now). I still cleaned it up and put a coating of purple and then cement, but the water keeps dripping through so I’m assuming this application won’t properly dry to seal.

the bad joint is on the upper connection…I thought it was the lower. But with the access from above now, it’s definitely the upper. At this point, do I call back the plumber? (Haha! Not the $200 guy for cement). Or do you think I can do this?
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