basement bathroom leaking please help

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by lhohberger1, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. lhohberger1

    lhohberger1 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    i would like so help on how to repair the celing of my bathroom in my basement. i belive the leak is either from my toilet or shower up stairs. the ceiling is wet i would say 2-3ft wide and i sure im going to have a mold problem too. any help or advice would be nice, money is also an issue thats why i havent called a plumber.




    lhohberger,
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    If the ceiling is wet, lets start with the fact that the drywall needs to come out. If the leak magically went away, and the ceiling wasn't too wet, you could try to get enough coats of stain killer on there to cover, and hope no mold is growing inside. SO, let's just forget that part, and taking down the drywall is maybe the quickest way to find where the water is coming from. You mentioned toilet or shower, and that is a broad area. In the shower, we have the hot and cold, and leaks in the valves could possibly be fixed without tearing out the ceiling, if you do the detective work by removing the trim for inspection. If the drain is leaking, that will likely need to be fixed from below. If the toilet is leaking such as the wax ring, you can fix it by pulling the toilet and replacing the ring. But the quickest way to see what's leaking is from below.SO. There is little downside to opening up the ceiling. Drywall repair is fairly easy and inexpensive. The view may be up inside may be priceless in terms of locating the leak and possibly finding a way to fix this yourself.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2006
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I can't add much to Jimbo's reply, but just to restate the obvious. You can't fix a leak until you can see it and know what it is. Cut as much ceiling out as necessary to not only access is the space and have room to work, but also to get rid of all of the drywall that has gotten wet. It's no more work to fit and tape a large patch than a small one. Until you get the ceiling open, it's impossible to say whether or not you will need a professional to repair the problem. When cutting out the drywall, I would suggest you cut it from joist to joist. When it's time to patch, scab 2x2s on the joists to attach the patch. I use screws for this kind of work because it's easier to keep the 2x2s even with the joists, and because swinging a hammer in a tight area to drive a nail is sometimes very difficult.
  4. coach606

    coach606 New Member

    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Illinois
    I've been there...

    First off, it's a good idea to drill a hole in the ceiling when you spot a leak and let the water drip out rather than spread all over your ceiling. Since you're past that point now, keep it in mind for the future.

    I have nothing to add except to say that you will need a drywall saw to cut out the drywall. If you can't cut it out as described before, leaving a space over the joists to screw in a new piece, you can buy little clips that hold the drywall in place when you repair it.

    Also, replacing the wax ring on a toilet is pretty easy. Most plumbing fix it books have great pictures and great step by steps. Plumbers charge up to $150 or more and you should be able to handle it no problem with a few simple instructions.

    My bet is that you have some kind of leak in the drain system. I've rarely had a sudden leak in hot or cold supply. But you never know. Cut out the drywall and take a look with a flashlight. Unfortunately, if there's a leaky drain pipe that needs replacing it can cost quite a bit. You can do it yourself, but it'll take an adventurous spirit for someone as new to plumbing as yourself, and if it's old cast iron, you may really want a pro.

    Good luck. Report back. By the way, I'm not a pro.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    A drywall saw would be nice if you have access to one, but for one job a box opener will work just fine. Just cut it flush to the joist the scab the 2x2 on and that all you need to do to provide a solid base for the patch. You can fool around trying to split the drywall down the center of the joist, then toe nail into that, but that's really a PITA. Main thing to do now is get the ceiling open and figure out what's happening.
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