house plubming lieakage in third floor bathroom

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by smr, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. smr

    smr New Member

    Messages:
    15
    I have a 3 story 10 old townhouse in chicago. In third floor, When either the faucets in my sink or bathtub be turned on, I will hear a water drop like noise coming from the wall. In the second floor ceiling, I can see the water mark. I know there is a leak in the returnning water pipe inside the wall.

    I wonder what is the right procedure to ask a RIGHT plumber to come to see it? Ased one plumber 4 month ago, he said somewhere else have leak problem. Now with the noise louder and clearer, the leakage is easier to recogniced than ever. Do I need to hire someone first to open the second floor ceiling first? Is there anything like x-ray can see through the house and diagnose it?

    By the way, is this serious?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,153
    Location:
    New England
    Tear that section of ceiling out and look. If it continues, you risk serious structural damage. Mold, mildew, and wood rot thrive in dark, damp conditions. You may be able to tell where it is coming from from there, but be prepared to open up more. Once you've identified where the problem is, you can asses what needs to be done to fix it. First, though, I'd make sure that there was no visable leak from within the bathroom. The more common things are traps, especially if you use any drain cleaning chemicals - they can eat up the pipes. The part of the ceiling that shows water marks may be unstable and could fall down on its own - I'd move anything valuable out from under it! May never happen, just depends on the ceiling construction and how much water is there. Note, I'm not a pro...
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2004
  3. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    Messages:
    131
    BTW, water leaking from an upstairs bathroom onto the ceiling below, is a very common problem, even in homes that are fairly new. There are just so many places on the floor, tile surround and in the plumbing itself where a leak will occur. I usually decline a job like this unless the customer understands the difficulty of finding the leak and will agree to pay if I have to come back.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    It will often be possible to find and repair the leak from within the offending bathroom. Flashlight in hand, remove shower handles, showerhead trim, etc etc. and observe. Look outside tub or shower for leaks through curtains or doors. With luck you will discover a leak that can be repaired easily.

    As for the damaged ceiling, if it has been wet to the point of being soaked, prudence says just cut it out. This is the best way to ensure the area can dry out thoroughly.
  5. smr

    smr New Member

    Messages:
    15
    jadnashua,Bob's HandyGuy

    Thanks for the info. I am still waiting for the blueprints from the cityhall today. Hopely there is no delay at all. But with this kind of bureau, who knows what will happen.

    Bob's HandyGuy: When you have this kind of job, will you tear down the ceiling or the client will find a handyman to do it? Will the blueprints help you to determine the leakage place?
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,837
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    blueprints

    The blueprints will be absolutely worthless as far as finding a leak. All they will tell you is where the fixtures are located and you can tell that by looking into the room. You have to open the ceiling where the water spot is and then backtrack to the source of the leak.
  7. smr

    smr New Member

    Messages:
    15
    I am not familiar with the plumbing drawings. Does the blueprints tell the location of the fixtures or just have a illustration diagram?
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,153
    Location:
    New England
    They'll show the location, and size of the piping/drains/fixtures. They won't show where the elbow, joints, etc. are. There is usually some leaway in how the pipes are actually run, their exit points being the more critical item. In other words, they are usually an approximation of what you have in the house, they probably are not exact. Expect some diversions from the plans - don't blindly cut into something expecting it to be free of pipes/wires, etc. Alot happens during the actual build that never gets shown on updated blueprints.
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