Plumbing/water heater- spots recently on ceiling downstairs, 2 story house. Condensation??? New wate

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Peterac78

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Plumbing/water heater- spots recently on ceiling downstairs, 2 story house. Condensation??? New water heater.

Live in home now for 20 years but could happen anywhere. Got a new water heater in September on 2nd floor in a tiny closet. In that closet is a metal aluminum vent and also a white stack vent(?) that goes down to 1st floor and also up into attic and through roof. Noticed 1 month after new water heater a small spot on Living Room ceiling. Drywall was fairly dry. Put bleach on it, gone. Happened a few weeks later-bleach, gone. Hmmmm. Could there be a leak? Did not find one anywhere in other bathrooms and that area with water heater. Could white round plastic stack vent in attic be leaking from roof when it rained--Very dry. Wrapped newspaper around it-3 weeks later still dry. Ok, is there any water in closet(2nd floor) where water heater (on floor, pipes, walls)? Nope. BUT in closet is a hole where you can see a large white round PVC stack vent, it has a plug that screws out for clean out. Opened it up. Poured water down in it--water flowed fine, no stain on ceiling below. Double Hmm. Now thinking it could be a decent amount of CONDENSATION forming in the water heater closet on the white stack vent pipe since it is next to water heater in HEATED house and vents to COLD outside (hot and cold air mixing) Put paper towels around stack vent... Waited overnight-- decent amount of water on towels had been absorbed.. So stack vent condensation may be it.
The question is perhaps the new water heater (even though slightly lower BTU than prior one) not as insulated as well as prior one, perhaps strange weather, more condensation ? How solve-will weather as it gets colder solve it? Wrapping blanket around water heater may or may not not make a difference since vent is still in house where it is warm and exits outside roof.... Don't know. Could ripping out a little drywall in closet and wrapping the vent and pushing some sort of round wrapping down and up stack vent help? But may not be possible since vent may also be strapped to wood some where or some impediment.
Interesting that the only variable is the new water heater and perhaps weather. But in 20 years never had a spot on ceiling....
Thoughts? , Thank you Peter
 

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Reach4

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1. electric or gas?
2. Where does the output of the temperature and pressure relieve valve (T&P) go?
3. Have you ever tested the T&P valve by lifting the lever?
 

Peterac78

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1. electric or gas?
2. Where does the output of the temperature and pressure relieve valve (T&P) go?
3. Have you ever tested the T&P valve by lifting the lever?
Gas, tested T&P, outlet for T&P goes into catch pan water heater sits in. That is dry as can be. Water heater not leaking. It is vented through metal in top and into attic and up through roof. The water is in a small closet upstairs. In closet us also stack valve or whatever large PVC pipe that connects to various pipes for air flow I assume. That goes from rooftop to under house to waste drain. I believe the heat of water heater in closet with vent stack (that vents downstairs, upstairs and up into attic and out roof) as seen in pic is collecting condensation
Thanks
 

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Sarg

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I would suspect condensation because of a personal experience we had several years ago.
Our kitchen had a stove vent through the roof of metal material that went through the cold space between the ceiling and roof. ( single story)
And then one day I noticed the roof looked like it was buckling.
We ended up replacing the warped plywood and a large area of shingles. We ripped out the metal piping that caused the moisture and rot.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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The DWV stack is plastic.. it seems unlikely to me it would form condensation since plastic is not much good at conducting. Unless the pipe were conveying roof drain water. Creating a vapor barrier between the warm air and that clean out plug should prevent any condensation if that is where its coming from.

The T&P from the water heater should not be terminating in the pan. It really needs to be piped outside or to an appropriate indirect drain.
 
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