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bathroom plumbing question

mdurette

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Ugh....I noticed a small stain in in my kitchen ceiling directly above my bathroom. Water leak somewhere under the floor......so I stopped using the shower, assuming it was that as a few weeks ago I could hear drips in kitchen when my husband was in the shower. But, now the stains keep coming all over the kitchen ceiling. Today we took showers in my kids bathroom (adjacent to ours) and the water stains grew.

Trying to pin-point where they could be coming from.

My question right now is: bathrooms have drains for shower, bath, sink and toilet. Do they all come together in the floor under the individual bathroom or maybe even combine both onto one? Thinking it is not an individual drain that is causing the issue, but more the main drain for all bathrooms. I'm hoping not because toilet water and shower water damage are two different things.
 
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Passepartout

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Most likely the 'grey water' (sink/shower) all combine into one (probably) 2" drain line. The toilets (called 'black water') would enter the flow further down the drain line. Probably in a wall. I'd think you (or a contractor) will open up the ceiling of the kitchen below the damage, effect the repair, then refinish the kitchen ceiling.

Jim
 

dioxide45

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I suspect both showers grey water lines merge somewhere in the ceiling/floor and there is an obvious leak either where they merge or after the merge (since both showers cause the stain to grow). Time to rip open the ceiling or call someone to do it and inspect.
 

JohnB3

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Ugh....I noticed a small stain in in my kitchen ceiling directly above my bathroom. Water leak somewhere under the floor......so I stopped using the shower, assuming it was that as a few weeks ago I could hear drips in kitchen when my husband was in the shower. But, now the stains keep coming all over the kitchen ceiling. Today we took showers in my kids bathroom (adjacent to ours) and the water stains grew.

Trying to pin-point where they could be coming from.

My question right now is: bathrooms have drains for shower, bath, sink and toilet. Do they all come together in the floor under the individual bathroom or maybe even combine both onto one? Thinking it is not an individual drain that is causing the issue, but more the main drain for all bathrooms. I'm hoping not because toilet water and shower water damage are two different things.
The other thing to check is any cabinets under sinks. Water can travel a bit before it pools and shows up on the floor below. sinks leak more other than other fixtures You can sometime find moisture in the cabinet as a clue to where the problem is. Plumbing tends to be stacked to minimize the number of vents thru the roof


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

tompalm

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When you start taking drywall off, just go ahead and take out a large section. Once you pay someone to replace it, it doesn’t cost much more to do a big piece Vs a small piece. So look at everything while you are going through the process and make sure you found all the leaks.
 

pedro47

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Do you have a toilet in your bathroom? might be the wax mold seal needs to be replace
Also check those supply lines under your cabinet.
 
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moonstone

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Do you have a toilet in your bathroom? might be the wax mold needs to be replace
Also check those supply lines under your cabinet.
Yes, for sure, it could be the wax seal under the toilet. Less than a year after DS moved into his current house he saw water marks on the hall ceiling right under our DGD's bathroom. He investigated and found a bit of water on the floor behind the toilet. He thought the toilet might be leaking where the tank joins the bowl but when he removed the toilet he discovered the very old wax mold seal had dried out, was crumbling and leaking! He ended up gutting the whole bathroom as the water had been leaking under the vinyl floor and the floor boards and joists were moldy and rotten. What he thought would be an hours work installing a new toilet turned into a 4 week total renovation from the studs out. It looks really nice now!

~Diane
 

sue1947

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What he thought would be an hours work installing a new toilet turned into a 4 week total renovation from the studs out. It looks really nice now!

~Diane
The story of home ownership. The project you thought would take maybe an afternoon turns into multiple days/weeks and always a new tool that you don't have and will only be used that once....
 

easyrider

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Ugh....I noticed a small stain in in my kitchen ceiling directly above my bathroom. Water leak somewhere under the floor......so I stopped using the shower, assuming it was that as a few weeks ago I could hear drips in kitchen when my husband was in the shower. But, now the stains keep coming all over the kitchen ceiling. Today we took showers in my kids bathroom (adjacent to ours) and the water stains grew.

Trying to pin-point where they could be coming from.

My question right now is: bathrooms have drains for shower, bath, sink and toilet. Do they all come together in the floor under the individual bathroom or maybe even combine both onto one? Thinking it is not an individual drain that is causing the issue, but more the main drain for all bathrooms. I'm hoping not because toilet water and shower water damage are two different things.
Usually the leaks on a bath tub are at the facet and shower head. Look here first. A very common leak is the tub drain over flow which can leak when the water level goes to that level. Both of these are easy fixes.

Unless the home is very old and has metal drain pipes there is no concern for rusted out drains.

If the home has galvanized steel pipes there could be a rusted out pin hole leak. These begin as a small drip.

If the home has copper pipe there could be a pinhole caused by a bad solder or dielectric problem. These begin as a small drip.

Water will find a low point to drip onto the ceiling. The leak could be somewhere beside directly above the wet spot.

Today I tore out a wall behind a bathtub to get to a small leak. As soon as I barely touched this leak it was a full on uncontrolled spray. I was able to turn the water off at the meter very quickly while the owner put his finger over the hole in the pipe. It was galvanic corrosion as someone has connected copper to this galvanized pipe on an older repair. The pipe was also bonded to a ground. I used pex to fix it. Fun day.

Bill
 

cp73

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Is this the first leak you have experienced? How old are the pipes? If its a pin hole leak in a supply pipe you might consider repining the entire house. But I wouldn't jump to that unless you have had a few leaks. If you do talk with a repipe specialist. Someone whose entire business is just re pipping. Not a regular plumber they will charge too much and not as experienced.
 

mdurette

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Thanks all for your replies. The house is 20 years old and the pipes are all PVC (I think that is what you call those white plastic pipes). I have checked for moisture around both toilets, both sinks and have found nothing obvious. I can pinpoint that when my daughters shower was used (in her tub) that the water stains in the kitchen ceiling grew larger and new ones were formed. So, I can conclude at least her shower drain is involved. Over the last 4 days the water staining has grown from one spot to multiple spots that span a section about 15 feet by 3 feet in the kitchen ceiling. The strange things is the original stains have stayed the same size......all the new ones are in different locations. I'm hoping to hear from the contractor today.

If he doesn't I'm contemplating doing a test with my shower to confirm leakage there too. At this point...I'm kinda thinking the damage is done, what's a bit more water. I know that doesn't make sense.....but it would be really nice to know if I had a shower in the house we could use vs having to find a place to shower during this time when most of the people I know are not that keen on letting others in their house due to Covid.
 

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Trying to recreate a leak is not a good idea. As another poster said, the leak and the stain may be in different places. The water can travel outside along a pipe for quite a distance. IMHO, you'll need to take out the ceiling, have a plumber find the leak, and then reinstall the ceiling. There are no shortcuts. A restoration contractor can do this for you.

Make a claim with your homeowner's insurance. They may cut a check on their adjuster's estimate or work directly with your contractor (like an auto claim). Hire your own restoration specialist or ask the adjuster for a referral. A few years ago, part of our house flooded from running toilet. Allstate paid our restoration contractor directly. It came to $12K+ (for drying, carpeting, tile, a vanity, and electrical costs). The contractor waived the deductible and took only Allstate's check.

One of my brothers had a problem with pipes disintegrating under his house. His homeowner's insurance paid to replace the pipes.

.
 
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Big Matt

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Water that drips slowly moves downhill to the lowest place before dripping. When you take down the drywall see if you have mold. You need to fix that regardless. This isn't going to fix itself. It could be as simple as a small crack around a drain pan or as bad as a leak behind tile into the wall. I would not hire a plumber for this. Just find a handyman or start the inspection yourself. You may need to repair pipes, but you don't need a plumber for that. Of course if you know a plumber who could come check it out for free, you should do that.
 

easyrider

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So, I can conclude at least her shower drain is involved.
Maybe. It sounds like your house is plumbed with pex pipe. While the clamp fittings work well the push on fittings like shark bite fail constantly when misaligned.

The drains are probably asb pipe. These rarely have problems. The connection of the abs to the tub is a compression nut. These compression nuts sometimes are not tightened well because many people just hand tighten them because they don't have the proper tool to reach them. These hand tight connections work but as the pipe grimes up and clogs, the clogs cause pressure and the unclogging action via plunger or cable can cause them to separate or loosen.

I always look at the faucet and shower head first. Facet packing failure can cause water to leak behind the tub wall. The shower head pipe is often the problem as well.

Call a restoration contractor and let them deal with the insurance company and damages.

Bill
 
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isisdave

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Don't forget an easy test: run the tub or shower into a 5-gallon bucket. If you still get water downstairs, it's the supply line. If you don't, it's probably a drain.

I had a shower valve behind tile that leaked only when running.
 

mdurette

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Thanks all - I called in the GC that was working on a quote for a bathroom remodel (assuming it was a small leak at the time, I though why not) then realized small leak it certainly was not. He brought along a plumber. At this point the plumbers best guess is that there is an issue where both bathroom drains come together. Tomorrow my kitchen ceiling will get opened to see if they can find the source. The plumber can't get me in until Friday......so the quick way to deal with is find the source and put a barrel under it to catch any water if we need to shower. Crossing fingers we find no mold....that will be another story.

I have never filed a claim on my homeowners. And of course I just switched insurance companies 2 weeks ago! Actually they new company showed up on my doorstep today for an inspection while the plumber was here yapping about the leak. Ugh.
 

easyrider

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I have never filed a claim on my homeowners. And of course I just switched insurance companies 2 weeks ago! Actually they new company showed up on my doorstep today for an inspection while the plumber was here yapping about the leak. Ugh.
Hopefully your leak is covered. Sudden leaks usually are. Sudden leak is like a toilet malfunction, washing machine malfunction, dishwasher malfunction, a burst pipe from thawing, overflowing bath tub or a burst pipe from corrosion. Any leak attributed to maintenance issues is usually not covered. Oddly, this usually includes pin leaks caused by corrosion or clogs that result in overflow.

The key word is sudden.

Good Luck

Bill
 

mdurette

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Hello all......well, I have a mystery on my hands. My kitchen ceiling has been opened exposing all the plumbing to the two bathrooms upstairs. About a 15 foot span, completely saturated insulation and drywall. All fresh...no long term staining on wood, etc up there. The water was smelly, no mold, etc. And not a single drip can be duplicated! We have spent the last 2 days using all our upstairs plumbing and nada. It's not the bathroom plumbing. We haven't had any significant rain in about 2 weeks. Just light showers one day. Baffling me, the contractors and the plumber. I will wait and see and watch the hole in my ceiling for it to happen again.

My concern now is I hope I'm home when it does.....because if flood gates open again the water will be all over my kitchen. If plumbing I can shut off the water to the house, but if it is associated with rain....I'm not going to be able to stop that!
 

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Do you have any AC piping up there? We had condensation from a cold AC pipe.

But a roof leak is more likely... Unfortunately, that's not covered by insurance.
OTOH, if a storm blew a tree limb thru it, that'd be covered.
.
 

pedro47

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Suggestion only check all the AC lines for insulation or trash in piping.
Is your hot water heater in the attic?
 

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Is all corners of the shower or bathtub well caulked where no water can get out? Sometimes you may only notice a leak when someone is taking a shower when water is splashing.
 

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We thought we had a leaky bathroom pipe/drain too. It turned out after half a dozen plumbers/roofers that we had a roof leak. Turns out the tyvek house wrap was installed upside down and was causing rain water to find its way down a corner post and onto our kitchen ceiling. That roofer turned out to be the hero in our situation and it hasn't leaked since! It wouldn't hurt to start checking the roof, IMO. Good luck, hope you can find the solution soon!
 

Passepartout

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Hello all......well, I have a mystery on my hands. My kitchen ceiling has been opened exposing all the plumbing to the two bathrooms upstairs. About a 15 foot span, completely saturated insulation and drywall. All fresh...no long term staining on wood, etc up there. The water was smelly, no mold, etc. And not a single drip can be duplicated! We have spent the last 2 days using all our upstairs plumbing and nada. It's not the bathroom plumbing. We haven't had any significant rain in about 2 weeks. Just light showers one day. Baffling me, the contractors and the plumber. I will wait and see and watch the hole in my ceiling for it to happen again.
Well, if you can't duplicate the leak, it must be somewhere else. All you can do is leave it open and live 'normally and watchfully' to try to detect where it comes from. I might try putting some paper towels folded into spaces where you can't readily see, and then periodically check them for wetness. Water is sneaky stuff, It can travel long distances along joists and in corners. I'd be paying special attention to where plumbing vents go through the roof. It will show up eventually.

Jim
 
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