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Thread: basement ceiling dripping water

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    john2004 is offline New Member
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    basement ceiling dripping water

    Hi all, this problem of dripping water is driving me nuts, anyone who offer suggestion is greatly appreciated!

    The house is 10 yrs old, in the basement, there are 2 big pipes going to the 1st and 2nd floor respectively. 2 days ago I start noticing water drops leaking from the ceiling, just around the pipe that connects to the 2nd floor.

    The drop is every 4-5 seconds, can fill up a cup during the night, and the water is crystal clear, the wet spot on the ceiling is limited to around the pipe, 3-4 inches offset.

    not even sure where the leakage is coming from. so I shut of the 2nd floor toilet , but no go.

    I think of hiring a plumber, but would like to do something myself if possible before going in that direction, please help!

    John

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    LazyPup's Avatar
    LazyPup is offline Deity
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    According to the information in your post the leak is continuous and there is no mention of stopped up drains or septic odor, so i would guess the source of the leak is from the supply side, rather than the drain and waste system.

    Check the water supply lines for evidence of condensate moisture forming on the tubing walls, then dripping down. If condensate is noted insulate the lines with split foam insulation. If the external walls of the water supply lines are dry then move on to the bathroom-

    Begin by checking the bathroom sink. Common sources of leaks are:

    Sink water supply stop valves-
    1. If you note a leak around the shutoff handle stem, tighten the stem packing nut.
    2. If you note a leak where the supply tube fits into the shutoff valve tighten the compression nut.
    3. Check where the valve is mounted to the water supply line. If it is a threaded fitting or a compression fitting tighten the fitting. (caution, it is best to turn of the main water supply before tightening the shutoff just in case the valve might break off while attempting to tighten.)
    If it happens to be a soldered fitting you can cut it off and replace with a compression mount valve.


    SUPPLY LINES
    1. check the supply lines where they attach to the underside of the faucett. If a leak is noted, tighten the fitting. ( A basin wrench works best for those fittings)
    2. If you have plastic supply lines, check for cracked mounting nuts. If in doubt, replace the line and mounting nut.

    SINK FAUCETT:
    1. If there is any evidence of water leaking from a stem. tighten the stem nut or replace the stem packing. (If water leaks from a stem it can drip to the top of the sink and if the faucett is not sealed with plumbers putty the water will seep under the faucett and drip down into the cabinet and on through the floor.

    Check the toilet:
    1. Check the toilet supply shutoff valve.
    a. The stem packing nut.
    B. supply line compression fitting.
    c. Valve mount.
    2.check the supply to fill valve fitting on the underside of the tank.
    3.check the fill valve mounting nut on the underside of the tank.
    4.Check the toilet tank to bowl mounting nuts. If you see evidence of water on the nuts consider replacing the tank to bowl bolts.
    5. Open the toilet tank and check the trap primer line. (A small diameter line from the fill valve to the top of the standpipe. If that line gets loose it can spray water up on the lid and drips down the back of the tank.)
    6,Check around the base of the toilet for evidence of water on the floor.

    Externally Check the tub/shower mixer valve:
    1. check for water dripping from a tub faucett handle. (If a tub is not pitched correctly the water will run along the apron of the tub and drip to the floor near the end of the tub)
    2. Check the tub spout. If the tip of the spout is corroded on the underside the water will drip from the spout, adhere to the underside of the spout by surface tension, then drip onto the tub apron and end up on the floor in the same manner as a dripping faucett handle.
    3.If you have an access panel to the tub mixer, open the access and examine the supply line to mixer fittings. Tighten or replace as necessary.
    4. Examine the floor inside the access cavity. Often a leaking shower arm will allow water to drip inside the wall and later drip on down through the floor. If you suspect a leaking tub shower arm, uncscrew the shower arm and apply teflon tape to the threads.

    If you have not located the leak by now, it will be necessary to open up the walls and examine pipe joints inside the walls.






  3. #3
    HayZee518's Avatar
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    take a flashlight and look UP along the pipe - bet you'll find a coupling with a bad solder joint.

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    john2004 is offline New Member
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    LazyPup and HayZee518, thank you for your suggestions!

    I've crawled all over the place, I checked the sink, the tub, the toilet and the space around them, the space under them carefully, didn't notice any trace of water, the valve and pipe all seems secure. A friend suggests it might be a worn out wax ring, but the situation remain even after we replaced the ring. I checked the 1st floor ceiling right underneath the 2nd floor bathroom, and didn't see any trace of wet spot.

    I have also checked the pipe network hanging on the basement ceiling, I touched and felt them with my hands, but I didn't spot any trace of moisture on them though, they all seem dry and secure.

    I think LazyPup made an interesting comment in saying the problem might be with the supply side, I suspect that is true, since the dripping is so clear and cold, and I also suspect the leak is right before it even got send up to 1st or 2nd floor, but right inside the ceiling.

    Dear God, I hope that's not the case. I think I should call in a professional to end this torture.

    Thank you for your help!

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    LazyPup's Avatar
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    I just had a silly thought that might be helpful. You know the exact spot on the basement floor where the drip is occuring. We also know that the drip is occuring in the vicinity of the chase where the pipes go through to the adjacent floors. Use a plumb bob or any small weight attached to a string to mark the exact location of the leak at the ceiling then rry attaching a sheet of paper on that line at each level. If you note a wet spot on a piece of paper you know the source is above that level, whereas if it is dry at any level, you can assume for the moment that the leak is below that level. If you can do that at each point of access you may be able to narrow down your search quickly.

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