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Question DetailsAsked on 2/12/2016

Who to call for water leaking from a ceiling

We've had water leak from the ceiling in our foyer twice over the past 3 months. It appears to happen randomly, once when it was raining and once when it wasn't. The bathroom is over the foyer but the leak does not seem to correlate with running the shower, faucet, toilet or washer/dryer we have in the bathroom (we use the bathroom daily and the leak has only occurred twice in 3 months. It has rained many times, with some bad storms and there has been no leak except the one time. The two times the water has leaked (drops), it has come through a ceiling light (which we don't use) as well as from another part of the ceiling. Who should I call to start investigating this problem. Thanks

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Since leaking both in rain and not (assuming no melting snow on roof or porch), and assuming no sprinkler or kids playing with hose hitting there, and very intermittent, sounds like one of three (OK - up to 9 now) things:


1) an open or leaky cleanout or trap or such in the bathroom that is occasionally backing up in the pipes enough to leak


2) using tub or basin, letting water get up to the overflow level, and the overflow leaks. If at sink presumably you would see the water (or staining) under the sink.


3) a leak in the shower floor going into a leaky pan or leaking piping down from the drain, which only leaks when stepped on a certain way or during unusually long showers that cause the pan under the shower floor to overflow


4) or if a plastic/fiberglass shower, a cracked base or it is moving enough that it is shifting at the drain pipe, causing a leak around the drain


5) attic air conditioner drain plugging off and overflowing the evaporator pan, causing leak coming down into the foyer if right below it


6) kid getting water on the bathroom floor, excessive water from giving the dog a bath, or such - something rarely done causing enough water getting splashed or dripped that it comes through below


7) toilet is rocking a bit so the wax seal is leaking occasionally


8) washer drain is clogging up so during dump cycle it is overflowing the drain pipe


9) intermittent leak at washer hose connections, at wall or washer, as the washer moves


To definitively tie this down you would probably have to open an inspection hole in the ceiling to look up into the subfloor - head size roughly for direct visual inspection. Or about 1/2" holes for a fiber optic inspection scope or camera - rent at Home Depot or tool rental place or some auto parts sotres for about $20-40/day, or buy a fiber optic scope camera (color MUCH better for finding leaks) for about $70 at Harbor Freight Tools or Amazon or such if you want it available for future use. Commonly takes a couple of holes to track the water back to the source, especially if there is vapor barrier above the drywall, because some leaks run down the pipe a ways, jump off at a low point or framing, run along the framing a ways, then drop to the top of the ceiling - running along it or vapor barrier till it hits an opening or a low spot - a gap in vapor barrier, a light fixture hole, etc. Generally runs towards center of rooms due to sagging in ceiling joists.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD




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