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Question DetailsAsked on 7/10/2015

I have a water leak from my bathroom down to the ceiling on the first floor that I have paid to be repaired 3 times

New toilet seals.....shower andtoilet walls floors redone.

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Sounds like they failed to track down the leak FIRST, before "repairing" things.

First, I would go with another plumber or whoever "found" the leak - the first one seems to be a failure.

Then, unfortunately, you need to inspect to find the leak - maybe with a hole in the ceiling (again), maybe with fiber optic scope (takes about a 1/2" hole in drywall) starting at the wet spot in the ceiling to see where drip is coming from, then maybe if necessary coming in from closet or bedroom or hall or whatever behind the tub/shower piping. Need to work from bottom up, tracing the leak wetness to its source - unless it is spraying upwards, leak will be at highest wet point, bearing in mind wetness in insulation can wick many inches upward and sideways, so wet insulation is only a general location indication.

If this is at all a significant leak, using the fiber optic scope and running water for a few minutes at each possible source should tell you where the problem is. First (going till you find leak source) check around toilet and under sink and on floor at base of shower curb wall for any signs of wetness or leaking, Then run water for maybe 5 minutes (or till leak starts), first at sink, then flushing toilet a few times, then running shower water into a bucket (so it is not going onto shower floor or down drain) to check if from leaking water pipes/valves, pulling cover plates on shower head arm and over valves to check inside wall for wetness/leaks there, then pouring water down shower drain with funnel without getting shower floor wet (checking the drain pipe), then lastly plugging shower drain and conducting a shower leak test to check the shower floor.

If a very slow leak this can take a lot of plumber time or mix you up becausxe you did not run the water long enough for leak to show up before you moved onto the next possible source - so commonlhy it is much cheaper to just open up a section of drywall in the ceiling around the wet spot in the ceiling, large enough for you to see clearly with a GOOD light and to run hand up in to feel for wetness, then after drying everything off up there (noting where wetness is) do the tests yourself for as many minutes as needed to get the drip going - maybe as much as 5-10 minutes per possible source to be sure you see the drip before moving onto the next if that is the source, then between tracing wetness and determining where water was flowing to cause the drip, narrow it down that way.

Or if you have another bathroom to use, ONLY use sink there for a couple of days, then if no drip only toilet and sink for a couple of days, then if still no leak sevferal times a day run shower water into bucket only (keeping floor/drain dry) and pour down toilet, then pour water down the shower drain with a funnel several times a day, and finally running shower onto floor for a period of time - till the leak pops up.

Other option is to just start tearing out from bottom up, tracing the wetness upwards till you find the top wet spot - quicker but commonly a real overkill.

If you have another bathroom above or backing on this one, run same tests there before tearing into anything - could be water running along joists or flooring or pipes from a leak there to under this bathroom - especially common with back-to-back bathrooms that have a common wall that is mid-joist span, so the water runs in flooring or along pipes to the low spot towards the center of the joist span.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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