crack in ceiling on first floor underneath bathroom


Hello, I am a new homeowner, and would love any suggestions / advice / expertise from those with more experience at this.
I have a crack in my first floor ceiling, directly underneath the bathroom on the second floor, and running parallel with the front of the bathtub.
the crack is not touching any walls.
it has been there since i first moved into the house almost a year ago, but has grown in the last year. when i first moved in, the crack was probably 3 inches long, and now it is 13 inches, and you can see where it will grow more.
i replaced one of the original tub hardware pieces (not the main bottom drain, but instead the middle silver piece on the front wall of the tub) a few months ago, as i believe it was the original piece, and the rubber gasket had rotted out. i thought that this bad piece may have allowed water to leak through, thus affecting the drywall underneath, and then causing a crack on the first floor ceiling. but since replacing this, the crack has only grown more.
my only other thought is that the crack may be from settling, but the house is 15 years old, and since the crack is directly under the upstairs bathroom, i'm not really sure.
any help with this is much appreciated!
thanks!
jonathan bowden
------------------------------------- jonathan bowden
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sep 12, 11:45 am, jonathan_at_kreathaus_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (jonathanbowden) wrote:

take down cieling to inspect whats going on.....
plumbers often cut beams to install sewer lines, water leaks can cause rot.
your far better off to take down cieling find and fix whatever is going on.
than wait till something gets worse....
sorry theres no other choice
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 12 Sep 2010 09:11:16 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Take down the ceiling for a 13 inch "crack"? Shame on you...

It might just be a poor tape job at the seam.

Take down the entire ceiling could get worse!

Sure there is. "The path of least destruction".
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

drywall is pretty easy to work with.
I used to try and avoid pulling down cielings when someting wierd is seen, but near every time it gets worse and i find something in there that needs attended too.
like rotted drain lines, electrical work box with no access, and romex laying against a hunk of galavinzed drain pipe, if you have never been in that area before its worth a look......
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/12/2010 7:40 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

OP, can you post a well-lit picture of the crack, before we lead you into major demo work? From directly below, and maybe a side angle shot as well, to show any bulges? (Holding a straight-edge in the picture would help.) Unless there are dark and/or mushy and/or bubbled spots to go with the crack, I would tend to NOT suspect a leak.
--
aem sends...

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sep 12, 10:45 am, jonathan_at_kreathaus_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (jonathanbowden) wrote:

Cracks are not usually the result of water damage. Water softens things, and there is usually a stain. Cracks result when there is stress and the surfaces move relative to each other. Have you been able to find out if the crack is along a seam in the sheet rock, rather than in the middle of a solid piece of sheet rock.?
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 12 Sep 2010 09:12:45 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

+1
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sep 12, 8:45 am, jonathan_at_kreathaus_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (jonathanbowden) wrote:

Any plumber who has a modicum of decency should have put a plumbing access door or panel behind your tub where you can see the drain lines with a flashlight and maybe an inspection mirror. Do you have such a door that you can use to check and if not I would highly recommend putting one in? It's very easy to do so.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sep 12, 8:45 am, jonathan_at_kreathaus_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (jonathanbowden) wrote:

Can you post some photos?
cheers Bob
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jonathanbowden wrote:

Check the ceiling with a 4' straightedge. What do you see?
Push up hard on the ceiling around the crack. Does the drywall appear to be tight to the joist?
Is there any bounce to the bathroom floor? If tiled, any cracks? Is the floor level?
Does the crack change at all when you fill the tub?
Is this a standard tub, or a soaker or whirlpool tub which holds considerably more water?
Can you put photos on flickr or photobucket?
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Call in a professional. Safe yourself time and money.
--
Airport Shuttle

'' (http://www.yourcityride.com )
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.