How do I find t he leak

Yesterday, I found water dripping from my dining room chandelier. This hasnt' happened for 25 years, and when it did, it was after someoen took a shower in the bathtub. I take showers in the shower and baths in the bathtub.
The leak will be hard to find. Above the dining room are two bathrooms side by side, each with a sink and a toilet, one with a shower and one with a bathtub. Those two things are back to back. No evidence of any of the leaking, no wetness underneath the sinks, etc. which would put the leak inside the walls.
I don't think it's a drain pipe because I hadn't used much water prior to noticing the drip, and I hadn't sloshed any water out of the bathtub afaicr, certainly not enough to reach the floor below.
How do I find a leak inside the walls? Is there some clever way, like putting a radio transmitter in the water that will beep when it gets out of the pipe?
The alternative seems to be to take out the toilet and rip open the wall behind it and look around. "Exploratory surgery".
I don't want to rip out the dining room ceiling because so far there is no damage to it. The water exits through the electric box and runs down the chandelier chain. That's what used to happen 25 years ago when it dripped then, and there was no damage that showed up later.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Friday, June 29, 2018 at 7:00:52 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:

Limit usage to as few fixtures as possible, monitor for the leak when activating one at a time. If it's a supply line leak, then it should be leaking all the time. I suppose you could put some red food coloring in the toilet, blue in the tub, etc too. Look for missing caulk in and around the shower.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 29 Jun 2018 07:30:54 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

My best guess now is that a link I thought had been plugged with my dead skin and other body dirt was not plugged after all.
When I first moved in, I visited 3 or 4 other houses in this group of 100 which had leaked into the dining room ceiling, and had had one sheet of sheetrock removed and replaced, maybe partially to repair a leak.
I had the same leak, but only down the chain of the chandelier.
It never leaked when I took a bath, only when my brother visited and took a shower . I took my showers in my other bathroom, which had a dedicated shower, and eventually I had him do that too.
For lack of a better reason, I concluded that the suction of the bath water draining was enough to keep the water from leaking out the drain pipe, but the water draining from a shower didnt' do that. Conceivable??????
But I still thought it would have leaked by now. So I concluded that dirt had plugged the leak.
The house is 40 years old. At age 30 or 35, I had to replace the washers in the bathtub. But the new ones only lasted the difference, 10 or 5 years. And 3 or 4 times before I caught on, I left the water dripping. I think all that water filled the floor under the tub, and some came up beside the tub. This would account for why the floor was wet there (I didn't mention that before.) Could water seep up from the floor from an under-tub drain leak?????
Anyhow, my hope is that I can still use the shower stall or take a bath in the tub, but I'm afraid to do it. If I dont' get up enough nevve by tomorrow, I may have to join a health club in order to clean up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 1:46:53 PM UTC-4, micky wrote:

Sounds more like a leak in the pipe to the shower head or in water getting behind escutcheons or missing caulking where shower water hits it.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 30 Jun 2018 11:53:48 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Okay, it sounds more like that, but assuming for a moment it's not that, what about the two questions I had with all the question marks?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
micky posted for all of us...

Didn't you ask this question before? I remember someone did, if not you.
I think the consensus was to rip out the drywall and trace it. Or use an inspection camera. Check the caulk around the tub... My brain fizzled out...
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Had a similar situation 3 weeks ago. Got a call from a buddy who was going in to have his hiip replacement reworked the next day - he had water dripping from the corner of his kitchen cupbord and pocket door frame, and wet marks along the edge of the plaster ceiling. I went over to check. The upstairs bathroom sink was directly above the leek. I tore down some of the soaked plaster (this was plaster over gypsum lathe) and uncovered the plumbing to the upstairs sink. Totally dry. Followed the water to the left (towards the outside wall) and eventually came to the copper sewer stack and vent stack. Water was dripping from a corroded section of the 4 inch copper pipe which ended up being the vent stack. Knowing there would be no more damage caused while they were gone to Toronto for his surgery we arranged for the insurance adjuster and a plumber to come take a look when he returned home. Ends up some animal had gotten into the vent stack and deteriorated there - holding water and causing corrosion.
Thw solution was to totally replace the vent stack and all the drain piping from the upstairs bathroom to the sound copper drainpipe about 3 feet down the wall - which involved removing the rest of the cupboard above the kitchen island, the pocket door wall, and the rest of the kitchen ceiling.
Now the insurance cmopany will have a remediation company come in and replace the kitchen ceiling, the wall that had to be opened in the spare bedroom to acces the bathroom plumbing, and repaint the entire kitchen and bedroom - and possibly the dining room - and replace the cabinets. He had the option of factory built cabinet that would not match perfectly, or credit towards having the cabinets custom made.
I'll be building the cabinets next month after all the drywall and paint repair is done.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 30 Jun 2018 00:35:40 -0400, Clare Snyder

Wow. I hope it's not this big. FWIW, my drain and vent are plastic.

That seems a fair option.

That should keep you off the streets and out of trouble. I'd rather have matching cabinets too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 29 Jun 2018 15:58:59 -0400, Tekkie®

I might have, but it would have been at least 20 years ago. Were you reading then.
I also might have talked about this as a story some time since then, but I haven't had a leak for at least 20 years, maybe 25.

The tub is not as deep as I would like, so in the past I've shloshed some water onto the floor, but not this time. If anything, I saw water at the base of the tub that had risen out when the tub was draining.
Or maybe it was the opposite, water that spread from the puddle on the floor, but then I don't know how the puddle formed. The water to the toilet is off, the toilet tank is empty, and no sign of leaking from the sink.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/29/18 1:48 PM, BurfordTJustice wrote:

there probably are more appropriate groups to do your soliciting in
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.