I have a leak somewhere between the two floors of my house (water drips out
of a ceiling fixture hole). Due to a layer of board above my ceiling (35
year old house) I cannot see any of the piping. Who should I talk to that
may have expertise locating this leak? I have tried plumbers and general
contractors, both of whom kind of scratched their heads and said something
useful like "boy you have a problem don't you?" My goal, of course, is not
to have to destroy large portions of the house to find the leak.
Is there any other type of person I should be talking to, or am I just not
having luck finding the right people? Any help is greatly appreciated.
Whoever finds the leak will almost certain have to make some "inspection"
holes in the ceiling. A high speed cutting tool like the "rotazip" might
reduce the damage. Depending upon what needs to be down, a good sized
portion of the ceiling may have to come down.
You might try turning off supply to each fixture and monitoring leak.
If you don't have time for that, cutting holes in the boards is the
A Forensic Engineer or Architect might have equipment needed to look
through a relatively small hole.
Yeah, now you're talking.
An engineer or plumber with good troubleshooting skills can handle that.
Classic troubleshooting involves "divide and conquer"
Have you ruled out rainwater as your source?
Does the wetness stop if you shut off the water pressure?
How about if you just shut off the HOT water, at the hot water tank?
(Don't forget to alleviate pressure by opening faucets to relieve any valve
Could the wetness be arising from waste water?
Where are you located?
I've had a similar problem, with 2 plumbers and 1 roofer just passing the
buck between themselves. I ended up opening the wall myself to locate the
leak. It was a bit messy, but I eventually found it, it was a cracked cast
iron pipe that normally carries the flat roof rain water to the sewer. Not a
large crack, but a surpising amount of water ended in the basement,
specially in the springtime.
I don't think it would have been possible to find this without opening the
walls, and I can understand why a plumber won't want to start randomly
putting holes in a wall just to diagnose the problem. If you don't want to
do this yourself, just find an experienced handyman and pay him by the hour
to make holes and find the problem. After the plumber fixes the actual
problem, the handyman can fix the walls/ceilings.
Good luck and let us know how this was resolved.
Considering this was a drain, with no pressure, couldn't it have been
1) by noticing the leak coincided with rainfall
2) by putting a plumber's camera in the drain pipe?
That's quite the story, though!
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