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Thread: Leak in Ceiling!!

  1. #1

    Default Leak in Ceiling!!

    Oh man, I am in a bind.

    First, I am in the mortgage business. Pick up your local paper, see the state of my industry, and you will quickly see why the standard response "call a plumber" is not an option. I would love nothing better to call a plumber...but that would ruin everybody's day when I can't pay him for his work.

    That said, I woke this morning to see that my light fixtures leak. HAHA...I know, sounds funny...but a hanging light fixture in my kitchen was dripping water. I looked at the ceiling...and across the room there are two, distinct wet spots (in straight lines) on the ceiling. I can only assume the leak puddled up, until it spread to the first opening it could find, and then the water started leaking down the light fixture.

    In any case, I have a leak above that ceiling somewhere.

    Now, I am not completely incompetent. I was a mechanic in the Navy for 4 years, I work on my own cars, I do most of my own work on my home...my point is, once I find the leak, I can fix it.

    But what I DON'T want to do is take a sledgehammer to my ceiling, and start playing a game of battleship until I find the leak. Can anyone help me with a technique to isolate this leak OTHER than "F-2...miss...D-6...miss..."

    All help and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Think joists. Then tell us what is directly above that "wet" line.

    -david

  3. #3

    Default

    Yep...good call.

    Straight lines...about 16" apart...sure thing, the water is rolling down the joists. I did not think of that.

    But now, I think I am following, tell me if I am:

    The water would roll down the joists, before it drips down to the actual ceiling, and the first spots to get wet would be these lines below the joists. Since those areas have been wet longest, that is where it is starting to show through the ceiling...and that is the area where the leak is. Right?

    Now...directly above...I have to go walk the house to get my mind wrapped around that. Be right back...and thanks for taking the time to help!

  4. #4

    Default

    OK, nix what I just said. I got a visual in my head that was inaccurate.

    The lines in the ceiling, are a good 3 feet apart. One of them (after pacing it out) is underneath the master bathroom. This is the one furthest away from the light fixture. The other, is under the kids room.

  5. #5

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    also...

    I turned the water to the house off when I first saw this. After about an hour, the drip down the light fixture stopped.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Turn the water back on, get into the attic and follow the pipes. It shouldn't be too hard to find the leak. Be sure the light is turned off. Of course, all of the ceiling that got wet will have to come down and be replaced, so working from the light fixture you could probably find the leak that way, too.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    Turn the water back on, get into the attic and follow the pipes. It shouldn't be too hard to find the leak. Be sure the light is turned off. Of course, all of the ceiling that got wet will have to come down and be replaced, so working from the light fixture you could probably find the leak that way, too.
    Very cool, Gary and thank you for taking the time to help.

    The only thing is, I failed to mention that this is a two story house. The ceiling that is leaking, is actually on the first floor.

  8. #8

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    Great news, and again...thank you to everyone who took the time to help!

    While I was doing this, my wife was calling the Insurance company. I didn't know she was doing that, but as it turns out...we are covered!

    Now I CAN afford to let a professional come out and do this! If you are in the Winston Salem, NC area and could use a job...respond on here with your contact number!

    Thanks again, everyone!

  9. #9
    DIY Member Mort's Avatar
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    You may want to double check the coverage. On most homeowner insurance it WILL cover the damage to the ceiling and stuff but it won't pay to fix a broken or leaking pipe.....that's considered maintenance. I could be wrong (just ask my wife) but you might want to double check....and since we're dealing with an insurance company, make sure it's in writing

    Mort

  10. #10
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    Most insuerance co.Ihave delt with only pay for damage caused by the leak
    and gaining access to the faulty plumbing and not the plumbing itself.

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