(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Where is this leak coming from?!?

  1. #1

    Default Where is this leak coming from?!?

    We have water that is leaking onto the water heater. It appears to be coming from the vent that comes from the top of the water heater. The leak is so bad that at times it comes out of the joints in the vent overhead (this area is open in our house because a plumber told us the drywall was too close to the furnace pipe, so we cut the drywall away). Anyway... from this open area we can see the furnace vent, the hot water heater vent and the water pipes that come from the water heater. When we have this leak (it's intermittent) the leak appears to be coming from the vent that leads away from the water heater. Sometime the water looks rusty and sometimes cloudy or soapy. We THINK it may be related to running the dishwasher and washing machine at the same time, but hard to pin down because the leak comes about 6-8 hours after they are run together! The amount of water that leak could be measured in cups. We don't think it's condensation because of the amount. What is going on? How do we narrow this down? Please help!!

  2. #2
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Posts
    829

    Default Soapy Water

    i agree on the dishwasher. remove the front acess panel, and put some newspapers UNDER the machine. run a cycle and see if the rubber hose is leaking

  3. #3
    Tradesman Plumber Kristi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    176

    Default

    With this kind of problem, you probably want to sort it out quickly rather than hum and haw with searching for it yourself: I would hire a plumber asap to locate and fix the problem asap...

    I often reassure clients that you are not expected to know the ins and outs of things like plumbing or electrical, that's my job. That's great if it's a hobby and you're personally interested in it, but don't feel the need to know exactly what you should do in the case of an emergency (like lots of water appearing mysteriously) - dabble in this stuff when it isn't critical, and search for a plumber to call on before an emergency DOES happen so that you don't have to when it becomes serious and you're under pressure... just a little un-asked for advice

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member thezster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    230

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi
    With this kind of problem, you probably want to sort it out quickly rather than hum and haw with searching for it yourself: I would hire a plumber asap to locate and fix the problem asap...

    I often reassure clients that you are not expected to know the ins and outs of things like plumbing or electrical, that's my job. That's great if it's a hobby and you're personally interested in it, but don't feel the need to know exactly what you should do in the case of an emergency (like lots of water appearing mysteriously) - dabble in this stuff when it isn't critical, and search for a plumber to call on before an emergency DOES happen so that you don't have to when it becomes serious and you're under pressure... just a little un-asked for advice
    Wow.. I can't believe I actually agree that you should probably call a pro in on this one -- after you check the dishwasher (which will only take an hour or so). I'm a serious DIYer who has called a pro maybe once in the last 10 years.... But Kristi is right -- this could blossom into an emergency call pretty quickly.... And you know plumbers - they charge a premium late at night
    It's 9a.m. Let's have a beer!

  5. #5
    Tradesman Plumber Kristi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    176

    Default

    lol - wow! and I can't believe that you believe that you actually agree that a pro should be called in either! good for you thezster, I'm going to have a beer now...

    Kristi <-- charges mega premium if you wake her up in the middle of the night!
    Last edited by Kristi; 09-21-2005 at 05:03 PM. Reason: additional comment

  6. #6
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Posts
    4,243
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default mistery leak

    if it is in the vent of the water heater it makes me
    suspicious that its probably a intermittent leak on the water
    heater....from the heater itself...

    how old is the unit??

    before you start tearing everything apart in the house
    might you consider just changeing out the heater??

    if it is the dishwasher Iwould think you should be able to see
    some wood that is wet above the heater


    happy hunting

  7. #7
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,423

    Default leak

    Takes 5 min to check the dishwasher.Take the kick plate off and look underneath. If no leak there go down to the w/h and open the door where you lite the pilot and look for signs of a water leak.
    Turn the thermostat way up to make the burner to come on and take a lit match or a lit piece of newspaper, blow it out and put right under the draft hood and look to see if the air flow blows away fron the flue pipe or does it suck into the flue pipe.
    If it blows away then you need to check the chimney for proper draft.
    A lot of humidity in the basement can cause a condisate build-up.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you, everyone, for the advice. Before I posted the initial message, we had a plumber in here (I forgot to mention that). He was here for 2 hours - seemed very knowledgeable. At the time we had the hot water heater off because initially we thought the leak was from the hot water heater, because it leaks out of the bottom of the unit. We actually purchased a new hot water heater from Home Depot, but put it on hold because we realized it was coming from the vent, not the water heater itself. The water heater is 12 years old. The plumber had us run every appliance, faucet, shower, etc. and it didn't leak while he was here (of course!!). We've considered putting in the new water heater to see if it fixes the issue but are afraid of ruining it if the leak continues and leaks onto the new water heater. We are still in the process now of trying to narrow down when exactly it leaks. If we can reproduce it, we can call the plumber again.

    Couple of questions from the posts
    To Master Plumber Mark - We've always suspected the water heater but don't understand how the water can get from the unit into the vent?

    To Toolholic - How would water from a leaking dishwasher get into the vent?

    Plumber1 - Could we see condensation measured in cups? When it leaks we could probably fill a gallon bucket.

    Anyway, we have a couple more things to try. I'll take the kick plate off the dishwasher and check for leaks - I'm running it right now, and we'll check the flue pipe to see if drafts probably.

    Thanks!!

  9. #9

    Default Update

    Here is an update - I just ran the dishwasher with the kick plate off and didn't see any evidence of a leak. It's not leaking at the hot water heater either - this time. Last time I ran the dishwasher it did leak at the water heater.

    This is so frustrating!!

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member sulconst2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    old bridge nj
    Posts
    205

    Default

    if the leaks in the vent follow that. check the termination thru the roof. get up on the roof with a hose. have someone check from below.

  11. #11
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Posts
    829

    Default when you cut the drywall away from the W. H. VENT

    is there any chance a long sawsall blade cut the water heater vent and a wash machine drain pipe at the same time? i think it,s time to open up walls

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •