Dripping Pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by lostwong, Apr 11, 2007.

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  1. Apr 11, 2007 #1

    lostwong

    lostwong

    lostwong

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    sooo... just bought a home, we've been living in it for about 6 months and we now hear a drip between the first and second floors.

    The drip occurs only when
    • the kitchen taps are running
    • The second floor bathroom shower is in use
    • The second floor bathroom taps are running
    • Someone flushes the toilet in the second floor bathroom

    The drip occurs once a second roughly... and I think I might have heard a smaller second drip.

    So... does anyone have any recommendations on what I should do? I considered calling a plumber but I'd feel a bit better knowing what might be the problem before calling.

    Ken.
     
  2. Apr 11, 2007 #2

    Daryl in Nanoose

    Daryl in Nanoose

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    It sounds like you have a hole or crack in the drain. Of course the drain is in the wall and someone will have to trace it to the souce
     
  3. Apr 11, 2007 #3

    CraigFL

    CraigFL

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    What you describe sounds like a waste pipe leak. You probably want to take care of this quickly since it will make things nasty considering the source of the water.
     
  4. Apr 12, 2007 #4

    lostwong

    lostwong

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    Yeah, aside from the type of water damage that might be/is happening, the drip is starting to annoy me whenever I hear it. :)

    So is there some sort of recommended practice for how to find the leak? Are there tools that I can look into buying/renting that might make my life easier?

    Ken.
     
  5. Apr 12, 2007 #5

    CraigFL

    CraigFL

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    I use people with good ears to find where its dripping. Or... of course if you wait long enough, you will see the mark on the drywall... :)
     
  6. Apr 12, 2007 #6

    Square Eye

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    Find the source of the noise from the drip.
    If you must buy tools, buy a rotozip. It will cut the drywall easier than anything else.
    You only need to cut a strip out about 12" wide. Follow the pipe until you find the leak. Be careful to keep the cutter just deep enough to cut the ceiling or you could cut the pipe!
    Tack a straight edge 1x4 to the ceiling and you will get a much better cut.
     
  7. Apr 13, 2007 #7

    Daryl in Nanoose

    Daryl in Nanoose

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    You say Kitchen and second floor bath, so where is the kitchen, up or down or??
     
  8. Apr 14, 2007 #8

    lostwong

    lostwong

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    Just follow the sound of the drips? Makes sense... I guess the KISS principle wins again. :)

    Daryl, the kitchen is located directly below the washroom... does that affect how I should go about doing this?
     
  9. Apr 14, 2007 #9

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Hold on Ken!
    Don't cut anything yet. First check to see if you have plastic plumbing either on the supply side or the drains.
    If you do have plastic drains, you will hear water dripping in them; no harm done.
    If you have plastic supply lines (PVC or CPVC) they will expand and shrink with temperatrue changes; becoming longer with hot water and shorter with cold water, still no harm done. These water lines will move through the studs or joists through holes drilled in them; if one hole is out of line it will make a popping that sounds like a leak.
    I'm putting my money on the plastic pipe theory; anyone want to take me up on it?
    Glenn
     
  10. Apr 14, 2007 #10

    Daryl in Nanoose

    Daryl in Nanoose

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    Very good point, Did not think of that, but as far as taking you up on it, i AM A TERRIBLE GAMBLER:D
    So just how does someone find out if this is the problem??
     
  11. Apr 14, 2007 #11

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Three steps to find out:
    1. Turn the hot water on, listen to it pop; turn the water off and listen to a slightly different popping sound.
    2. No water leak stains ever show up. The reason, there's no leak.
    3. When someone urinates in a water closet (commode) they cause a very small trickle in the drain which sounds like a leak.
    Glenn
     
  12. Apr 14, 2007 #12

    lostwong

    lostwong

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    Wow, thanks for all the interesting tips and info so far!

    So I went upstairs to the bathroom, turned on the sink faucet full blast, hot water. After about 30 seconds, I started to hear the familiar dripping sound about once a second.

    I turned off the faucet and the length between drips started to grow further apart. The sound of the drips sounded the same to me. Admittedly though, I'm not sure what constitutes "slightly" different popping sounds.

    I then thought that I would try turning on the faucet full blast with cold water. The drips started up again but at a different pitch, half as loud, and maybe twice as fast. Turning off the faucet once again causes the length of time between drips to grow until I don't hear it anymore.

    Looking under the sink, there's plastic piping all the way into the wall for the drain and copper piping for the hot and cold water supply lines.

    From what you've described above, it sounds like the popping sound due to expansion/contraction shouldn't be occurring continuously should it? It should only happen during the initial transition from the pipes being cold to hot and vice versa. But I'm hearing continuous "dripping" sounds.

    Then again, I don't have much of a background in plumbing so please correct me if I'm wrong. :)
     
  13. Apr 15, 2007 #13

    Daryl in Nanoose

    Daryl in Nanoose

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    Here is a idea I thought of, fill up a small bucket with water from outside and pour it down the drain in the bathroom sink and see if you can hear any drips and get back to us asap..
     
  14. Apr 15, 2007 #14

    glennjanie

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    No, you shouldn't hear the dripping continously. Do you hear it in the morning, after no-one has run water all night? Do you have a dripping faucet? Copper is not so bad about the expansion but the plastic drain pipes will amplify the dripping sounds inside them.
    I think you could give it a week and search for wet spots near the sound; if it is a leak it will show up in a week or less.
    Glenn
     
  15. Apr 19, 2007 #15

    lostwong

    lostwong

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    Sorry for not getting back to you guys sooner... been ridiculously busy at work and haven't had time for any of this.

    Daryl: I'll try the bucket and water tonight...
    Glenn: This problem has been ongoing ever since we moved in... so that's almost 7 months now. I have yet to see any time of water damage in the ceiling...

    You guys have been awesome... thanks for taking your time to try and figure this out.
     
  16. Apr 19, 2007 #16

    cibula11

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    Just to ease your concern. Our basement is directly below our bathroom. After someone using the toilet, flush or not, I hear a dripping sound that has already been described. I would be willing to guess that like Glenn said, this is what is happening. If you hear a leak constantly, (when water is not being ran or toilet not flushed) then you might have leak. But if you only notice after the toilet has been flushed you should be okay. After 7 mos., a persistant leak would most likely be noticeable by now.
     

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