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Thread: How to Approach Repair of Drain line

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    How to Approach Repair of Drain line

    There is a drain line in our house that connects to bathrooms on the first, second, and third floors. It mainly 4 inch cast iron.

    20 years ago we renovated all three bathrooms so the horizontal drain pipes in the bathrooms are PVC. The vertical drain pipe in the basement is also PVC.

    After the renovation was finished and before we wallpapered then a leak developed in the waste line just below the ceiling of the first floor. A portion of the cast iron pipe was corroded and leaking. The plumber opened the wall and replaced a section with PVC pipe.

    We have not been using the attic bathroom the past few years and have not noticed any problems up until now.

    Recently we started using the attic bathroom. It has a shower but no tub. When we use the sink or shower there then we notice that the wallpaper just above the tile in the first floor bathroom is getting wet. We stopped and it dried up but it is stained in places.

    There is no evidence of water damage appearingng in the second or third floor walls or in the ceiling below the third floor bathroom. I do see some mold on the wall next to the very bottom of the pipe in the basement but it does not feel wet right now.

    It seems like the water is leaking somewhere on the second or third floor and running down the outside of the pipe until it bounces off a fitting or the repair in the wall of the first floor bathroom and sprays the wall.

    Since water appears when we run the 3rd floor shower then the leak is probably below the floor level of the third floor.

    Does my diagnosis seem correct?

    How should we localize the leak? Where should the plumber open up the wall? On the third floor or second floor?

    The 3rd floor wall has tile floor to ceiling on the bathroom side and wallpaper on the other side so it would be hardest to fix.

    The second floor wall has wallpaper in one side and is painted on the other side.

    The first floor bathroom wall has tile part way up and wallpaper the rest of the way. The other side of its wall is painted.

    The basement is unfinished.

    We do not have much of the wallpaper or tile so it would be easiest to break open the painted side of each wall.

    Thanks

    Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Wilmington DE
    Posts
    7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazj View Post
    There is a drain line in our house that connects to bathrooms on the first, second, and third floors. It mainly 4 inch cast iron.

    20 years ago we renovated all three bathrooms so the horizontal drain pipes in the bathrooms are PVC. The vertical drain pipe in the basement is also PVC.

    After the renovation was finished and before we wallpapered then a leak developed in the waste line just below the ceiling of the first floor. A portion of the cast iron pipe was corroded and leaking. The plumber opened the wall and replaced a section with PVC pipe.

    We have not been using the attic bathroom the past few years and have not noticed any problems up until now.

    Recently we started using the attic bathroom. It has a shower but no tub. When we use the sink or shower there then we notice that the wallpaper just above the tile in the first floor bathroom is getting wet. We stopped and it dried up but it is stained in places.

    There is no evidence of water damage appearingng in the second or third floor walls or in the ceiling below the third floor bathroom. I do see some mold on the wall next to the very bottom of the pipe in the basement but it does not feel wet right now.

    It seems like the water is leaking somewhere on the second or third floor and running down the outside of the pipe until it bounces off a fitting or the repair in the wall of the first floor bathroom and sprays the wall.

    Since water appears when we run the 3rd floor shower then the leak is probably below the floor level of the third floor.

    Does my diagnosis seem correct?

    How should we localize the leak? Where should the plumber open up the wall? On the third floor or second floor?

    The 3rd floor wall has tile floor to ceiling on the bathroom side and wallpaper on the other side so it would be hardest to fix.

    The second floor wall has wallpaper in one side and is painted on the other side.

    The first floor bathroom wall has tile part way up and wallpaper the rest of the way. The other side of its wall is painted.

    The basement is unfinished.

    We do not have much of the wallpaper or tile so it would be easiest to break open the painted side of each wall.

    Thanks

    Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
    Start by opening up the wall on the second floor, either side. If you can not see any obvious problems run the shower to see if you can find the bad spot. The leak could be anywhere from the drain connection at the stack on the 3rd floor to just above the tee/wye for the 2nd floor connection. It could be where the PVC connects to the cast or since the drain hasn't been used used it could be the cast has cracked. You may need to open up some of the ceiling to find and repair. As a 25+yr master plumber knowing the history if you were my customer my recommendation would be replace the entire stack but a repair may also work.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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