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Bad Leak and Bad Smell Coming from Somewhere and Can't Find it!

Postby linzal » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:32 pm

Hi everyone, this is my first post so I hope it's ok to dive right in. I have recently bought my first house. It was built in 2006, it's a mid terraced town house new build.

We have a kitchen/diner and living room on the ground floor. The master bedroom (with ensuite), family bathroom and second bedroom on the first floor and a large third bedroom on the second floor.

About two months ago we noticed some water dripping through one of the downlights in our kitchen (our kitchen is underneath both the second bedroom and family bathroom). The particular downlight where the leak was is about a foot in front and underneath the toilet in the family bathroom. We didn't want to rip the plasterboard ceiling up, so investigated in the bathroom and sort of thought it was water escaping down the side of the bath panel so we bought a new bath panel and resealed it. I must mention that the family bathroom doesn't get used a lot only when we have family stay.

This seemed to do the trick... until the last three weeks and now I am pulling my hair out. I noticed a water stain appearing on the kitchen wall above the cabinets (near the downlighters mentioned before). This spread over some of the ceiling and has gone green with mould. Just as we were about to get it looked at the leak appeared again through the same down light as before. So I got my brother in law round (not a plumber) who took some of our ceiling down so a plumber could inspect. Well as you would expect the ceiling was soaked and basically melted away when pulled. We can now see some pipes. Next, I went up to the guest room and noticed that the carpet along the wall adjoining the family bathroom was soaking. A huge patch and the underlay ruined.

We have called a plumber out, who has checked the boiler and confirmed it's not that (I thought the water patch on the carpet may have had something to do with me putting the heating on for the first time in a while and there is a radiator on the other side of that wall in the family bathroom). What doesn't help is the family bathroom is all tiled and the pipework hidden, including access to the toilet. We removed the wooden shelf above the built in toilet unit and shone a torch down and the floor is soaking. So we definitely have a leak SOMEWHERE.

In the last week or so I have noticed a putrid vomit smell in our ensuite bathroom when I go near the toilet. Can all of this be connected and what on earth should I do? We have home insurance and they have been really good but I just don't know where to start!! Help
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Simply Build It

Postby thedoctor » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:46 pm


Issues such as these are always very difficult to solve, especially when access is limited and also due to the fact that water can run down and along pipework, timbers etc…. so even though you may have visible damage on ceiling, floors etc…. the root issue maybe somewhere completely different.

It does sound like the leak is located somewhere within the family bathroom/toilet area, but without being able to access all of the pipework/appliances so that you can visibly see any leaks it is almost impossible to guess. In light of tis yo may have to bite the bullet and gain access to pipework/toilet to see whats going on as, with leaks especially, the longer they persist the more damage and cost will be incurred e.g. damage/rot in structural timbers which could potentially run into 000’s of pounds in damages.

One possible starting point is the toilet - Toilets can be problematic in the fact that the fixings that the cistern uses to connect to the pan normally feature rubber seals and these can degrade and leak over time (just had this issue in my own house) so this might be an area to look at first.

Unfortunately, as said, you may have to start accessing deeper into the structure to discover more.

Kind Regards
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