Basement Ceiling Leak – Part 1 – The Discovery

The other day my wife and I were in our basement and I happened to notice that a few of the ceiling tiles in our drop ceiling were exhibiting different types of water stains. One ceiling tile had a large brown circular water stain on one side, while another had a brown water stain along one side. Call plumber schaumburg il immediately when this happens so that your pipe problem can be fixed fast.

I was surprised as I thought I had replaced all of the ceiling tiles which were either already stained before we moved into the house. So, I preceded to replace those ceiling tiles and moved on to the rest of the day.

A few mornings later when I went down stairs for our usual first thing in the morning routine of letting our dog out the back for her morning ‘constitutional’ icon smile Basement Ceiling Leak   Part 1   The Discovery when yes, you guessed it, there was a circular water stain back on the tile I had just replaced. And I just installed the new ceiling tile. Now, ceiling tiles are not that expensive. I had purchased a few months back a box of 8 2 feet wide by 4 feet long ceiling tiles for around $48 at the local big box building supply retailer. I just hate to waste money.

new water fresh stain on new ceiling tile Basement Ceiling Leak   Part 1   The Discovery

So, I remove the newly stained ceiling tile and saw that there were three pipes within the 2 foot by 2 foot area covered by the ceiling tile.

I was able to determine that the black pipe which was second from the left in the above picture was the culprit. There were trailers left from where the water was dripping and even a drip waiting to fall.

piping above stained ceiling tile Basement Ceiling Leak   Part 1   The Discovery

That particular area of the basement was directly above our master bedroom en suite, likely above the shower but we could not be sure. So Cath and I then did some tests to see what might be the culprit before we contacted Baker Brothers Plumbing & Air Conditioning and our contractor Bruce. With me in the basement she ran first one and then the other faucet for the sinks. Nope, no drip.

She then flushed the toilet (although the toilet was several feet away, but we thought ‘what the heck’).  Nope, no drip. She then ran the shower. Still nothing.

We then contacted Bruce, the contractor who installed the bathroom. Bruce told us that the pipe with the drip was actually an air pipe. As we learned, in order for water to flow as it should in a house there needs to be place for the displaced air to go. Think of it this way. Have you ever drank your favourite beverage straight from the bottle? If you place (not overly sanitary, I know) the entire top of the bottle in your mouth when drinking from it, you know that you need to remove the bottle from your mouth to let some air into it to allow you to continue drinking.

However, if you drink from the bottle by placing only part of the bottle to your lips leaving a space immediately above your lips so air can get into the bottle as you drink it, you can keep drinking until the bottle is empty. This is the same effect of air pipes in the house; when water flows into a pipe the displaced air has to go somewhere for the water flow not to be reduced.

Tomorrow, we’ll continue with more of our discussion with Bruce and what we attempted to do to stop the water drip.

To continue with the next article in this series, simply select this link to Part 2.

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  1. Ellen says:

    What happened after Part 1 of the discovery?

  2. Dan says:

    Would you believe, Ellen, that I forgot the link to Part 2.

    My apologies. It should be there in about 2 minutes!


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