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HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

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  • HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

    Hi folks,
    Last night we had a major leak through the ceiling - luckily it is garage under the leak. Kids were taking shower - it is tiles around with spray heads on the wall.
    The water was gushing out under the ceiling, not a small trickle. It slowly stopped after we turned off the valves (not the main value - so water is still going to the fittings) , and no leak with valves turned off.

    This is the fourth time we use the shower (just moved in). Do not remember if it was leaking or not the other times (if leaked, nobody probably noticed as no one was downstairs those times).

    How do I diagnose this issue? Is it a failed drain pipe? failed shower pan/membrane under the tile? failed tile grouts?

    There is a tub next to the shower, and toilets. Do not appear to have leaks when flushing toilets (not sure if they joint to the same drain pipe or not). We never used the tub yet, but did fill it up to clean and drained no problem.

    How do we identify the source without cut open the ceiling drywall or the tiles?

    (btw, I did pour one bucket - around 4 gals of water directly into the drain hole in about 30 seconds. did not appear to leak - not sure if it needs to accumulate large amount of water to overwhelm the ceiling drywall or not).

    The leak seems to go through the joint of drywall. The lines are showing (guess where the pieces of drywalls met).

    please help! help!

    thank you all very much!

  • #2
    Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

    If it doesn't leak with a bucket of water the drain or pan leaking seems unlikely. I suspect the shower arm is cracked in the wall, the ball joint on the head is squirting back up the arm and into the wall or it is the packing washer on the stem(s).

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

      Thanks Tom.

      I checked the body spray arms, they are free of water leak. The overhead shower was not turned on at the time. The handheld I did not check, but I installed it last week brand new, the arm appears to be quite sealed (Grohe holder with 90 degree elbow), I used handheld to fill the 4 gal bucket, there was no leak in the ceiling while I was doing it.

      Should I test with more buckets of water? (I dumped one bucket directly into the drain, without it spreading through the tiles).

      thank you

      Originally posted by asktom View Post
      If it doesn't leak with a bucket of water the drain or pan leaking seems unlikely. I suspect the shower arm is cracked in the wall, the ball joint on the head is squirting back up the arm and into the wall or it is the packing washer on the stem(s).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

        You say spray heads ...How many water outlets come out of the wall ?
        What was running when the water came down ?
        The Spray heads or personal shower

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

          Here's what you do.

          In order described.

          1. Fill tub all the way using only tub spout being careful to not splash water outside of tub. Let water out. If it leaks, the problem is in the waste and overflow /trap/ or waste line. If no leak go to #2

          2. Turn on shower head and spray water into tub. Make certain water does not touch any of the wall tiles. Run this for 10 minutes or so if you don't see water leaking. Obviously.... stop if you see water leaking. The problem is in the shower riser/shower arm area. If you don't see water then go to #3

          3. The problem is almost certainly bad grout joints/failed caulk at the tub line, or between the faucet handles, spout and tile, etc. Take a small bucket of water and pour some water on areas you suspect.

          Good luck.
          Time flies like an arrow.

          Fruit flies like a banana.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

            Can you take a pic of the shower and post it?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

              If you had water running through the ceiling's drywall below I would remove it to get access and see where the water is coming from. Having wet drywall just sitting there is bad, because dark damp conditions allow things to grow; so if it were my house I would want to replace the drywall anyway.

              I'll admit that my shower leaks a little into my laundry room (I suspect the tile/grout joint), but I haven't fixed it; so I have a big hole in my laundry room ceiling where water occasionally comes out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

                ditto cpw. soggy drywall ain't good. mold is even worse! your call. breid..............

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

                  Grohe fittings/trims

                  3 body spray heads
                  1 overhead shower
                  1 handheld

                  when it leaked, handheld was running, and 3 spray heads were running too, with one of them adjusted to small volume.

                  so total would be around 7.5 gals/min

                  Originally posted by DELCASE View Post
                  You say spray heads ...How many water outlets come out of the wall ?
                  What was running when the water came down ?
                  The Spray heads or personal shower

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

                    It is a shower stall with tiles on the wall where the heads are, and the base

                    glass on three sides

                    the tub is not involved, it is separate and outside of the shower.
                    we have not used the tub, but did filled it up once and drain it without apparent problem (we did not check leak under the ceiling).

                    Would it share the same drain pipe with the separate show systems?

                    If yes, then the drain pipe does not leak, if not, drain pipe for the shower is still a suspect.

                    thank you

                    Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
                    Here's what you do.

                    In order described.

                    1. Fill tub all the way using only tub spout being careful to not splash water outside of tub. Let water out. If it leaks, the problem is in the waste and overflow /trap/ or waste line. If no leak go to #2

                    2. Turn on shower head and spray water into tub. Make certain water does not touch any of the wall tiles. Run this for 10 minutes or so if you don't see water leaking. Obviously.... stop if you see water leaking. The problem is in the shower riser/shower arm area. If you don't see water then go to #3

                    3. The problem is almost certainly bad grout joints/failed caulk at the tub line, or between the faucet handles, spout and tile, etc. Take a small bucket of water and pour some water on areas you suspect.

                    Good luck.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

                      thanks guys.

                      I will take a pic tomorrow, also try to cut a small hole on the ceiling so that my head can stick out there to see what's wrong -- after the holidy
                      It is not an easy feast as the ceiling at garage is pretty high...

                      right now the fancy shower system is restricted area now

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

                        btw, we noticed the leak probably 10 to 15 mins into the shower.

                        the water was gushing down from the ceiling when we noticed it, not a trickle. It was leaking along the drywall joint line, with one point gushing out, almost like a bathroom FAUCET running off the ceiling.

                        after the volume controls were turned off at the handheld and body spray, I think it took about 2 minutes for the water to slow to trickle, then another 3 to 5 minutes to become dripping, then stopped in another 5 minutes I would say. Did not time it, just my guessing right now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

                          Dare I say it... nah I will bite my tongue.
                          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

                            This is the fourth time we use the shower (just moved in).
                            You made this statement (above) in your original post but no one
                            asked so I will. Is this a newly constructed home or an existing
                            home that you just bought and moved in to?

                            A new home should be covered by warranty and you should not
                            have to do anything but dial a number and get this fixed at no
                            expense to you.
                            ---------------
                            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                            ---------------
                            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                            ---------
                            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                            ---------
                            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: HELP! water leak through ceiling - gushing

                              recessed water tiles or body sprays? remove 90 for handheld that you installed and check there first.

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