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  • Jan 16, 2008, 07:30 AM
    Shower leak from the ceiling
    Hi, I have a shower leak from my ceiling flowing down into my kitchen. I know this subject was covered previously, but I think my story may or may not be a little different.

    Recently, my shower was and still is stopped up with standing water that slowly drains. I tried all the simple answers to fix this. Examples are Draino with foam, a plunger and also one of those drain clog remover's that blow a large amount of air into the pipe. None of this worked, so I tried to use a Commercial Strength drainer clog remover. Looks like it may have been too strong.
    First it smelled like rotten eggs (maybe it was supposed to), then it started to leak in my downstairs ceiling and it also eat a large whole in my main drain in my basement, which I did fix. What stuck out to me is that the porcelain part of the drain in my basement was OK, but there was a hole was in the black rubber part of the main drain. So I replaced that.

    However, I still have the leak in the ceiling. I think it may be the same situation with rubber in the pipe above my kitchen causing it to leak. But I have no idea what to do or if my rubber theory is correct.

    Can someone help me?

    Thank you so much!
  • Jan 16, 2008, 09:21 AM
    Boy, I guess they really meant it when they said Commercial Strength. Are your drain pipes cast iron or PVC? You have likely eaten through some washers and that shower drain is not accessible right now but it will be. If the leak has lasted more than a day or two you need to replace part o the ceiling since mold is already growing. Open the ceiling and you will be able to inspect the drain leak much better. Avoid further chemicals, try rodding with a 1/4" rod but the leak fix will likely also remove the clog. Back to you for what you find in the ceiling.
  • Jan 16, 2008, 11:25 AM
    Thanks for your quick answer. To answer your question about my drain pipes, it seems like it's a mix between the three. White PVC pipes, rusting iron pipes and black rubber PVC Wye (I think that's what it was). The original black rubber PVC Wye was the one that had the large hole in it. So I replaced it with another one.

    Also another question is about the 1/4" rod. Is that the same as a snake or something different?

    In case you didn't notice, I'm not very handy... Yet.

    Thanks again
  • Jan 16, 2008, 11:36 AM
    1/4" snake and rod are the same thing, sorry for not using your wording. The black wye, was it as rigid and hard as PVC or slightly soft? It might have been an ABS plastic pipe wye. Guess that doesn't really matter since you successfully replaced it with the same.
  • Jan 16, 2008, 11:57 AM
    No problem. To answer your question, it was slightly soft and rubber-like.

    Are there any hazards I should be on the lookout for when I remove part of the ceiling and replace any pipes or washer, etc? For example, since the leak is in the ceiling, could there be a risk of electric shock, due to wires also in the ceiling?

    Also, I know that you said it was probably a washer that got eaten away, does that mean that it is unlikely that a plumber would put one of those rubber pipes inside the ceiling? Is it that you only see the rubber pipes out in the open?

    Thanks again for your help.
  • Jan 16, 2008, 12:03 PM
    When you work with water inside a home there is always a slight risk of shock but it is very slight. Stand on a wood ladder or chair whne you pook your first hole into the wet spot. Most homes are built in a manner so that they are safe from shoc but who knows what other owners have done since the house was built. I have opened up walls and found duct tape on drain pipes. Do you need a plumber, we don't know yet because I don't know how your shower drain is connected, it may be a glued OVC but maybe not. You tell us when you see it and we'll go from there.
  • Jan 17, 2008, 11:47 AM
    I'm going to give it a shot today.
    Just so I'm clear here. Do you think I should snake it first with the 1/4" rod or open the ceiling first?
    Also do you think I should use and electric snake or manual?
  • Jan 17, 2008, 12:08 PM
    I'd open the ceiling because you have more than just a blockage, I thnik you said it leaked too so that needs to be located. Fixing the leak may also give you better access with your rod. No big rod needed yet, we need to know what your drain looks like from underneath.
  • Jan 21, 2008, 11:24 AM
    Hey, thanks for your advise, but I and tried it out. I saw the leak in between the PVC pipe and tried to put some silicone on it. No help. Also the angles in the pipe made it impossible for me to snake. So I called a plumber. He couldn't snake it either. Had to remove both pipes and replace them. I'm all set.

    Thanks again for your time and help.

  • Jan 21, 2008, 11:27 AM
    Sometimes you just got to get a pro.

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