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Fairies under the bath...

(25 Posts)
ThisIsANiceCage Thu 09-Dec-10 20:28:21

...with water pistols.

It has to be. We've eliminated all the other possibilities so whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

The side has been off the bath for a year: all we need to do is work out where the fuck the water's coming from.

It's usually a tiny drop sitting on top of the compression joint between the hot water pipe and the tap. We've tightened the joint a few times and thought we'd got the bugger. But last week, after I'd had an arm in there stuffing insulation against the outside wall / concrete floor, suddenly the whole damn area was wet - underside of bath, nut holding tap unit tight to underside of bath, much calumnied compression joint just below.

By today, back to normal. Slight wetness.

It can't be a mere loose compression joint, cos whenceforth the post-insulation splurt?
It can't be water sitting on the bath top making it's way under the tap unit (two-hole monoblock jobby with shower hose) - we've tested by drying all, flooding there, testing.
It's not the weight of someone showering in the bath combined with the above.
It can't be condensation - it's a copper hot pipe, and there are plenty of bone dry cold pipes right next to it.
It's not exposed to general splashing - way in under the bath and high up. And besides, consistent local splashing?
It's not even a loose overflow fitting leaking under pressure of the shower spray: we've tried that too.

It's none of these things. I've been on my hands and knees with bits of tissue for months. The plumbers are baffled. The handyman's baffled.

Mumsnet, I turn to you. grin

iamnotreallysure Thu 09-Dec-10 20:47:52

Does the overflow connect directly to a discharge pipe or is it part of the bath molding / body? I ask because we had a sink that leaked through an internal hole within the molding / casing casing (when the overflow got water in it) which was totally externally invisible?

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 09-Dec-10 20:50:47

Links to a discharge pipe. Bit of excitement when that got knocked off a while back, but now firmly reattached, overflow surround (chrome bit on good side of bath) unscrewed, cleaned, refitted, tested with full on shower spray. Nada.

poorbuthappy Thu 09-Dec-10 20:53:37

This won't help you but...we keep losing pressure in our combi boiler and we can not find a leak so bollocks only knows where the bloody water is going.

But is it starting to really really really annoy us now...so whilst I'm not helping I am feeling your pain. grin

ANTagony Thu 09-Dec-10 20:56:27

Are the pipes under the bath and/ or the bath metal?

Is the room an even temperature with a fan and/ or ventilation?

Just wondering whether it (the bath and/ or pipes) could be a condensation surface that then slowly drip down. This could explain why why the addition of insulation exacerbated the wetness temporarily.

The concrete floor will absorb the moisture and then when it warms the moisture will evaporate condensing on colder surfaces etc etc.

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 09-Dec-10 20:59:16

Ah. Yes, we've had that one as well. So as soon as the stain on the ceiling appeared, I knew what it was shock. All I can say is thank fuck it wasn't two feet further along, under the built-in wardrobe...

It was a pin-hole, seeping not spraying until the plumber ran his finger over it. He said the switch from gravity fed to a pressurized system had probably been the final straw where the copper had been expanding/contracting for years over a little hard ridge of plaster.

sooz28 Thu 09-Dec-10 21:03:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 09-Dec-10 21:04:05

ANT the room is jolly damp, condensation in all the likely places, mostly on the tiles. BUT here's the thing: the cold pipe smack next to the offending hot one is just fine. I suppose it gets a faint film of condensation, but not the definite, local droplet that turns tissue transparent.

I wondered if I'd dislodged a dodgy joint writhing round with the insulation. But that doesn't explain why it's now back to a drip. Arrrrghhh!

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 09-Dec-10 21:12:36

Found a leak from the upstairs basin in the same week as the central heating leak.

Resolved the cage would no longer have Any Bloody Running Water Anywhere we could just use a pump at the front door...

<slight overreaction>

poorbuthappy Thu 09-Dec-10 22:01:47

sooz28 - will look into the self sealing solution thingy thank you! No the overflow pipe's not leaking, even had it checked out by our plumber who is quite confused by it!

Cage...apologies for hijack!

sooz28 Thu 09-Dec-10 22:06:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 09-Dec-10 22:06:29

poorbuthappy best of luck!

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 09-Dec-10 22:59:18

poorbuthappy DP suggests your mystery disappearing water and our mystery appearing water may be... connected.

He muttered something about wormholes... shock

TheFarSide Thu 09-Dec-10 23:21:42

Poorbuthappy - let me know if the Fernox works. We've recently put some in our system (boiler was losing pressure) and it has certainly slowed down and possibly stopped the leak - we are still monitoring it.

Cage - really sorry to hijack but also feel your pain. We had a leak under the bath but in our case the nuts connecting the pipes to the tap were not tight enough to cope when we moved from a gravity fed to a pressurised system, so it was relatively easily resolved.

Like you, very fed up with leaks. When I win the lottery and build my own house, all water and central heating pipes are going to be exposed so there is no risk of having to dismantle the house to search for leaks. If the Fernox doesn't work, we are going to have to pull up all the newly laid flooring to search for a tiny leak that could be anywhere.

TheFarSide Thu 09-Dec-10 23:23:22

Oh yeah, forgot the mystery leak in the cupboard under the stairs. Lagged pipe in cupboard to stop condensation but concrete floor still soaking wet. We now think it's penetrating from the ground.

ThisIsANiceCage Fri 10-Dec-10 20:30:56

Penetrating from the ground? To the point of being soaking wet? Erm, that sounds really dodgy - do you have an underground stream or something?

Donki Fri 10-Dec-10 20:46:41

I once had a spring rise up in the front room after prolonged heavy rain...

TheFarSide Fri 10-Dec-10 20:55:02

Actually not so soaking since we lagged the pipe and stopped the condensation, plus moved some of the junk out of the cupboard to let the water evaporate - just damp. There is earth under the concrete (the rest of the room is floor suspended on joists over earth) and when it rains a lot and the earth gets wet it rises up through the concrete. I think (hope).

Definitely no stream anyway.

<imagines trout swimming by under floor>

ThisIsANiceCage Fri 10-Dec-10 21:40:02

"<imagines trout swimming by under floor>"

Yeh, I'm whining, but next door actually did end up with a pond under the floor.

He had to mine sideways from his property to clamp off the water company's leaking lead pipework, which fed both his house and the empty, rental, other half of the semi. (Water company's pipework comes right onto one of the properties, stopcock inside front door.) Then wait for overseas owners to coordinate with water co.

We were duly sympathetic, offered pump etc. Went to use our own stopcock a month later: by some miracle it was still at the "gentle misting spray" stage, rather than the gush. shock

By another miracle, the water company and insurance company fought to take responsibility, not pass it around like next door, and we had new mains pipework and an outdoor stopcock before darkness fell.

Hmm, I should remember this story when feeling the plumbing's out to get me: it could all have been SO much worse.

But I know exactly where that damn pump is going when I finally get fed up! grin

TheFarSide Fri 10-Dec-10 22:10:32

I gave up worrying about leaks under the house a while ago. That worry was replaced by the worry of an impossible to find pinhole leak in the central heating pipes. Now that leak sealant appears to have solved that problem, our new worry is an occasional methane gas smell coming through the airing cupboard in the bathroom upstairs.

I want to live in a caravan.

ThisIsANiceCage Fri 10-Dec-10 22:24:56

Gas? Oh god... sad

TheFarSide Thu 13-Jan-11 22:51:03

Where was the leak?

northerngirl41 Thu 13-Jan-11 23:08:16

Suggestion: could the tiles be leaking? We had the whole bath ripped out in one bathroom (man, I love a bit of disruption!) and still had leaks... Plumber came back about 4 times and then declared he was going to regrout and seal the tiles - problem solved!

It looked like it was coming from the pipes, but was running to the bath edge, down the top side of the bath and towards the nearest tap - i.e. hot tap, so it looked like a leak.

ThisIsANiceCage Fri 14-Jan-11 22:41:13

Rubber flange under taps not sited properly - why we thought removing the tap unit to check would be such a big deal I don't know, should have done it a year ago! grin

Northerngirl that's a possible additional culprit - could see a tiny flaw in the silicon caulking once taps removed.

So we stripped out the blackening silicon and recaulked and I've just had the first shower and I'm TOO SCARED TO CHECK UNDERNEATH yet.

So I might be lying that it's fixed. Wish me luck...

northerngirl41 Sat 15-Jan-11 16:26:24

Be brave! (It's better than falling naked thru rotten floorboards, the ceiling and into your downstairs, yes?)

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