A Mysterious (and Unidentifiable) Leak

On arriving at the house today, Liz discovered a small water leak coming from the upper cabinets in the kitchen. There were actually two spots, but it wasn’t a large trickle of water… just slow, small drips of what looked like rusty water.

This led to Bob cutting away a lot of the upper cabinets, to try to figure out just what was causing the leak.

Unfortunately, it led to a great deal of cutting and exploration. Bob found a lot of wet/rotted wood in the joists, and whatever is leaking up there… it’s not recent. It’s something that’s been happening for years.

Liz, stepping up and taking a peek. She’s smiling in this photo, but truth be told… she and I were both standing in the kitchen, transfixed, watching Bob cut away a lot of the ceiling.

Our stomachs dropped a lot, as it’s looking like we’ll need to tear out the entire ceiling. While the water damage looks to be contained to a set area, the entire ceiling needs to get replaced. A very daunting bit of news.

Fast forward a bit towards the end of the night. Here, Liz is posing near a just-completed window that’s been stripped of all the paint and varnish. This took her about 7 days in total (even with the help of Mr. Burns).

Not the greatest of photos, but I wanted to also capture Julie helping us out. She’s been a tremendous help with the dining room the past two days, despite still recovering from foot surgery very recently. Both Liz and I are in awe at how much progress has been made in the dining room this weekend.

The water heater, disconnected and ready to be moved to its new (and final) location.

The bit of bad news: we were unable to track down the source of the leak. Though we saw it initially, the additional exploration ended up revealing very little. To top things off, the water in the tub stopped working completely (when it had been working fine, previously). Not a good sign, especially since we couldn’t identify where the leak originated from in the first place.

As of now, our solution is to take this very carefully and to shut off the water (at least, for the next few days when we’re expecting some pretty cold days again). Since we can’t find the leak (and since the pipes going up to the bathroom are galvinized pipes), we’re going to run new copper pipes up instead and abandon the old ones. According to the prior owners, they had just renovated the bathroom about 5 years ago… but it looks like we’ll be replacing all the pipe as a safety measure.

A Day at the House: Attic Cleaning, Reinforced Doors, and a Stereoscope Viewer

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. OH. NO. My heart sank a bit when I read this post. I hope that you’re able to track down the source of this mystery leak and get it patched with as little impact to your schedules, home and budget as possible.

    Michelle Reply

  2. Ugh. Water leaks are NF No Fun. It seems like the inspection could have caught that, since it turns out there’s extensive water damage above the kitchen/below the bathroom.

    Juliet Reply

    • It was all pretty hidden from view, so I think it would have been tough to spot. But yeah, this seems like it’s been an ongoing problem that was just covered over.

      On the plus side, I’m glad we found it now as opposed to later (after we finished updating the kitchen).

      avoision Reply

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