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Basement ceiling is leaking! Help!

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  • Feb 3rd, 2009 10:48 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 4, 2007
922 posts
202 upvotes

Basement ceiling is leaking! Help!

I live in a 3 story townhouse and the basement (it's finished) ceiling is leaking today.

There is a wet streak across the ceiling and it is dripping out the light fixture. With the temps today everything is melting, is it possible the leaky basement ceiling is from the roof leaking? I am just surprised it would show up in the basement and not the top level.

How can I investigate where the leak is originating from and how do I fix this?
14 replies
Moderator
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Aug 22, 2003
15532 posts
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Niagara Falls
Bathroom, kitchen or laundry room on the floor above the basement? Chances are if the answer is yes that's where the leak is coming from and not from 3 floors above...
Thinking seriously about the 4 S's...Sun, Sand, Surf and ... Booked for Sept in Mexico and booked Samana DR for Jan!
Deal Addict
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Oct 26, 2008
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Check for foundation cracks outside the house.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 4, 2007
922 posts
202 upvotes
Yes, the powder room and kitchen is above the basement. Laundry room is in the basement.

I guess, I would normally assume the same but with everything melting today I was wondering if it was connected.

We ran the dishwasher this morn so I will look into that next time we run it.
Deal Expert
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Aug 9, 2004
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Mississauga
water can find its way down from the roof, but I'd check the plumbing first for leaks...esp this time of year, when some people have probs with pipes freezing. Another thing to consider is if maybe someone showered without using the shower curtain properly, or some other type of human error.
Why wait until the next time you run the dishwasher? so you can have another leak, this time with a dishwasher full of dirty dishes? Pull it out now and look for wetspots/leaks.
Thanks for the memories, RFD.
Good-bye.
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Aug 22, 2003
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stealth wrote:
Feb 1st, 2009 1:37 pm
water can find its way down from the roof, but I'd check the plumbing first for leaks...esp this time of year, when some people have probs with pipes freezing. Another thing to consider is if maybe someone showered without using the shower curtain properly, or some other type of human error.
Why wait until the next time you run the dishwasher? so you can have another leak, this time with a dishwasher full of dirty dishes? Pull it out now and look for wetspots/leaks.
Yep, just pull out the dishwasher and check under the sink. You could be in for a rude awakening. You really want to find the water source ASAP before nasty things like mold start growing, especially considering you said there was enough water for it to be coming through a light fixture. Just in case you need a reminder (I doubt it though), electricity and water do not mix well together. ;)
Thinking seriously about the 4 S's...Sun, Sand, Surf and ... Booked for Sept in Mexico and booked Samana DR for Jan!
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 4, 2007
922 posts
202 upvotes
Thanks for the replies.

My husband or I are not handy at all with this stuff. I did not realize that I could easily slide the dishwasher out. I took a look at it and I have an idea of what I need to do to get it out now.

I have checked under the sink and the floor all around the dishwasher and there is not a drop of water.
Sr. Member
Feb 25, 2005
523 posts
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The above posters are correct about checking your dishwasher FIRST. We had the exact problem, and when I pulled out the dishwasher, the drain was broken and the water was backing up into the cabinetry.

It's not hard to take a dishwasher out; most are like ovens and fridges, just get a solid hold on it and pull.
Sr. Member
Jul 15, 2008
638 posts
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Calgary
determine what's on the floor above your light and start from there. It's likely due to plumbing and not snow melting.
Sr. Member
Nov 24, 2002
890 posts
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Toronto
HeldDown wrote:
Feb 1st, 2009 11:14 pm
The above posters are correct about checking your dishwasher FIRST. We had the exact problem, and when I pulled out the dishwasher, the drain was broken and the water was backing up into the cabinetry.

It's not hard to take a dishwasher out; most are like ovens and fridges, just get a solid hold on it and pull.
That's not true. If that was the case, the darn thing would rattle and dance like an old dryer.

Before you try and pull, open it up and look up. You might notice a strap in place holding it to the underside of the counter.

Also, most dishwasher have a face place on the bottom held in place by 2 screws. This allows installers to slide the unit in, and then wire it in place. You can remove this place and take a look.

The worst thing that can happen if you just try to pull is:

- rip the counter
- rip the electrical (dishwashers aren't plugged in. they're wired in!!)
- rip the water lines! (hot in/waste out)
Deal Addict
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Sep 5, 2004
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Kitchener, ON
Sorry to hear that, another reason why it's best to have a drop down ceiling!
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Apr 11, 2004
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sixer wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2009 10:21 pm
Sorry to hear that, another reason why it's best to have a drop down ceiling!
borderline troll comment, definitely NOT a helpful comment
Why is nobody on RFD accountable for their actions???
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May 24, 2003
929 posts
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I know we had water leaking into our basement cold cellar due to a bad roof. Had the shingles replaced, along with the eavestrough securely fastened tightly to the roof and the problem went away.
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Aug 9, 2004
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Mississauga
leonk wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2009 12:50 pm
That's not true. If that was the case, the darn thing would rattle and dance like an old dryer.

Before you try and pull, open it up and look up. You might notice a strap in place holding it to the underside of the counter.

Also, most dishwasher have a face place on the bottom held in place by 2 screws. This allows installers to slide the unit in, and then wire it in place. You can remove this place and take a look.

The worst thing that can happen if you just try to pull is:

- rip the counter
- rip the electrical (dishwashers aren't plugged in. they're wired in!!)
- rip the water lines! (hot in/waste out)
Not 100% true either. Our dishwasher is wired in, but with about 3ft of slack in the wire so it can be pulled out and worked on if need be. The same with the intake and outlet hoses, plenty of slack as well. There is a bracket up top for some screws to the counter, but they arent necessary. dishwashers are freestanding, if yours dances around like and old dryer, toss it. A jet spins around within the dishwasher similar to a yard sprinkler, not a heavy, balanced rotating mechanism the way a washing machine or dryer has. As our kitchen is currently being renovated, we have our dishwasher sitting all by itself, but still plumbed in and wired in while we wait for our cabinets. Ran 3x so far, hasnt budged even a mm. without any cabinetry support at all.
Thanks for the memories, RFD.
Good-bye.
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Jun 14, 2003
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hjello wrote:
Feb 1st, 2009 1:07 pm
Yes, the powder room and kitchen is above the basement. Laundry room is in the basement.

I guess, I would normally assume the same but with everything melting today I was wondering if it was connected.

We ran the dishwasher this morn so I will look into that next time we run it.
The best hope is the leak from dishwasher because that probably would be the cheapest. Open the bottom plate and use a flash light to look itself. Another easy way is to slide a paper towel inside through the gap the of the bottom plate. If the leak is there, the paper towel should pick that up.
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