Contemplating Our Next Attack On Plumbing Repairs

Our next plumbing repair is going to involve tearing out the bedroom wall in more than one place.

I am unclear on exactly how the plumbing was run in that section of the house…

Is it under the slab? or was it run over the ceiling?

My thinking is that if it was in the ceiling, we’d be seeing water dripping from various spots in the ceiling.

If it is under the slab, given there are two outside water connections; one a hydrant, and the other was the one that we attempted to repair…so, are both of these connections coming from under the slab? If so, then why the leaks from behind the bed between the two outside connections?

Did they run it inside the wall? if so, then they would have put 3/4″ holes in every stud along the east wall, and that doesn’t make sense, but then, given that my old man did this install, there is absolutely no telling how he did it.

We have decided to check the water leakage (if any) today outside the bedroom where the water was coming from under the wall and above the slab. If none, we may be able to breathe a little…a little.

We will also check under the bed for any dampness or heaven forbid, puddles in the carpet. If so, then our timetable will be moved into more of a ‘rush’ mode.

The king size mattresses will have to be removed to the spare room, leaning up against the couch( will require some rearranging), and the frame will have to be disassembled and removed to access the wall.

The wall is bottom half, paneling. The top is sheet rock. I’ll begin by tearing (and preserving) the paneling to get behind it to find the cracked pipes.

I am placing an order through Amazon today for 3/4″ couplings and elbows…maybe some 3/4″ pipe sections as well. Even so, they won’t be here until next week.

We won’t know until we get the wall torn out to make any plans.

I’ll have to worry about the drywall repair after the plumbing is done.

Meanwhile, we’ll be sleeping in the other room…no guests allowed until the bed is reassembled and return to the proper place.

Then there is, of course, the question that everyone asks themselves when tearing open a wall that’s been closed for 20 years…what the hell kind of things will one find behind the wall?

answer: here? dead scorpions, and given the warm weather, maybe some live ones too…

We’re also planning to fog the rooms before tearing out the walls…just in case…shudder.

18 thoughts on “Contemplating Our Next Attack On Plumbing Repairs

  1. If you have a good air compressor I would think you might be able to pressurize the plumbing lines and listen for leaks behind the wall-that may help avoid dismantling too much stuff that you will then have to re-install. We used to have an ultrasonic sniffer at work that was good for detecting almost any kind of hidden defect that made some kind of noise, whether it be electrical arcing (we did a lot of high voltage stuff), air escaping, or fluid leaks. Sure wish I had such a tool, though probably wouldn’t be using it very often.

    As you know-and especially with horizontal beams/joists-water can run along them for several feet before leaking out-usually out of a ceiling-that gives you a false indication of where the leak is actually located.

    OTOH, by delaying the repairs for a good long time you **might** be able to avoid those pesky in-laws from ‘dropping in’. Same for the kid. Don’t ya just love family???

  2. I bet the pipes are in the walls… or in the overhead… If they were in the slab, they’d be slow to freeze, as retained heat from the ground would keep them somewhat warm…

      • Of course, the leak could be in the riser, if the plumbing is in the slab. Damn, I hate plumbing!

        ‘Had the drain that serves the washer, garage deep sink, and kitchen sink clog last week… at 8:30pm… ‘Went out to the barn, dragged the ridiculously heavy motorized snake up to the house, and snaked the line. I put 40ft of that thing into the pipe. Yesterday I get up and head to the kitchen. Do I get “Good mornin’ hon?” No; I get “The drain is clogged again.” I snaked it out again, and then called a plumber. I guess a 50ft snake is in order… maybe a rooter… Like most men, the thought of needing to call another man with a longer… snake… is not pleasant, but neither is cleaning out that wretched drain line…

    • Tom (and others), son in law went hunting last fall and the daughter promptly called to say her kitchen sink was backed up. My remaining ~12 ft. section of a snake that once was 25′ (don’t ask) didn’t do it, so bought a longer one and hooked it up to my variable speed drill; no dice. Shit. She called a plumber and he had to put a 2nd 50′ section on his rooter and it cleared the clog with about 5′ to spare. Not sure if it was kitchen grease or some other clog-it had to be out about where the house line goes through the foundation on its way to the nearby septic tank. The weird thing was as the rooter was going on its long trip we could hear all kinds of rumbles coming from various walls (fairly big house and there must have been several ells in the drain pipe).

      Anyway, the guy told her to every month put a cup of Dawn liquid dish detergent in the disposal right at bedtime, run it with a little water-just enough to get foamy bubbles, then go to bed. If there is grease in the line and the Dawn hits it there is a fair chance the grease will be dissolved.

      I had a house painter coming and there was a yellowjacket nest under a bush that was close to the foundation. Tried everything-nothing worked. Read a tip online to use-you guessed it-Dawn. It dissolves the outer protective layer on the wasp’s exoskeleton and does them in. One of the things I had earlier tried was flooding the nest with water, but the water just kept going all the way down to China, never backing up to ground level to suggest the underground nest was completely flooded. So I mixed a gallon of warm water with a couple cups of Dawn, poured it in, and took the exhaust hose from my shop vac to make a bubble machine-I literally had bubbles coming up out of the ground where I had made some vent holes. After 2 days of this (actually, I did it a few minutes after dusk when the wasps were all inside for the day-they have no nighttime vision, supposedly) they were pretty much done for. Maybe one or two stragglers for a few days. One of the funnest things I did all summer-the neighbors thought I had gone crazy blowing bubbles out of a hole in the ground!!!

      • I too, like Dawn for many reasons. For the drains, I use an Instant Power enzyme drain cleaner. 1 C in all the drains once a month at bedtime seems to maintain the pipes for the septic tank. If there is a clog, I just pour in a cup or so and leave it. If i have a slow drain, again same.

  3. As the man said(paraphrased) in the movie Braveheart, some mens snakes are longer than others. I wish i had a python, but all i’ve got is a garter snake.

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