Leak inside kitchen wall, water appears in basement
May 26, 2010 8:36 PM Subscribe
Leak in basement whenever water goes down kitchen sink drain, probably leak inside wall since under sink I cannot find any drips. Please prepare me for how bad this may be ($$$) and how to deal with plumber. Many details inside.
posted by forthright to home & garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have Googled and searched metafilter, but most advice is about visible leaks, I believe mine is inside the wall.
Kitchen double sink, left side garbage disposal, right side simple tail piece. Both sides eventually go to a Y that is soldered to the copper drain pipe going into the wall. Since there is a window over the sink and from looking in the basement I believe the vent pipe is in the right corner of the kitchen. The leak manifests itself by coming through the floor hole where the cold water pipe goes up from the basement. I suspect it's just the nearest hole under the drain pipe leak.
Since I could not find any leak under the sink but we're still getting water dripping into the basement, I conducted an experiment. I waited until there was no more dripping in the basement, then I put a drain stopper in the non-garbage disposal side and started the water running. No dripping in the basement. I then had my wife pull out the stopper, and got lots of dripping almost instantly. That says to me drain side, not supply. And still no drips under the sink itself.
I know, I have a leak and it must be fixed. But this is a modern-ish kitchen, with long formica countertop, backsplash, oak cabinets, etc. So, kind metafilter folks, please advise me on the steps to take in the right order, and how to deal with the plumber.
Specifically, tomorrow morning I can call out from my job and start hacking at the back of the cabinet under the sink and then into the drywall. I can also call a plumber first (since they're unlikely to come out instantly). I am assuming I want to make it as easy as possible for the plumber to see what he is up against. But of course there's a limit to how far right I can go. The kitchen cabinet will end and I will then be into corner cabinet territory. At some point somebody (probably me) would have to start disassembling the kitchen. And as bad luck would have it in the basement there is the laundry sink and hot water heater directly below all this, complicating access for the plumber down there. And this is Memorial Day Weekend coming up in the USA.
I assume plumbers are not miracle workers and can only do so much reaching through a kitchen cabinet with two doors (i.e., the opening under the sink is in two halves, not one large door).
We have not needed a plumber in many years, and never for anything that might be this involved. Any advice about plumber selection also appreciated.
I realize things may not be as bad as I fear, but I just want the best advice in case it is. Thank you all very much in advance!