Water in the living room: not plumbing, not A/C condensation, not roof
September 2, 2014 11:53 AM Subscribe
Who you gonna call
? -- What else can leak water? We called a plumber; no pipe leaks. Found more water in the room; it's on the other side of the wall from the A/C in the garage. We have *replaced* the A/C. We've been up in the "attic" and there's no water or water damage up there. The carpet puddle keeps getting bigger.
posted by galadriel to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
We have a one-story house built on a slab foundation in Florida. Our plumbing is fed from a deep well 200'+ away from the house. The plumbing enters the house in one pipe at the edge of the foundation slab, and goes under/through the slab to the various plumbing the house. We have no natural gas to the house, if it's relevant.
Our living room is carpet over carpet pad over concrete. A few weeks ago we noticed a wet squishy spot, about the size of a bath towel, in the middle of the living room.
We started frantically vacuuming up the water a couple of times a day, and trying to find the leak.
Naturally we called a plumber to find what we were sure was a slab leak. He was also convinced it was a slab leak, and he spent hours pressurizing the pipes and then using his acoustic equipment to try to find hissing in the pipes. He finally gave up; it looks like a slab leak, but there's no leak. The pipes weren't even losing pressure after he pressurized them.
BUT. He found some water damage on one of the walls at the very bottom, and right up against that wall, there was also some more wet in the carpet.
Directly opposite that wall is the heat pump for the air conditioner, in the garage. So, clearly, the problem must be leaking condensation from the heat pump, right? [We can't explain how the water at the wall gets through the entirely-dry carpet to the wet spot in the middle of the room, but hey, there's all kinds of things we don't know.]
Well, the drainage line from the A/C to outside is clear; the 1st visit, the A/C service guy said he found some issues and fixed them and there didn't seem to be any further leakage.
We used the wet/dry vac a few more times then stopped, and started looking into repairs.
A few days later we realized the water spot was getting larger, not smaller. We resumed frantically trying to suck up all the invading wet and called the A/C guys back. We ended up *replacing* the whole air conditioner; it was 25 years old anyway. There's a brand new heat pump on the other side of that wall now, and among other things they took the drainage line, while it was disconnected, and blew air down it again and all that came out was air.
We kept trying to vacuum up the water, because by now it was more than a 10'x15' spot, so we wanted to get it dry as quickly as we could.
Aaaaaand despite all, the wet spot *keeps* getting bigger, and we pick up just as much--or more--water every time we use the vac. Replacing the A/C hasn't changed anything. There's no visible water damage on any other walls in the house. There are no wet spots in any other rooms.
We've tried turning off the well pump overnight, and leaving the water to the house off for as long as we can during the day; it doesn't change the seeping wet. The water keeps coming back just as fast.
[We *think* this might rule out any problem with the septic lines, but we're not sure--but the septic lines shouldn't be in that area. And the water we vacuum up is pretty clear. Should the plumber have been able to find a problem with the septic lines if there was one?]
We've gone up into the "attic" and looked to see if water could be leaking in the roof then down through the wall or something, no water or water damage anywhere up there (and none on the ceiling in the living room). And at this rate, it would have to be something like a constant stream of water, whether or not it's raining. But we checked anyway.
Our insurance agent couldn't think of anyone else we could call, but he gave me a rough overview of how to pull up carpet, and said we might find *something* out if we can look directly at the slab. So we'll try pulling up the carpet today. We've got another plumber scheduled to come out and take a look at everything. We don't have high hopes, but hey, what can we do?
What else can it possibly be? What other kind of company can we call to come look at the problem? What else can leak water besides plumbing and condensation?