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    • sugarcoma101
    • By sugarcoma101 14th Oct 16, 5:08 PM
    • 62Posts
    • 10Thanks
    Mysterious leak into neighbours downstairs living room
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 5:08 PM
    Mysterious leak into neighbours downstairs living room 14th Oct 16 at 5:08 PM
    Hi all,

    Hoping someone can give some guidance on a daily tricky issue...

    My downstairs neighbours reported to me about 6 months ago that there was an intermittent leak (presumably from my bathroom above their living room). I inspected the downstairs flat to see a small patch of damp and called a plumber.

    Plumber No.1 came and resealed the bath.

    Didn't solve the problem.

    Plumber No.2 came and categorically told me there was no leak from my bathroom pipes and he suspected the problem lay with downstairs blocked drains.

    I reported that to downstairs (in July) and left them to sort it. I had done my duty as far as I was concerned.

    It's now October and I've had their property management company on to me (I own, they rent), who sent me pictures of the ceiling in a terrible state and were very insistent I immediately let their plumber into my flat to inspect, which I did.

    And surprise surprise...he could find no leak from my bathroom either.

    So my questions are...

    1. Where on earth could the leak be coming from? It's below my bathroom, on their living room ceiling. Do bathroom pipes run above ceilings?! I don't think it's the waste pipe as that goes straight outside. Where could it be coming from? It's intermittent rather than constant.

    2. The last I heard of the leak (when I thought it was their issue and left them to sort it), there was a small patch of damp. Three months elapsed before the management company sent their own plumber to inspect, when the patch of damp is now very significant. They have mentioned expecting me to pay to replaster the ceiling and cover the cost of repair if it turns out to be my pipe. I can understand covering the cost of repairing the pipe but surely I can't be inspected to repair the ceiling when they left it so long to inspect it themselves?! They've mentioned having to knock through the ceiling to inspect where the leak is coming from. Surely I shouldnt have to pay for that too?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    I do just want to get this sorted quickly, but I don't want to be screwed over to pay for something I shouldnt either.

    And also seeing as all the plumbers don't seem to know where this annoying intermittent leak could be coming from..any pointers there would be appreciated!!!

Page 1
    • 27cool
    • By 27cool 14th Oct 16, 6:50 PM
    • 259 Posts
    • 201 Thanks
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 6:50 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 6:50 PM
    I once had an intermittent leak from my bath when I used it. It turned out to be the overflow leaking. It didn't happen when my wife had a bath as she did not fill the bath as high as I did. Therefore water did not reach the overflow opening.when she sat in it..
    • prosaver
    • By prosaver 14th Oct 16, 6:57 PM
    • 6,518 Posts
    • 5,108 Thanks
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 6:57 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 6:57 PM
    you might have to lift your floorboards up,anyway could it come from the kitchen wastepipes.
    It must be coming from your flat, cant think off any other way. sorry
    “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
    !!!8213; George Bernard Shaw
    • Chanes
    • By Chanes 14th Oct 16, 7:32 PM
    • 844 Posts
    • 524 Thanks
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 7:32 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 7:32 PM
    If by any chance you can get your hands on a flexible Borescope you could poke it into lots of places for a look beneath floor boards and such, plumbers sometimes have them and may have already scoped the floor voids?
    • tired dad
    • By tired dad 14th Oct 16, 9:53 PM
    • 536 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    tired dad
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:53 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:53 PM
    I'm no expert but having had similar issues in flats the way I would think of this is as follows

    1. it has been established that the leak is not from your bathroom.

    2. Have a good look at your plumbing esp the connections to washing machine/dish washer/fridges etc. I have had several cases of a disintegrating washer in the connections causing a slow leak. A new washer costs a few pence. Water can track along pipes and joists so look throughout your property.

    3. Assuming all OK, then the presumption is the leak has nothing to do with your property and therefore the freeholders/management company need to sort this out at cost to the freeholder or the freeholders insurance company. It a buildings insurance issue.

    4. In previous properties the management company have commissioned a formal study to locate the leak and deal with it. Could be anything from blocked drains, rainwater or nastier stuff.
    • southcoastrgi
    • By southcoastrgi 14th Oct 16, 11:54 PM
    • 5,334 Posts
    • 3,086 Thanks
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:54 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:54 PM
    What did the three plumbers do to try & find the leak ?
    Have you got a shower over the bath ?
    Did they spray water over the taps & sealant ?
    I'm only here while I wait for Corrie to start.

    You get no BS from me & if I think you are wrong I WILL tell you.
    • sugarcoma101
    • By sugarcoma101 17th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    • #7
    • 17th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
    Thanks everyone for your replies!

    Facing the prospect of ripping up either my floor or the neighbours ceiling, I tried a few more things this weekend.

    I filled the bath to capacity to check if it was the overflow and it wasn't

    However, once I let the stopper out and stuck my head under the bath, lo and behold, there was water flowing from the waste pipe!!

    Having previously checked this several times with the taps running and not finding any leak, it seems that it needs a high volume of water being ejected to reproduce the leak. I had a quick shower this morning and there was no leak whatsoever again, hence taking it so long to discover...

    So I have a plumber coming round tonight to take a look, and a mobile phone video of it happening for him to see.

    • tonyh66
    • By tonyh66 17th Oct 16, 10:32 AM
    • 1,139 Posts
    • 792 Thanks
    • #8
    • 17th Oct 16, 10:32 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Oct 16, 10:32 AM
    looks like you will be buying the neighbours a new ceiling.
    • sugarcoma101
    • By sugarcoma101 17th Oct 16, 10:39 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    • #9
    • 17th Oct 16, 10:39 AM
    • #9
    • 17th Oct 16, 10:39 AM
    Unlikely I hope. I last heard of the leak back in July when I called a plumber who suggested it was a drain problem that the neighbours would need to look at.

    At that point, the damp patch was tiny. The neighbours let their management company know and I thought it was dealt with.

    Fast forward three months later, and the management company finally send someone round to look at it when the damp is quite significant on the below ceiling. I thought they had fixed the problem. I can't see how I'm responsible for three months worth of damp when I haven't been told theres still a problem....
    • SplanK
    • By SplanK 17th Oct 16, 10:45 AM
    • 1,041 Posts
    • 872 Thanks
    Personally, I would be keeping quiet at this stage and have a discussion with my house insurance provider (if not already done so) about it (whilst not disclosing the policy no or details of the house itself to prevent it being logged against you....) to see where you stand regarding your insurance paying out, or even not being liable....

    However, I believe that given the course of action you have taken and allowing your chosen plumber and theirs to inspect within a timely fashion, you were not knowingly, or acting negligently (IE ignoring the advise of a professional about old pipework...) causing damage to the adjacent room then you may be covered and they simply need to repair it themselves/through their own insurance.
    Last edited by SplanK; 17-10-2016 at 10:50 AM.
    • JohnB47
    • By JohnB47 17th Oct 16, 12:20 PM
    • 991 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    Sorry but I'm siding with your neighbour on this one.

    It doesn't matter how many plumbers you've had in and who failed to spot the problem. The neighbours ceiling damage has been caused by a fault in your plumbing and you will need, legally and morally, to pay for it. If you feel that it's been made worse by the plumbers incompetence, then you need to take that up with them.

    I had a relative in a similar position. Discolouration and damage to their bathroom ceiling (recently bought flat) which had obviously been done over a long period. Upstairs neighbour got a plumber involved who quickly spotted a leak from the upstairs bath waste pipe. All fixed and paid for on neighbours insurance. Everyone happy.

    If you just get the problem fixed and just keep quiet, then when your neighbour takes part or all of the ceiling down to repair it, they'll be wanting to see what the problem was and they'll soon see the tell tale signs of a leak from above - water leaves obvious traces when it leaks and dries up. I'm surprised that your plumbers didn't spot that.

    So my advice is to own up - your conscience will thank you for it. How would you feel if the roles were reversed?
    • Jackieboy
    • By Jackieboy 17th Oct 16, 12:30 PM
    • 910 Posts
    • 1,560 Thanks
    I'd be having a word with the plumbers who didn't spot the problem, if I were you.
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