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Mystery water stain

For the past few years we have had a water stain visible on the ceiling in our kitchen directly below the shower/tub in a 2nd floor bathroom. The stain doesn't appear constantly and only seems to appear after the fist use of the shower when it's not been used in a few months (our kids our mostly gone so it's often months in between regular uses). Seems that after the firs use, the stain doesn't grow or expand and seems to be done even if our daughter is home for a week or longer.

Anyway, I have sprayed bleach over the stain after it dried to remove it, but since it only seems it's never seemed to be a consistent issue, we hadn't panicked.

We always wondered if there were some gaskets that dried up or something, making them not fit tight causing the initial stain, and then they would tighten up after that first use. I've asked a few plumbers, but no one agrees as to what it could be, but neither thought it was my gasket idea. One wanted to rip down the kitchen ceiling, the other wanted to go through the wall behind the shower controls.

Who I can I best trust to finally get this resolved? (Where's Richard when you need him?) If a wall/ceiling needs to be brought down, so be it, but since nobody can agree, I haven't wanted to do either. Isn't there anything that can be checked prior to going to this extent?

Any help/advice is appreciated.


Re: Mystery water stain

to start with, the easiest and least obtrusive thing to do is to have a plumber open up a small hole in the wall at the head of the tub down by the drain. from there he should be able to see the stain on the top of the kitchen ceiling and determine where the problem begins. then fixing the problem might be able to be done through there or maybe a small hole has to be made in the kitchen ceiling to fix it. this certainly doesn't sound like a big deal and if two holes have to be made, one at the head of the tub and one in the kitchen ceiling, it's simply a matter of patching and painting them.

Re: Mystery water stain

All plumbers agree that the ceiling has to be opened, so they can see where the leak is. How else can they determine the problem? Then go about and fix the leak. Test and refinish the drywall.
Easier than an open heart surgery.

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