Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>New to me/ old as sin house... mysterious leak
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Sharlene
New to me/ old as sin house... mysterious leak
Sharlene

Ok, so my husband and I just bought a house. It was actually a barn that had existed on a plantation a long time ago! When we bought the house I had a general inspection and a plumbing and electrical inspection...none of which gave me any indicators that the ceiling would leak between floors.  Two weeks after we moved in my son called and said it was raining in the kitchen, we inspected the tub and bathroom and couldn't find a source. Weeks later we still saw no evidence and were away from the house and received another call that it was doing it again! That was almost a month ago and we still have yet to experience it for ourselves. Now there is a leak in the front of the house in another room, again down stairs...only this time it is only the master bed room above it, there are no bathrooms or anything above where this leak is coming from. In that room the ceiling has been painted. The ventilation in this house is very strange (one unit for two floors that alternate between two thermostats..that if not synced correctly will freeze up the unit)... anyway, could it be in the duct work? Maybe extensive condensation?  You can't turn the blower motor on the fan off or the a/c doesn't work correctly and the compressor nearly never turns off ( we have determined that before next summer we are going to have to invest in another a/c unit) but in the mean time...I really need my house to stop leaking!! Please help!!

Athena
Re: New to me/ old as sin house... mysterious leak
Athena

Hi Sharlene,

My family and I bought an old house and we did a general inspection (our mistake not to do a more thorough one) on plumbing and electrical.  We also had a leak. Plumbers were called three times and they could not isolate the problem. The valve on the radiator was replaced and still it leaked when the valve was on so that the heat could release. We had to turn it off. I am afraid to find out it cannot be fixed because it's an old house and who knows where in the walls the problem is. Unfortunately, with things like this, it costs a lot of money to even just find where the problem is coming from. It means drilling holes in ceilings and walls and findin out where its coming from.  Curious if anyone else has any feedback. Old houses are money pits. If you have the money to maintain them, great! But if not, they keep creating endless problems. Hope ou were able to get your leak fixed. If you were curious as to what the problem was. I am dreading turning the heat on now with winter coming up because I don't want to have another leak...

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: New to me/ old as sin house... mysterious leak
HandyAndyInMtAiry

Athena,

Anytime that I have moved into a house. I always replace most, if not all of the electrical and plumbing. I feel it is part of the purchase to have mechanical that always work correctly. I have only lived in Victorian houses. They are not a money pit. A money pit is a new house, and you having to replace those types of things. Quality electrical and plumbing and a high quality roof should last a good 100 years. The electrical in my house was fine, but the service was only 60 amps feeding the house. I replaced everything and installed 800 amp service. The house is 130 years old. I never want to have an issue of not being able to add an appliance or some device. This kind of thing happened in the 60's and 70's with the advent of a microwave oven. Then they required a 25 to 30 amp circuit. If you have only a 60 amp or even a 100 amp service feeding the house at that time, you will place a large strain on your electrical service.

As for plumbing and pipe fitting. General maintenance comes with steam heat. As with anything today, you must maintain what you have as far as the mechanicals and even the care of the roof, structure, paint to cover the wood from getting wet, gutters and down spouts in the wet areas. Water will destroy a structure.

I have never had to drill holes in the walls or ceilings that were larger than the diameter of a pencil to run electrical or plumbing. And that is to the ceailing fixtures. And if you have to, plaster is readily available. From what you have written about your steam radiators, you have other issues in your system. That is a high pressure relief valve. That is not controlling the steam that is delivered to the radiator. Did you have the radiator taken apart and rebuilt? That sounds like there is a large collection is debris in the bottom and it was not returning the water back to the source.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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