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jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
reply to MIA_Leak

Re: Mystery Leak

Open it up with a utility knife and take a look. What could possibly be up there?



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to MIA_Leak

It's not that difficult to cut the hole and you'll save yourself quite a bit of money! After all this is a DIY forum so, "do it yourself"!


nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to leibold

Even if you do not know what is above it then it is still easy to cut. Even a box cutter and a straight edge. Just have to go deep enough to have a straight edge not even all the way through. Then carefully remove the drywall. If it is damp or wet heck the center part would probably fall apart.
Not telling you to go through it many inches deep with a saw then hit something.


MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to MIA_Leak

said by MIA_Leak :

OP here, given the possibilities of the actual root cause, and you all had to make a choice, would you call a plumber or AC repair?

I chose to have a plumber come out in a couple of days. My thinking is that there is nothing wrong with the AC system, and any issues with condensation/pipes/insulation a plumber should be able to handle.

Am I right with this assumption?

1) Get a strong magnet, and a heavy duty utility knife
2) Get a ladder
3) Get up on ladder with magnet, a pencil, and a ruler
4) Move the magnet around on the ceiling in the leak area until it 'grabs' a screw. This indicates that there's a joist in this spot. Mark the location. Do this over and over until you've found the boundaries of the area you want to cut out and all the joists in the area. Draw cut lines using your ruler centered on the screws long the joists.
5) Carefully cut the drywall out of the ceiling.

Then do everything I and others have suggested to look around yourself and test things out. Then you'll know whether you need a plumber, a/c guy, roofer, or some combination of all three.

When watever is wrong is repairs, find a handyman (with references and call them) who will patch your ceiling and paint it for you. if you don't want to do this yourself.


MIA_LEAK

@comcast.net
reply to MIA_Leak

Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
OP here. AC guy came and cut hole in drywall.

Right above the cut is a dryer exhaust line 90 degree elbow.

So the dryer is in the garage, the exhaust goes through the ceiling in the dining room. At the wetspot location, there is a 90 elbow and the exhaust goes up to the attic.

The elbow is the low point, and condensation collects there and drips on the ceiling.

The dryer exhaust was cool to the touch, probably from the night before. AC guy told me the dryer exhaust is poor design, because hot air and lint goes all the way up through my house, instead of simply to the left and out to the left of the garage.

Solution: He is going to remove as much of the dryer exhaust line as possible in my house. Then he is going to create a new exhaust line in my garage.

I took some pics and also updated the floor plan with some detail.

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
reply to MIA_Leak

so the first owner had a dryer vent that went from the garage and vent out through the roof?

that's a very dumb**s move....

instead of venting it out sideways to the nearest wall....

did you get the house inspected before you bought it? I would think that any house inspector would see that and suggest relocating the vent nearby...but then again, inspectors can be like a box of chocolates...



MIA_LEAK

@comcast.net

I agree. Its very very very bad design.



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to MIA_LEAK



There are two ducts in the picture. What is the second one for?


zippoboy7

join:2006-06-18
USA

said by mattmag:

There are two ducts in the picture. What is the second one for?

If I had to guess based on the size and location its most likely from a bathroom fan that they tied into the dryer duct exhaust, whoever designed that mess really did not have a clue. I just hope that the dryer is electric and not gas, I would hate to think of how much CO leaked out of that mess over the years.


sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
reply to mattmag

said by mattmag:

There are two ducts in the picture. What is the second one for?

Oooh. I want to know the answer to that question, too.
--
nohup rm -fr /&


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to zippoboy7

said by zippoboy7:

If I had to guess based on the size and location its most likely from a bathroom fan that they tied into the dryer duct exhaust,

Kinda my thought too, it seems to be coming from the direction of the half-bath in the diagram.


MIA_LEAK

@comcast.net
reply to mattmag

The second one is the 1/2 bath ceiling fan exhaust.



MIA_LEAK

@comcast.net
reply to zippoboy7

Its an electric dryer, thank god.



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
reply to MIA_LEAK

Condensation collection in the elbow is a probable culprit for the water drips given the bad design. Assuming that pipe goes straight up and ultimately leads up and out through your roof, do not discount the possibility that rain water has found a way to penetrate into the pipe and is making its way down the pipe. Been there, done that.

Edit: For example, it could be a bad rubber boot around the pipe at the roof penetration. That's what happened to me. Water was coming down the outside of the last segment of pipe from outside and was funneled into the interior pipe which was female to the last segment which was male that penetrated the roof. So water was funneled into the interior pipe until it hit the lowest point and leaked out.
--
nohup rm -fr /&



Jtmo
Premium
join:2001-05-20
Novato, CA
reply to MIA_Leak

One last thought, is there any builders warranty on the house?


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to MIA_LEAK

Before you add a dryer vent through the side wall of the garage, check and see if your home is on a zero lot line lot and the garage wall is on the property line. Is there any windows on the side of the house where the garage wall is? Usually a home on a zero lot line development does not have windows on the side of the house that is on the property line. If the garage wall is on the lot line then going on the property adjacent to the garage to install or clean the vent would be trespassing.



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to MIA_Leak

Moist air from drier meets colder environment.
Someone wasn't too bright...



dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Cincinnati Bell
·ViaTalk
reply to sempergoofy

Good point about going up and checking pipe on roof. May be able to see it from inside attic. Had plumbing vent stack boot had dry rotted out and cracked around pipe. Could see sky looking up at the boot from inside the attic.. Water just flowed down outside of pipe until it hit first elbow. Dripped into insulation from that point.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to cowboyro

My theory about the home being in a zero lot line subdivision is that builders do all sort of screwy things to avoid penetrating the wall on the property line in a zero lot line subdivision. In most zero line subdivisions the homeowner of the adjacent property is required to maintain the appearance of the neighbors wall (Paint it.) on the property line unless such maintenance is include in the HOA Fee.



MIA_LEAK

@comcast.net
reply to sempergoofy

The pipe does not go out through the roof. It exhausts into the attic.

AC guy went up there and found no evidence of a roof leak.



MIA_LEAK

@comcast.net
reply to Mr Matt

Oh dear. I haven't considered this, and yes it is a zero lot line.

I guess I will ask my neighbor's permission.



Jtmo
Premium
join:2001-05-20
Novato, CA
reply to MIA_LEAK

Great builder, exhaust into the attic space (Lint and moisture). I wonder what "other" short cuts you will find over the years.



dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
reply to Mr Matt

Never heard of zero lot line before. Guess maybe that is why the ran the dryer vent that way. You would think running it to garage roof would be better. But then that pipe sticking out the front might be considered an eyesore.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to MIA_LEAK

I would check you homeowners association documents for any restrictions regarding wall penetrations along the property line. In some cases that information is spelled out, when the association is responsible for painting the exterior of the homes. There is a possibility that when the adjacent homeowner attempts to sell their home the vent would be considered an encroachment. If you can vent the dryer though the garage wall I would be very concerned that the humidity from the bathroom vents will still collect in the attic and cause rot. I owned a house where the dryer and master bath exhaust fan shared a common vent. There was no problem because the vent penetrated the roof and all condensation was exhausted outside.

Option B is to insulate the dryer vent and have a competent tradesman install proper vent stack through the roof. You are going to have to do something about the condensation from the bathroom exhaust fans collecting in the attic.



MIA_LEAK

@comcast.net

I have engaged my neighbor and the president of the HOA regarding the possible encroachment. Thanks for the heads up.



MIA_LEAK

@comcast.net
reply to Mr Matt

I wonder, do electric dryers have to terminate outside? Why can't I simply exhaust it a couple feet into a recepticle?

Would this be a code violation?

I seriously do not want to exhaust it into my neighbor's lawn, even if they are ok with it...


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to MIA_LEAK

said by MIA_LEAK :

The second one is the 1/2 bath ceiling fan exhaust.

It's tied into the dryer duct? That sounds like a condensation factory to me!

zippoboy7

join:2006-06-18
USA
reply to MIA_LEAK

You could also look at something like this for the dryer »www.amazon.com/Dundas-Jafine-TDI···00DZFTC6 or this »www.amazon.com/Ace-Dryer-Lint-Tr···00RLE5X0 if you cant vent it to the outside. Since the dryer is electric and in your garage you don't need to worry about CO discharge so the only thing that would come out is the humidity and chances are the garage is not air tight or insulated anyway so the humidity should not be a huge issue.



MIA_LEAK

@comcast.net

This looks like a great solution for me. Thanks!



Ken
Premium,MVM
join:2003-06-16
Markle, IN
reply to zippoboy7

said by zippoboy7:

You could also look at something like this for the dryer »www.amazon.com/Dundas-Jafine-TDI···00DZFTC6 or this »www.amazon.com/Ace-Dryer-Lint-Tr···00RLE5X0 if you cant vent it to the outside. Since the dryer is electric and in your garage you don't need to worry about CO discharge so the only thing that would come out is the humidity and chances are the garage is not air tight or insulated anyway so the humidity should not be a huge issue.

FYI those devices and any devices like them are illegal. Code specifically requires dryer vents to exhaust to the outside. It doesn't matter if they are gas or electric dryers, they must exhaust outside. The only exception is if the dryer is a ductless dryer (which I have never seen) which apparently comes from the factory without an exhaust pipe.

The code is IRC 1501.1 if anyone wants to look it up.