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Tackle leak myself?

  • 03-04-2024 9:16pm
    Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭

    We have a leak in an upstairs bedroom, probably in the central heating pipes, as evidenced by a discoloured patch on the dining room ceiling and beginning to appear a bit down the wall. It seems to have happened since our old heating system was serviced a couple of months ago, probably the extra pressure ‘found’ a weak spot but I’m not sure.

    I’m fairly handy but not very experienced at plumbing, though I did install our kitchen some years ago. I don’t have any special equipment so locating the leak will mean taking up the carpet and some of the floorboards. Then I’ll have to repair whatever I find. Is it advisable to tackle this myself or should I call in a plumber? Just wondering what folks think.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,219 ✭✭✭monseiur

    Open up the floor in the general area where the leak is. Leak could be caused by a loose fitting which may just require tightening - or it could be more complicated. So do stage one first and take it from there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭MarcusMaximus

    Thanks for your reply. I’ve decided to get the plumber who serviced the boiler and general heating system to take a look at it. He might have equipment or skills that could minimise the need to open up the floor. He’s very busy at the moment though so if he can’t make it during the week I may well do what you suggest.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,369 ✭✭✭DublinDilbert

    He is going to want to open up the floor anyway to he can see/access the pipes. You are best of lifting a board or two and see what is happening. Depending on how/when the pipes were installed the boards over them might be just screwed down.

    If you need to cut the boards, i would use an oscillating multi tool.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭MarcusMaximus

    It's all under a bed and a carpet so access is the main issue and I don't want to be pulling up the floor willy-nilly! I could end up with a real mess so this will take some planning, which is why I'm hoping the plumber can make it over to take a look before I do anything.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,215 ✭✭✭Kaisr Sose

    There is no guarantee the plumber won't make a mess of removing flooring. Some would not be renowned for their carpentry or laying carpet skills.

    What you outline about the extra pressure in the system may be it. You seem to know where to look and should have a go at removing the carpet and boards yourself.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,967 ✭✭✭Padre_Pio

    I'd be more inclined to open the ceiling at the leak and have a look there.

    Use a large hole saw to make a cut exactly where the leaky spot is, then use the same hole saw to cut a new piece of plasterboard, fill the gaps and paint. No one would ever see it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭MarcusMaximus

    Yeah you could be right about the plumber but he did the job on the heating so I’d like to at least get his opinion first. I am balking at the prospect of taking up floorboards etc. but I may do so if he can’t make it over this week.

    The problem with going in through the ceiling is that the stain is now about 3 ft. long though quite narrow so the leak could be anywhere in that area. I might start with a small patch and end up extending it - at least taking up boards would be less radical, hopefully. The ceiling is also textured so it might be difficult to repair. I will consider it though.

    Thanks guys!

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,286 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    That's possibly a wet joist (long narrow spot) so leak could be travelling quite abit on a pipe and hitting joist. Is there a shower anywhere upstairs within 10 feet of that stain?

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭MarcusMaximus

    I hadn't thought of a possible wet joist. There is a shower but it's a couple of rooms away, probably around that distance. The stain seems to be going in a direction at right angles to where the shower is but there could still be a pipe there I suppose. The stain is discoloured though and is right under a radiator which made me think it's likely to be coming from the heating system. No way of knowing without inspecting it but if you are right, that could involve a lot of work and mess to expose the source of the leak..

  • Subscribers Posts: 687 ✭✭✭FlipperThePriest

    Are you insured? If so call your local loss assessor and then get onto your insurance company. This would all be covered under standard house insurance, bar your excess. We had a leak in the bathroom, whole bathroom has to come out. All covered.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,286 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    I'd be inclined to hold off on insurance claim until you know its worth while.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭MarcusMaximus

    Good idea re. house insurance but yes I’ll check the effect on our NCD etc., see if it’s worth claiming.