How to Troubleshoot and Fix a Leaking Ceiling

How to Fix a Leaking CeilingA leaking ceiling represents a considerable amount of money lost over time. If left unfixed, a water issue can cause structural damage, damage your belongings, encourage mold growth, and lead to a musty odor that intensifies with time. Regular inspections are critical to early leak detection, but as with anything, a problem can arise at any time.

Several things can contribute to ceiling leaks, from the roof, sinks, toilet, shower to plumbing pipes in your attic. Fortunately, there are different ways to fix a leaking ceiling without necessarily seeking the intervention of a plumbing contractor. This post will help you decide the method for your particular situation. Let us dive right in.

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Fixing Ceiling Leaks

This section will focus on fixing the top culprits of ceiling leaks.

1. Sink Leak Repair

If you have a leaky sink, the most apparent sign of trouble will be visible water pools on the floor or a water-soaked or moldy cabinet door. The problem could emanate from damaged caulk, supply hoses, loose or damaged strainer, or loose P-trap connectors.

» Fixing Water-Supply Leaks

  1. Remove all objects underneath and on top of your sink.
  2. Try tightening the water supply connections using a wrench.
  3. See if the leaks have stopped. If not, turn off the water at the supply valve and remove the nut. Use adjustable or locking pliers to tighten those connections located in tight spaces behind the sink.
  4. Using a small brush or your fingers, apply pipe glue to the threads and washer fitting.
  5. Tighten the joints using a wrench.

Should the above recommendations not resolve the leaks, it might be time to install a new supply line.

» Fixing P-Trap Leaks

Loose connections and blocked drain pipes are the key suspects for P-trap leaks. The first intervention could be tightening the compression nuts.

If the P-trap (that U-shaped pipe under your sink) continues to leak, remove it and clean it thoroughly. Check for cracks on the P-trap, nuts, and other components of the sink drain. You may also try clearing potential clogs in the drainpipe using an auger.

Replace any damaged drain component. Before installing the parts, wrap a plumber’s tape (Teflon tape) around the threads to form water-tight connections. You can tighten compression nuts on a plastic P-trap using your hands. For metal P-traps, you will need a pair of pliers.

Are you wondering how you can minimize upcoming leaking issues within your plumbing system? Call Gallegos Plumbing today with any of your questions about leak detection and repair at 805.750.1830.

2. Toilet Leak Repair

Toilet leaks are often attributed to a worn wax ring, damaged supply tube, or leaky shutoff valve. Here, we will focus on replacing the wax ring and fixing the supply line leaks.

Take the following steps to fix a wax ring :

  1. Turn off the water supply
  2. Flush the toilet and remove any water left in the bowl
  3. Detach the toilet
  4. Remove the existing wax ring
  5. Replace the toilet flange bolts
  6. Place the new wax ring on top of the flange
  7. Reinstall the toilet parallel to the wall and then bolt it on the floor
  8. Install the supply line and turn on the water supply
  9. Flush the toilet several times to test the new wax ring

Following are the steps to replace a leaky supply hose :

  1. Turn the supply valve clockwise to turn off the water to the toilet
  2. Remove the toilet tank lid
  3. Flush the toilet. Use a cup or sponge to remove residual water in the tank
  4. Disconnect the supply line using a wrench
  5. Install a new stainless-steel braided hose
  6. Turn on the water supply
  7. Check for leaks on either end of the supply line
  8. Should you notice a leak, tighten the nuts using a wrench.

3. Shower Leak Repair

Water leaking from the shower can cause damage to the ceiling of the room underneath. The leaks often originate from water supply plumbing.

Take the following steps to fix shower leaks behind the wall:

  1. Remove the access panel in the wall behind the shower to access the supply pipes.
  2. If there is no access panel, you will need to cut an inspection window near a stud in drywall.
  3. Check for signs of leaking (water stains on the drywall ceiling underneath the tub drain or greenish-white discoloration on the copper pipes)
  4. Turn on the shower supply and check for water trickling down the pipe. You may need a light source to identify water drops forming around the pipe joints.
  5. To fix a leaking shower arm, first, remove the metal plate surrounding the arm.
  6. Remove the shower arm and use a wire brush to clean the old joint compound.
  7. Clean and dry the threads
  8. Wrap plumber tape on the threads
  9. Screw the shower arm back into the supply joint
  10. If the culprit is a leaking valve stem, turn off the water to the valve and replace the cartridge.
  11. If the leak is originating from the valve’s body, it is best to seek the assistance of a professional plumbing contractor.


Professional Leak Detection Services and Its Advantages


Sometimes, it is hard to identify the source of ceiling leaks. Enter professional leak detection. It involves using a device that incorporates a microphone and digital amplifier to amplify the sound of moving water and pinpoint the exact leak spot.

Advantages of Professional leak detection services include:

  • It saves an incredible amount of time, labor, and money spent on finding leaks.
  • The machine’s accuracy eliminates the need to cut into your drywall.
  • Quick detection aids early intervention, which helps prevent water wastage while saving money on water bills.
  • Early leak detection helps prevent other inconveniences of water leaks, including mold growth and structural damage, which can be expensive to fix.

Need Help with a Ceiling Leak in Your Home?

Are you struggling with a ceiling leak? Gallegos Plumbing can help with professional leak detection and leak repair services.

Gallegos Plumbing is a trustworthy, family-owned and operated, licensed, and insured plumbing contractor serving residents and businesses in Ventura County. Our premier plumbing services include drain cleaning, sewer line repair, gas line repairs, and water heater services.

With over two decades of experience, we are ready to meet your plumbing needs with utmost professionalism, integrity, and reliability. Call us today at 805.750.1830 for immediate help with ceiling leaks and other plumbing/drainage issues.