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Old 10-23-2015, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default Mystery leak

Here's another mystery leak, which I think I have found, but not 100% sure of yet. As some of you remember previously,(especially Redwood!), I had a wall hung toilet with a defective bowl which was leaking water out of the trap weir internally which I found, and had verified from a video I took of the toilet mounted on a hand truck, poured water into, and the water seeped out internally.... We had water coming out from under the wall between the men's and women's bathroom in one of my buildings, just a small puddle, did not smell of sewage or urine. Cut the wall open, could see a small amount of water in the wall cavity, but could not get to it due to the main sewer and vent stacks being in the way. The water looked like it was coming from the area of where the 1st of 3 urinals are located. Removed the urinal, foam seal was bad. notice in the pic that the urinal was caulked all the way around the top and bottom. Dunno how the rest of you do this, or how others do it, but I have never caulked around the bottom of a wall hung toilet or urinal, nor caulked around the bottom of a floor mounted toilet. My theory is the foam seal had a very small leak, since the urinal was caulked underneath, the water laid in the area between the urinal and the wall, and when it got to the level of the opening around the flange, seeped behind the wall. I am going to get a selfie stick and put my camera into the wall behind the urinal and take a pic (do not have an inspection camera)...Thoughts?
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Old 10-23-2015, 01:14 PM   #2
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Well... My first thought is use someone else's phone so you don't drop yours back there...

2nd thought... That sounds legit, the grout looks black on the bottom too... So I'd say you found it.
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Old 10-23-2015, 01:20 PM   #3
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Forgot to mention that the small triangular piece of tile on the wall that is missing came off when the urinal was pulled. I never liked those foam seals, used wax when we reinstalled it.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:48 AM   #4
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I prefer the neoprene gasket over the wax on wall hung fixtures. No problems with them yet.
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:20 PM   #5
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Yea, sealing on the bottom of a wall-hung urinal or toilet is a bad idea. Gasket failure is not uncommon and I want to know about it before the wall is damaged or it leaks downstairs.
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:44 AM   #6
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The problem with using wax is that it sometimes smashes and restricts the drain.

The gasket sometimes falls out just as you set the urinal and sometimes leaks especially when the drain flange is too far out. I prefer to use the gasket also.

From your picture I think the tile, grout and caulking is too clean for that urinal to be leaking. If the other 2 urinals are also caulked on the bottom, cut or use a putty knife to remove a section of caulking on the bottom to see if they are leaking.

If you have an inspection camera you might be able to look in the wall between the tile and the drain. otherwise just knock a hole where the urinal will cover it.

Any trap primers? Sometimes they spray when they go bad. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper View Post
The problem with using wax is that it sometimes smashes and restricts the drain.

The gasket sometimes falls out just as you set the urinal and sometimes leaks especially when the drain flange is too far out. I prefer to use the gasket also.

From your picture I think the tile, grout and caulking is too clean for that urinal to be leaking. If the other 2 urinals are also caulked on the bottom, cut or use a putty knife to remove a section of caulking on the bottom to see if they are leaking.

If you have an inspection camera you might be able to look in the wall between the tile and the drain. otherwise just knock a hole where the urinal will cover it.

Any trap primers? Sometimes they spray when they go bad. Good luck and keep us posted.
Trap primers are on the cold supply of the lavvies on the end of the bank, I have slowly been eliminating them, they do spray, and are total junk. I do not have an inspection camera, but will try to take a pic of the back of the wall near the urinal drain with a selfie stick. My trusty asst. did just that with the wax seal, did not trim it enough the first time he hung the urinal back...it was his first time. I was a lot easier on him than when Dad taught me...
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:02 AM   #8
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you can get a nice rigid see snake that takes videos for pretty cheap.... dropping your phone back in a wall full of piss would be a bummer.

I absolutely hate going out on mystery leaks any more..
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
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you can get a nice rigid see snake that takes videos for pretty cheap.... dropping your phone back in a wall full of piss would be a bummer.

I absolutely hate going out on mystery leaks any more..
No worries...company issued phone. No real piss smell, actually, in the wall or on the carpet, but ruled out the water line. Leak took about a week to show up after the first one. As a building engineer/3rd gen. plumber, finding things like this are a nice break from the "I'm too cold" or "My light is out" routine... Dad and Granddad would be proud.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:51 AM   #10
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Found it... We pulled/reset all 3 toilets, and 2 of the urinals, but did not pull the handicap one. I had called in a local contractor, Liberty Plumbing, (Thanks again Eric!), ran his See-Snake up the chase, found the wall behind the urinal stained up. This urinal was caulked all the way around, like the 2 others, stuck my utility knife into the bottom, out came the water. It filled up the space between the drain and the opening in the wall, then ran over the wall...Reason it took so long to show up was it was only leaking out about 3 tbsp. or so of water with each flush. Foam seal was roached. AFAIK, I'll take a wax seal over that foam trash anyday, but I'm old skool.
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