Hear Drip, but see no leak

Old 10-05-04, 09:14 PM
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Unhappy Hear Drip, but see no leak

I have recently bought a townhouse, approximately 15 years old in which the inspector found no leaks in the second-level bathroom. However, after turning off the faucet (single control), I hear four to five drips usually -- (sometimes I hear none), which sound as if they are coming from inside the wall at the side of the cabinet. Can you give some suggestion as to the origination of these 'drips'? I find no water on the hardware under the sink. I will call a plumber, but do not want to tear into the wall looking for a few drips a few times per day, unless it's absolutely necessary. Thanks a lot -- Sunshine
Old 10-05-04, 09:44 PM
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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the ONLY way to find a leak inside a wall is to gain access to where you think it is. This means that a hole of some size must be made. It doesnt have to be a very large hole until you find the leak, then it has to be big enough to make the repair.
One thing to think about though. Is the few pennies per day you are wanting to save now worth the hundreds and possibly thousands of pennies you may have to spend later? All big leaks and problems start out as little things that we put off until they become very noticable and costly to fix.
You can use a small drill bit to drill small holes in the wall near the floor to try to find the leak yourself. These can be later patched with drywall compound rather easily. Or if you have baseboards you can try removing them where the sound is coming from. If there is a leak there will be water behind the wall on the floor.
Old 10-06-04, 05:12 AM
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Before you open any walls, this may be a case of expansion and contraction as pipe/s, see when pipes heat up they expand, and cool back down they will contract, it may be just that going on, a pipe too tight against a joist of stud can cause this sounds when expansion and contraction takes place.
Old 10-06-04, 08:47 PM
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Thanks to both you guys for your time and suggestions concerning my 'drip' in the wall. I will consider each of these replies as I try to determine a course of action. Of course, I'm very hopeful the expansion and contraction idea is the answer! - and perhaps it may be, as after lots of 'testing', I'm about to conclude the sounds I hear, present themselves after the hot water is turned on for a few seconds and then quickly turned off. ??? Thank you both - your ideas are appreciated.
Old 10-07-04, 01:08 AM
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Expansion and contraction, especially plastic pipe (hot supply or drain pipe with hot water running through) can cause a ticking sound (to me) that is very similar to a "drip".
Good call Ron!
WinterSunshine, a little more experimenting with the hot vs. cold water should confirm Plumber 2000's theory. If it doesn't happen with cold water...no leak.
Good Luck!
Old 10-10-04, 08:20 PM
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Still experimenting

Again, thank you guys! I'm still experimenting, but all seems the same - no dripping sound until the water gets hot in the faucet - and this is only for 5 - 7 'drops'. Afterwards, even though the water is running, then turned off, etc. as before, there are no 'drips'. I feel better, thinking it may simply be an expansion / contraction situation, but will probably in the next week or two, have the sheet-rock removed from the plumbing connection area so that it can be definitely determined not to be a leak. This is driving me nuts! :-)

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