Running Bath Water Leaks Through Downstairs Ceiling

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Old 10-18-13, 12:09 PM
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Running Bath Water Leaks Through Downstairs Ceiling

Our bath faucets have been leaking for a few weeks. Not just single drops occasionally...usually a thin stream that can be heard in the next room.

The other evening, my son took a bath and my wife noticed water on the kitchen table downstairs directly below the bathroom. Overnight, we left a bucket under the leak on the table which filled about an inch deep with water overnight.

The water is definitely not caused by the bath tub draining, since I ran the water with the drain plug in and some water was still coming through the ceiling. At first, we thought it was the cold water side that was causing this, but this morning I ran the hot water only and there was water on my kitchen table afterwards.

I'm wondering if it's the hot or cold handles, both, or maybe the shower knob (it's a three-knob setup coming out of the wall, with each stem protruding from a hole in the ceramic tile).

Is there any other way that I can troubleshoot this to see where I should start in the repair process? To be clear, the water does not drip unless the bath is running upstairs.
 
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Old 10-18-13, 12:40 PM
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First I would put the stopper in the tub and fill it at 4-6" deep with water. Let it set with the faucets off and see if your leak continues. If yes then the leak could be where the tub drain meets the tub. If it's not leaking let the water drain from the tub and see if your leak starts. If it does then it's probably in a drain line. Once you've confirmed that it's not the tub or drain you are probably right that it's probably the faucet.

You can remove the handles & escutcheons and you might be able to see enough of the valve to spot the leak but unfortunately you probably won't be able to do anything about it from the front. Do you have access to the back side of the faucet from an adjoining room? If so it's easiest to cut a hole in the wall and come at it from behind. Once you have the wall opened up it should be pretty easy to repair.
 
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Old 10-18-13, 12:47 PM
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I'm pretty sure it's not the drain, since it was still leaking with the stopper in it.

I removed the handles and the trim, but the holes in the wall are just barely big enough for the stems to fit through. I'm thinking about replacing both hot and cold stems, as well as changing out the the one in the bath tub/shower handle.

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything. I'd hate to change all of this and still have the same problem. Also, I would like to figure it out before all of this trial-and-error causes my living room ceiling to start sinking.
 
 

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