Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just a little leak

I woke up on my day off this week to an unpleasant surprise in the kitchen. The floor and countertop were wet, and the ceiling fan was leaking. That's right, the ceiling fan! It didn't take me long to figure out that there must be a leaky pipe in the kitchen ceiling, right underneath the bathroom floor. The water was dripping through the ceiling fan.

Since my husband was still at work, all I could do was put a bowl under the drip. And it dripped, dripped, dripped all day.
When Josh came home, he immediately checked all the plumbing in the upstairs bathroom. We've had problems with the bathroom plumbing before. It's to be expected when we live in a 100-plus-year-old house.

After tearing apart the shower and kitchen sink, my husband concluded that there must be a leak in a pipe running under the floor -- which meant he had to tear up the kitchen ceiling.

He took the next day off of work. He removed all the 1960s-era ceiling tiles, which were stapled onto the plaster ceiling. He wasn't sure what else he would find when he removed the tiles.

Turns out there were already several holes in the plaster, likely from earlier repair projects. At first, he thought the leaky pipe would be a simple patch job. But then he realized that the pipe was leaking because it was rusted through. So he'd have to replace the entire pipe.

It's too dark to get a good picture of the old cast-iron pipe, but here's another view of the ceiling and the old wood underneath. My husband said he found a bunch of mouse nests in the ceiling. As if the house wasn't creepy enough...

One unusual discovery was a patch of patterned wallpaper underneath the wood trim. Could it be original to the house?

I can still hear the drip, drip, drip from the ceiling as I type this. My husband is determined to fix the plumbing -- himself -- over the weekend. We'll see how it turns out.

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