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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/15/2005 7:20:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2005 8:18:04 AM EDT by NewbHunter]
I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what the heck is going on in my basement for the last couple of weeks. I've made up a diagram below to help explain what is going on. I'm hoping that someone here who is either a plumber or a basement expert can help me out here so I can figure out what is going on.

There are multiple pieces to the puzzle, so I will lay them out for you here.

First of all, I have a deep sink in the laundry room as you can see in the diagram. Since I moved into the house in the spring of 2004 I've known that the deep sink leaks around the faucet handles when the water is turned on. I've been meaning to fix that, but I just haven't gotten to it yet because there's been more important things to work on. In the mean time we placed a bucket next to the sink to catch any dripping water. On the diagram you can see where there is water damage on the wall. The drywall there is obviously damaged and needs to be replaced. It's not the whole wall, but just about a 3ft x 2ft section along the lower portion of the wall. I plan on cutting that out and fixing it soon because I'm worried about mold and whatnot.

Well, I assumed that this water damage was from the previous owner using that deep sink because the water will drip off of that side of the sink and dribble down the wall and floor.

Second problem, over the last month or so, my wife and I have noticed that anything that sits on the concrete floor in the laundry room and has any weight to it will be dripping wet underneith when picked up. For instance, the cat's litter box, trash cans, throw rugs, etc. There is no evidence of standing water sitting in the laundry room at any time. There are no water stains on the floor and there is no sediment left where water may have risen and then gone back down while we were away. But throw rugs in front of the door and the washing machine will be sopping wet. There are no wet spots on the floor where water may have run underneith the litter box or trash can. We have a dehumidifier running 24/7 on its highest setting in the laundry room as well.

Third problem, about a week ago I go into the spare room. There is scrap carpeting sitting on top of scrap carpet padding in that room. It is not tacked to the floor. I notice that the carpeting is sopping wet in the area painted blue. My initial thought was that water dripping from the deep sink in the laundry room ran under the wall and got the carpet wet. So, my wife and I move everything out, pull the carpeting and padding out and hang it up to dry. I moved the dehumidifier in that room to dry out the floor. I turned off the water to the deep sink.

After a few days the floor is dry again, so I put the carpeting back in. A week later the carpeting is sopping wet again.

Keep in mind that the summer here has been very dry. Last summer was very wet and I did not have any water in the basement, so I don't think it's the basement walls that are leaking. Plus, there is no water anywhere near the outside concrete walls. My initial thought was that the water was coming from the faucet leaking on the deep sink, but I turned the water off to the deep sink and the carpeting still got wet after I dried the floor off. My next thought was that a water pipe in the wall might be leaking, but that doesn't explain the water under the kitty litter box, the trash can, or the sopping wet throw rugs in the laundry room.

So, this is what I'm thinking now, but I really am not sure. I'm thinking that there is water under the concrete floor of the basement and it must be percolating through the concrete. Anything that sits on the floor keeps the water from evaporating in the air and getting taken care of by the dehumidifier, so it condenses on the bottom of the rug, litter box, etc. The wall between the spare room and laundry room has a stud nailed to the concrete, so the water trapped under the floor must be leaking through those nail holes causing the water damage on the wall and the carpet in the spare room to get wet. As long as we keep the dehumidifier running in that room constantly it is enough to evaporate the water and keep it from becoming standing water in either room.

There is no trim along the bottom of the wall between the spare room and laundry room, so I can see the stud attached to the floor and it looks wet and never seems to dry out. The only thing is, I would think that water under the floor would come up through the drain in the floor of the laundry room, except we are on city water. So, maybe that drain goes into a pipe and the water in the ground under the floor can't get in the basement through there.

So, do you think I am right?

If so, how do I fix this?

If not, what do you think the problem is?

I'd appreciate any help!




Edited for typos
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 7:39:00 AM EDT
If you have a water line leak under the slab or in the wall it would be wet all the time.

I'm thinking that the washing machine pump is leaking when you run it or the drain piping for the washer that's in the walls has a leak.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 7:49:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By flatfender:
If you have a water line leak under the slab or in the wall it would be wet all the time.

I'm thinking that the washing machine pump is leaking when you run it or the drain piping for the washer that's in the walls has a leak.



We ran the washing machine yesterday and I stood and watched while it ran. No water leaks from it anywhere and the water from the washer drains into the deep sink. No leak from there either while I watched it.

The stud that lies flat on the floor in the wall between the laundry room and spare room looks like it is always wet.

I'll have to check the washer again more carefully though. I haven't pulled it out from the wall. It is a 25+ year old Maytag though (AFAIK still runs great) so that is a posibility.

I can see the water pipes that feed the washer and they are dry too.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 7:55:56 AM EDT
YOur guess on the evaporation etc. was correct.

Is the floor coated with a Dry-loc type of paint? That may be your ticket.

I'd say the ground water level is close to the basement level. The porous concrete absorbs the moisture. When something is placed on the surface and doesn't allow evaporation you get pooling.

Take a square of plastic garbage bag and duct tape its edges to the floor. Check it in the morning.

The home depot orange DIY book has good info on this problem.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 8:02:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2005 8:04:12 AM EDT by NewbHunter]

Originally Posted By Tacberry:
YOur guess on the evaporation etc. was correct.

Is the floor coated with a Dry-loc type of paint? That may be your ticket.

I'd say the ground water level is close to the basement level. The porous concrete absorbs the moisture. When something is placed on the surface and doesn't allow evaporation you get pooling.

Take a square of plastic garbage bag and duct tape its edges to the floor. Check it in the morning.

The home depot orange DIY book has good info on this problem.



Thanks for the info.

The floor is not sealed with anything, so I will have to look into that. I'll give the garbage bag thing a try.

One more thing I thought of. Our back yard is a hill and we are at the bottom of it. During the winter, in our side yard we get a lot of snow melt running down there (this would be to the right of the garage in the picture). Well, the snow plow will pile up a nice big snow bank along the road, so this melt has no where to go but pool in the side yard. Fortunately, the landscaping around the house keeps it pooling away from the edge of the house, but I still have to go out and dig a trench through the snow bank along the road to drain all that water out of the yard and into the gutter (when it's not frozen).

Despite the fact that it's been very dry all summer, that area of the yard is very shaded and the ground is very black and moist, so that also seems to confirm that water is near the surface. This area is about the same elevation as the basement floor.

ETA: If it is coming up through the floor, I don't know how I can seal it if it is leaking through where the stud is nailed to the floor. I can seal the rest, but I can't get at that portion of the floor.

Am I going ot have to install a sump pump?
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 8:05:14 AM EDT
Is the water plumbing for the washing machine inside the stud wall? If it is you could have a leak at a joint in the line. Is there any plumbing that is directly above the stud wall? Could be a leak up stairs and it is running down.

Just a thought.

Good tip from Tacberry about puting the plastic bag down and seeing if it is coming up from the floor.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 8:07:44 AM EDT
think about a peremeter french drain around the outside of the foundation and drop a sump and pump into the basement.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 8:10:15 AM EDT
Its not on your diagram, but if you have central air check to see where that condesnation line drains. It may be going into your drain in that area and could either be leaking or not connected properly. This would cause the intermittant leaks and the last couple of weeks have worked most AC systems pretty hard.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 8:11:44 AM EDT
I've spent the last year and a half refinishing my basement. I added the sump pump for piece of mind. I have a feeling that if your power goes out for an extended time and that dehumidifier isn't working, you'll be swimming.

The bag trick will let you know what's up.

Dryloc the floor and caulk the seam of the wall.

If you don't have pressure treated wood touching the floor, inside the wall, bve prepared to rip the wall out. Untreated wood wicks that moisture right into the walls and nasty molds start to grow in the drywall.

Good luck
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 8:12:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2005 8:19:38 AM EDT by NewbHunter]

Originally Posted By klutz347:
Is the water plumbing for the washing machine inside the stud wall? If it is you could have a leak at a joint in the line. Is there any plumbing that is directly above the stud wall? Could be a leak up stairs and it is running down.

Just a thought.

Good tip from Tacberry about puting the plastic bag down and seeing if it is coming up from the floor.



Yes, the plumbing for the washing machine is in the stud wall. There is a cut out where the joint is and where the washing machine hoses attach. That area seems dry, but the water lines look like they continue down lower in the wall, so they may be leaking further down. I'm not sure, but I'm thinking they may also feed the deep sink. The only way I can know is if I cut into that whole wall though .

There is no plumbing directly above that wall. In the picture, there is a kitchen sink up stairs, but its location is to the right of the dryer and above the word "laundry" in my map on the floor above. There is no water on the floor in that area.

There is also an outside faucet that is approximately where the stud wall between the laundry room and spare room meets the concrete outside wall, but I've looked at that water line and I don't see any leaks there. That water line is exposed and easy to see.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 8:15:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2005 8:17:44 AM EDT by NewbHunter]

Originally Posted By darwindog:
Its not on your diagram, but if you have central air check to see where that condesnation line drains. It may be going into your drain in that area and could either be leaking or not connected properly. This would cause the intermittant leaks and the last couple of weeks have worked most AC systems pretty hard.



We have central air. The unit is loacted on the opposite side of the concrete wall in the corner of the garage that is visible, outside the house. There is a drain line that runs to the floor drain in the laundry room. He haven't run the A/C in the last 2 weeks while this has happened though.

(I'll see if I can update the diagram with the location of the A/C unit).
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 9:09:50 AM EDT
BTT
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 9:21:05 AM EDT
I'm leaning toward the water under your floor scenario.
If so, I would expect a sump well and pump added to your basement should do the trick.
Possibly some drainage on the high side of your house.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 9:46:43 AM EDT
A long shot but something to check,you say the outside sillcock is in that wall,if it is a "frost-proof"type sillcock it might have split in an area that will only leak when it is turned on,it will leak worse if the hose nozzle is turned off and the sillcock turned on.You might want to check that out.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 10:04:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2005 10:04:39 AM EDT by NewbHunter]

Originally Posted By Tread1:
A long shot but something to check,you say the outside sillcock is in that wall,if it is a "frost-proof"type sillcock it might have split in an area that will only leak when it is turned on,it will leak worse if the hose nozzle is turned off and the sillcock turned on.You might want to check that out.



Thanks, I'll check that too, but we haven't used that outside faucet since we've had this problem. There is a shutoff valve for it in the laundry room. I may shut the water off to it temporarily until I get all this sorted out.
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