When it comes to an under floor leak there are normally only two culprits. You can have a wax seal on a toilet and the waste from your bathtub. Sometimes it is very easy, others very difficult.
Draincom customer support received a call from an older couple in regards to a leak in their kitchen, and we were convinced that it was the toilet.
Here is the full story spoken by Draincom plumber:
I arrived on site and looking at the water dripping from the ceiling, I was still sure that it was a floor seal, therefore a very quick fix. I brought in my ladder, opened the drywall and found that there was water staining on the joist and the piping serving the toilet.
I cleaned up the area and proceeded upstairs to the washroom. Quick and easy, this is what I thought. I took the toilet off the floor, and the floor flange came with it! This is not a normal thing and the piping was ABS plastic, this is normally solvent welded together and screwed to the floor.
I immediately spoke the the homeowners and let them know that I had to do a section of their stack and a new flange. I was approved with no time at all and proceeded with the work. I cut out the section of piping, replaced it fully.
I set a new floor flange, screwed it to the floor and was ready to install the new seal and old toilet. I used all new hardware, bolts, seals and caps. The toilet was re-installed in record time and I was very happy. I flushed many many times and checked for leaks. Everything seemed in order and I was ready to leave.
As it happened, there was a bucket of water in the bathtub adjacent to to toilet and I thought, well I might as well take and dump it out in the tub to test. Just as I did I heard a scream from downstairs as water was pouring out from the ceiling. I must have missed something and I was determined to find it. I moved my ladder to under the bathtub and opened another section of the drywall. I was amazed at how the pipes were joined.
The new trap and piping was ABS plastic and the old pipe was copper. The funny thing was that the abs was jammed over top of the copper and it was gear clamped into place. I chuckled a little but and showed the homeowners. It seems that there were several leaks in the same area and I was convinced that there was the one leak.
I quickly got to work and made the second repair, I cut out a section of pipe ABS and copper included. I installed a bow connector, the proper connection for ABS to copper transition. I thoroughly cleaned up the area and was finally ready to test. This time I thought,
I will test them both at the same time, put some volume down the drain and test it right. I flushed the toilet and ran the tub in tandem and all seemed to be perfect!! Sometimes even the professionals can be fooled, and I am glad that I was able to catch the problem and repair it, even if it was by blind luck.