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Is this dangerous?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by enigmatic, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. There is water coming through the ceiling of the hallway in the building I live in. Not pouring, but dripping steadily. We think it is coming either from under my bathroom floor or, more likely, from the flat next to mine, however there is no-one in next door so we can't check. The ceiling doesn't look in imminent danger of coming in but I was wondering, is this a dangerous situation? I suppose I'm vaguely thinking about water and electrics not mixing. We've rung the landlady but she says she's not sure what she can do on a Sunday evening!

    I'm sure there is someone on TES with more common sense than me (wouldn't be hard!) who can tell me whether I should be staying in my flat tonight! Thanks :)
  2. Oh Dear! I'm sorry to hear this!
    I would say just to be on the safe side, if possible, you may be best staying elsewhere tonight!
  3. I would suggest that she could call a plumber and maybe an electrician
  4. Well, yes, that would be nice but she's pretty ineffectual :(
  5. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    I'd be tempted to ask her if you can get the carpet up in the bathroom and remove a couple of floorboards (if that is possible) and make sure that it <u>is</u> safe (no electrics etc).
    If you're at all worried then don't stay in the flat.
  6. Andy_91

    Andy_91 New commenter

    As above - no harm in looking.
    If you think the water is coming though one of the electricity conduits/ducts towards a light-fitting, you might want to turn off the power or pull the fuse for that section.
    Probably won't bring the ceiling down though, so safe to kip away from the leak.
  7. I've not had any joy with the bathroom, everything seems nailed down pretty tightly! I also tried to get the panel off the bath but similarly no joy. It's not coming through anything electrical although it is quite close to the emergency lighting, it's just dripping straight out of the plaster. HOWEVER, on consultation with the landlady, we poked a hole in the ceiling! Water poured out for a little while and is now dripping again. So I am presuming that it has been slowly accumulating for ages and will therefore stop soon, although obviously the root of the problem still needs to be solved.

    Thanks everyone :)
  8. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    Can you see into the hole you've made? Can you get a bowl or something up there to collect the water?

    Sorry this is my idea of hell.
  9. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I think you're in for quite a shock when you get there, then!
  10. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Please be aware that plaster ceiling , both lathe and plasterboard, can suddenly give way.even though you have taken the pressure of water off the ceiling......just make sure your insurance is in order and that you have nothing valuable underneath.........I was looking after my neighbours when i noticed a leak..i managed to find the leak and stop it.i thought it would be alright till she comes home....went in next day and a large chunk of ceiling had fallen down in 2 rooms.......so result .a lot of plastering and redecorating.
    Dont assume the water will stop.....if its a burst pipe //or a loose joint ,then it will continue...you do need to get a plumber to find and fix it for you
    I assume you have turned the water off ..although if you have a water tank it might not stop the water unless you get to the loft and stop the water.
    Your landlady will probabaly have to have a new ceiling in the area eventually as the board or lathe will be permabible and so unfit for purpose
  11. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    Thanks harshie ;)
  12. I remember in my last flat getting an unexpected shower as I was going about my business cooking the tea in the kitchen. The stupid cow upstairs had fallen asleep while running the bath and it came straight through my light fittings and ceiling. Someone came to look at it and said all was fine - I was however too scared to turn the lights on for about a month!
  13. Thanks for the detailed post oldsomeman!

    Fortunately the water is coming into the hall so no possessions underneath, so it's only the landlady that has to worry about insurance. I'm hoping that she will sort out a plumber tomorrow. I imagined that if it was a burst pipe it would be coming down more quickly - it's now only dripping - so I think a loose joint is more likely, but I don't know much (anything) about plumbing. I haven't turned the water off because I can't find the stopcock! I've looked in the obvious places i.e. anywhere I can see a pipe, so I can only assume it's somewhere irritatingly inaccessible. Sigh.
  14. Oh - and we have put a bucket underneath so the water is no longer soaking the carpet.
  15. I once left a bath running and the water came through the ceiling. It fused the lights but that was all. I can't believe the landlady isn't sure what she can do - an emergency plumber at the very least - I think I was very lucky, but it is potentially dangerous, not least to you.
  16. Andy_91

    Andy_91 New commenter

    One other thing - are you in a terrace? Or what is the access to other flats like. Before the plumber comes, you might want to ensure access to all the possible dwellings. A dweller of my acquaintance is a purpose built block of mansion flats eventually located a fault in a flat above but two along ie water travelling about 15 metres before it leaked down.
  17. If you're worried it is a joint, be careful. I had one in the kitchen in my last flat that was leaking slowly one evening and landlord said he would come the next day to fix it. All was fine until later when I washed my hands in the bathroom and the pressure change meant that the joint came flying apart and flooded everywhere!
  18. jazz2

    jazz2 New commenter

    We returned from holiday once to discover our downstairs neighbour had been trying for days to reach us - his property was being flooded by ours.
    When we got into our flat, it turned out that both his property AND ours were being flooded by the one above us!
  19. Well, the house is still in one piece so I'm a lot happier now - just have to find out what my landlady is planning on doing about it long-term...

    Thanks again everyone [​IMG]
  20. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    As foot note landlords are often slow to call a plumber because of the cost.
    Te real problem is to find the stop ***......sometimes they are in the hall by the front door....you have to pull up th carpet to find the lose board that allows you access.....sometimes you have to turn off at the stopcock out in the street by your gate.
    Sometimes you can find the area by imagining what is above the hall.......if its just a living room then the chance is its a loose joint......but like everythng in plumbing its not certainty.
    I hope you manage to sort it.

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