The weekend before Christmas, we had Natalie, Louie and their kids over for a Christmas/Hannuka dinner. I was roasting a turkey, the kids were playing the basement and the adults were relaxing in the living room. Suddenly, all the kids came running up the stairs saying that water was pouring out of the ceiling.
We all went downstairs and a section of the basement ceiling was definitely wet. It wasn’t clear where the water was coming from though. The water wasn’t pouring from the ceiling any more so whatever the kids say was probably a pool of water which suddenly found a path out and emptied. But water was definitely collecting in the ceiling.
Figuring that all the drywall would have to be replaced anyway, I started to cut away pieces to try to find the leak. Eventually, I found a copper elbow which seemed a likely candidate. Sure enough, it was wet. With it exposed and a bucket under it, we could hear a slow drip. This is the second time we have had a bad elbow in the plumbing in the basement. The first time, I had to remove and replace about a one foot square section of drywall. This one is much worse and the cleanup job will take longer. The leak has since been repaired but we still have a hole in the ceiling. It will eventually need attention.
The excitement kept me from checking the turkey but everything ended up working out OK. Shortly after that, we served dinner without any more hitches. However, Natalie did pull a knife on Louie for some reason just before dessert.