It’s been 3 years since Nick and I bought our house, and in that time we’ve had five leaks…yes, five.
I recently wrote about the leak in our new roof; we’ve also had a leak from bad plumbing, two structural leaks (one of which was major and required us to gut several rooms in our finished basement to install an interior french drain system and sump pump)…and a few weeks ago we added appliance leak to the list!
Unfortunately, we didn’t discover that our (only 2-year-old!) dishwasher had been dripping water until the leak grew bigger and damaged the ceiling in the room below…and of course, the damage was only a few feet away from where we previously dealt with a leak from our deck!
I discovered the leak after seeing a small puddle of water on the floor, and then looked up to see water damage around a small access panel on the ceiling. A closer look showed the ceiling water damage extended along a window and the patio door.
For a week or so the wood patio door was swelled and it only opened half way, but things eventually dried out and now the door opens the whole way again.
After discovering the water damage, I narrowed down the source pretty quickly (admittedly, I did run outside to check for siding damage before I figured it must be coming from the kitchen upstairs). Thankfully, I was able to remove the dishwasher access panel, find the drip, and get a dish under it until Nick got home to assess the situation.
The leaking part ended up being a faulty gasket in the fitting that connects the main water line to the dishwasher. The drip was constant, and who knows what happened when the dishwasher was turned on and the water pressure increased.
The good news is that the part cost less than $5 at our local hardware store and Nick was able to quickly replace it himself.
We also got lucky that none of the damaged drywall needed to be replaced. Once everything was dried, I was able to prime over the water stains with two coats of a stain-sealing primer and a new coat of paint (thank goodness I found our ceiling paint match).
Finally, we decided to be more proactive about any future leaks (and I’m also now incredibly paranoid about turning on the dishwasher) and so we picked up a three pack of electric leak alerts from Amazon for $20. These alerts are battery operated and omit a loud beep when they come into contact with water, and they are incredibly sensitive; in fact, the instructions recommend testing the alert once a year by licking your finger and touching it to the metal sensor. (Note, like a fire alarm they also beep when the battery gets low).
So we stuck one underneath the dishwasher and put the other ones near our aging water heater and the washing machine (even though the washer is already in a pan and has an electric float to cut the water line…it just doesn’t seem like we can be too careful these days :).
It feels like “another day, another leak” is becoming our manta since we’ve had multiple leaks in both of the homes we’ve owned…is that normal, or are we just destined to own leaky houses?