Tip of the Week: The Importance of Elbows

Do you have a persistent leak in your kitchen or bathroom?…a few weeks ago I wrote about the need to check and possibly replace the boots around your plumbing exhaust pipe…oh, you’ve already had those replaced?…and you still have the same irritating leak?

As I mentioned in the recent post, those exhaust pipes vent out the gasses from your drains and allow for the water to drain effortlessly when you flush or empty the sink. Often, those pipes do not vent out directly above your sink or toilet…some home architecture requires framing that may prohibit the builder from venting directly above.

When this happens, the design calls for routing the pipe into a more suitable place. Remember, this pipe comes through our roof. It needs to be punched through a place that can be easily waterproofed. They do this by installing a bend or “elbow” in the pipe…making a 90 degree turn and moving the pipe through a separate attic space. Then put through the sheathing and through the roof.

This “elbow” is a completely separate piece from the pipe and must be glued on and sealed at both ends of the elbow. This glue may come loose or the seal is broken. Many times, age or deterioration may cause a crack in the pipe or the seal.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…”if this an exhaust pipe…and doesn’t have water running through it…how can it leak?” Simple: When it rains, it Pours!

When rain falls, some of it will inevitably fall into the pipe. When it comes down in buckets, a lot of it will run down the pipe. If the seal is intact and no cracks in the elbow, the water simply runs down the pipe and into your sewage….but if it’s broken or cracked, it will run down your pipe, hit the bend of the elbow, seeps through, drips down the elbow, onto your insulation, drywall and into your living space.

This is a plumbing issue and usually requires a plumber or someone with plumbing skills to correct…depending on where that elbow is, should be an easy fix! But if you’re not sure, give us a call. We can perform a simple water test that will tell us within minutes if the cause of the leak is a crack in your elbow!

…and Remember! Don’t be a Goof, Stay Off Your Roof! Let the pros at Continental Roof Company handle that!