We found some water running down the wall in the basement by the utility closet. Upon closer investigation we found that water was leaking out of a black PVC drain pipe that runs along the ceiling. The water was pooling on the drywall under it, then running down both adjectent walls.
Initially we thought it was the 1/2 bath sink drain pipe that was leaking so we stopped using that sink. Turns out that was the not the problem. It was actually the washing machine drain line that was leaking. We did some demolition to remove the affected drywall.
After all the drywall had been removed I can say with certainty that the pipe had been leaking for a while but got much worse recently. The leak went from the ceiling sofet (drywall), down two walls, ruining a door casing along the way, and collected on the floor where it ruined some trim.
We had to remove way more dry wall then we should have for this leak, due only to where the leak was and how it spread out and affected such a large area. The pipe that was leaking had cracked on a 45 degree connector right where it flares out to form the female connector. So this was not a failure at a joint but rather a failure of a single piece itself.
In this particular case, three 45 degree connectors came together to provide the correct angle to join a 2 inch pipe to a 3 inch pipe. Space is tight in this area and replacing the 45 degree piece would have required that I remove a bunch of 2" and 3" pipe in order to make enough space. Even if I did that I was not sure I would be able to reassemble everything cleanly enough to avoid immediate leaks. It is hard to explain but easy to see in the pictures.
I opted instead to cut out the cracked piece and join both ends with a rubber coupling. This was not ideal as I would be joining 2 pieces of pipes that had a slight angle to them rather than being straight. If it didn't work, I would just have to replace everything anyways so might as well give it a shot.
Thankfully the rubber coupling worked well and didn't leak at all. Now we need to replace all the dry wall. Ugh.
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| Notice the lake below the pipe. The leak is on the back of the middle 45 degree fitting near the top |
| cracked right where the pipe flares out to the female end. The piece failed, not the joint |
| cut out the failed section and replaced with a rubber coupling. It is holding well, no leaks |