What I'm Seeing Now


"What One Man Can Invent Another Can Discover." Sherlock Holmes

This line, "What one man can invent another can discover," is spoken by Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Dancing Man.

For example, if something has been done in a house to cause a leak, and a leak happens, the source of that leak can eventually be found.

The manager of a condo building asked me to come to try to evaluate the source of a leak that was happening and nobody could figure out how it was happening.  He is a friend of mine and wanted some help.

After a short explanation, he said, "Imagine the hologram of Princess Leia asking for Obi Wan's help, saying he was their only hope."

To that I said, "Get real..."  But I went over anyway on my way home one afternoon.

The leak was happening in a bedroom ceiling, not near a roof, and in the middle condo of a three-level building.  It is a small leak, with a small stain, and which gets wet once a week, on the weekend.

It started happening a month ago.

Walking in I said I might have it figured out already.

He said, "What are you, Sherlock Holmes or something?"

Well, no.  But a clue is a clue.

That was my clue on the left!

Can you deduce what I thought the problem was?

It turns out I was right.  We couldn't get into the unit in question that day.  But I told him what questions to ask and what to look for when they did gain access.

Here are the questions I thought he should ask the condo owner:

-->  Did you buy a new washing machine recently?  The answer was yes.
-->  Did you have the washing machine delivered and installed?  The answer was yes.
-->  Do you do wash on the weekend?  The answer was yes.

What are the clue(s) you see in the photo?  What did I think the problem was?  Who did I think invented it?






Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 3 commentsJay Markanich • February 06 2015 02:46AM


That looks like a dryer vent under the pipe.  I would think the overflow pipe was allowing water to go back into the vent causing the leak.  It's just a guess

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 4 years ago

Jay, there are clues that lead you to the answer, and you are the inspector to hire to FIND the answer!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 4 years ago

This post got a LOT of looks but very few comments!  James and Joan, that is the washing machine drip pan drainage point.  The stain is white due to laundry soap.  The pan was broken when a new washing machine was brought in a month or so ago and the new washing machine leaks underneath.  That leaking got into the unit below.  The pan also discharged some of it outside.  That's the white stain in the photo.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

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