Mysterious puddle In kitchen but not basement

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  #1  
Old 09-25-18, 11:09 AM
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Mysterious puddle In kitchen but not basement

Hello,

I am a new homeowner who has enjoyed learning to do tasks around the house (re-grouting in the bathroom, replacing water heater, etc...). I have a background in electrical, and know my way around a construction site, though my day job has me behind a desk.

We live in the pacific northwest and have a one-story home with a basement. The kitchen is on the main floor, and every so often a small puddle (~a half pint) forms in the middle of the tiled kitchen floor. There is no moisture around the puddle, so it isn't seeping from the walls, sink, or appliances and there is no water damage I can see in the ceiling below the basement, though it is finished, and that may hide something, but I suspect I would see something.

It's only myself, my girlfriend, and our cat living here, and no one knows why the water appears. It doesn't smell or look like urine, so I don't think it's the cat.

I'm assuming I need to track water usage and monitor to figure out how to replicate, and then call a plumber, but has anyone experienced this before - do you have any pointers as to how I can replicate it?
 
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Old 09-25-18, 11:16 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Do you know if there is any plumbing running thru the joist cavity in that area?
You might need to cut an inspection hole in the drywall below to better see/understand what is going on.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 12:19 PM
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I don’t think you said what is above the puddle. Is there a light fixture directly overhead or air intake or outlet? Maybe you have a leak above the puddle (roof or somewhere) and water is finding a path down to the middle of the kitchen. Maybe even condensation from something above.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 12:25 PM
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Hi Abe and welcome to the forum,
Loving to fix thinks is good when you own a home .
Any other info like day/night or rain events? I've seen leaks from above that only had a pin hole in the ceiling to drip through.

Have you checked the attic?

Bud
 
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Old 09-25-18, 12:33 PM
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Thanks for the replies. It did not rain last night and the roof is fairly new. We've had heavy rains with no puddle before, so I don't think it is rain.

Here is an image with a blue outline showing ~where the puddle is:

The ceiling seems dry when I touch it.
There is no fixture above the puddle.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 12:51 PM
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When does it occur, day, night?
Any ac ducts in the attic?

Bud
 
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Old 09-25-18, 12:54 PM
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Is that a cat water-filter thing near the puddle? It doesn't sound like you would've missed that as a cause, but some cats (mine included) are sloppy drinkers. Is the device leaking, following the grout line?
 
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Old 09-25-18, 12:57 PM
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No AC in the house unfortunately

The cat has a simple water bowl, which is metal, but I'll test it for leaks. The other thing is just a timed feeder, and doesn't have any water in it.

This puddle appeared over night, but I think I've seen one mid-day.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 01:13 PM
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It does look suspicious right near the cats bowl. But I know what you are saying about the distinct odor of cat urine –lol. But my dog recently had a urinary tract infection (again) and she would leave a puddle close to her water bowl in the kitchen, and it really looked like and smelled like water. Had me going for a while, checked out the ceiling, etc. No way did I think it was urine, but it was.

Any possibility the cat could be outputting really watery urine? Maybe a slight infection?
Hopefully not. If the cat is acting OK otherwise then that’s probably not it (and I don’t know whether a cat could ever output odorless urine anyway).

Just wondering if drinking from their bowl gives the pets a little uncontrollable urge to urinate if they are having a little infection or something.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 01:16 PM
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For the time being I'd just dry it up and keep an eye on it. If it's a problem it will likely get worse which should help you identify the source.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 01:38 PM
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He was at the vet last month, and they didn't report anything like that.
I googled non-smelly cat urine and couldn't find anything.
The automatic feeder is new though, and it can startle me when I'm not expecting it, so that is a possibility, except it is totally clear and odorless.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 01:51 PM
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I'm guessing its the fridge.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 02:53 PM
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That is interesting... if there is something up with the drain tube or drain pan, then the ice would melt into water on the floor during a defrost cycle... That is probably the first thing I'll check tonight.
 
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Old 09-25-18, 07:42 PM
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Good guess on the fridge as that would be my first choice. When the fridge defrosts..... the water drains down to a drip pan under the fridge. The hot condenser coil evaporates it and it's gone. However, if the drain line directly below the cold coil inside the freezer gets plugged.... the water runs down the inside of the fridge and out the door.
 
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Old 09-26-18, 06:51 AM
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But then how does it get from the fridge to the blue circled spot (post #5) without wetting the intervening floor-space?
 
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Old 09-26-18, 08:00 AM
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Where is the fridge? Can't see it in the pic.
 
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Old 09-26-18, 10:54 AM
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Does the cat push the water bowl around? Check to see if the bowl was in a different position from the night before. Once in awhile the bowl may have been pushed vigorously enough to spill some.
 
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Old 09-26-18, 06:05 PM
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could also be the dishwasher. A small leak underneath or a bad seal on the door could let water out. Water could run along the grout lines in the floor and collect in a low spot.

My money is on the cat though.
 
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Old 09-27-18, 07:00 AM
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IMHO the water dish is a good theory. If you look at the pic in post #5 and the circled area and the water dish, one paw up on the edge of the dish could tip it and it looks like the resulting wet spot would be exactly where circled.

Then take your paw off and the dish goes back to its upright position.
 
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Old 09-27-18, 01:09 PM
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The cat that lets us live here with him puts a paw in the water when he's drinking, and sometimes taps it. Maybe it's hard for him to see the exact top of the water level, or he's looking for confirmation. I've seen other cats do the same.

So... cat, dishwasher or fridge -- water traveling in the grout line for the latter two.
 
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