dripping sound from wall behind toilet
I live alone in a somewhat small 3 bedroom, 2 � bath house. A couple of nights ago (Tuesday 9/17), I flushed the toilet in the guest or 2nd upstairs bath. Later that night I walked by the bathroom and heard a constant dripping noise. On inspection I didn't see any water near the toilet, bathtub or under the bath sink. I thought it might have been coming from inside the toilet tank. I also noticed that once in awhile it would make a noise like it was refilling the tank or bowl. Exhausted from a very long work day, I just went to bed and decided to check in the morning.
The next morning around 10:30 a.m. the constant dripping sound was still there, sounding almost like the patter of light rain on the roof. I put my ear to the wall and heard what sounded like dripping from inside the wall. Running late for work, I turned off the master water switch for the house and left.
Later that night about 11:00 p.m. when I came home, before turning the water on I went upstairs to listen for the dripping noise. It was not there. After the main water switch was turned back on I checked again. This time the dripping noise was back.
At this point I took off the lid on the toilet, there was water or condensation under the lid. I then flushed the toilet twice to see if there was any change. The dripping continued. I did notice that the water in the tank would slowly go down for no apparent reason. Then I put some vinegar in tank and waited about 10-15 minutes. Some of the vinegar was making its way into the bowl.
Then I turned off the water switch just for the upstairs 2nd bath toilet and flushed the toilet so all the water would clear out of the tank. After about 5 mins the dripping noise slowed to a stop.
The last test that I did was to turn on the water to the toilet, then quickly run the 15 feet to the toilet and hold the fill valve to prevent water from going into the tank. At this point I put my ear to the wall, still holding the fill valve and clearly heard dripping from behind the wall.
So this is where I am at now. The water to the affected bathroom is off, no more dripping noises. Would you agree that there is a water leak? (could it be something else?). If so given that it only leaked about Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning, realistically how much damage could have been done?
The house is 7 years old. I've only been in the house 13 months. Unfortunately, the home owner's warranty expired last month and I did not renew it. After a large auto repair expense, I don't have the money right now to have a plumber tear out the dry wall and fix a pipe. I might have the money in three to six months. Do you think I could wait that long before any mold growth got to bad? I live in Las Vegas where the air is very dry.
This bathroom is rarely used and in fact had not been used since the bath tub faucet was replaced by a plumber about a month ago (and also in the master bath too. Both were replaced due to a loud whistling noise). I know the guy had to push really hard to get the tub faucet on, but I�m not sure if that could have caused the problem.
Any similar experience or advice would be greatly appreciated.