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Today I noticed that the bottom two/three inches of particle board on the side of the sink cabinet in the bathroom are soaked: Soaked cabinet

I immediately suspected a leak from the sink, but that proved to not be the case:
There are no visible leaks from the sink No leaks visible from sink The vinyl i put down is completely dry Completely dry vinyl And the wood underneath the vinyl is also completely dry (although you might be able to see a little bit of mold growing in the bottom left hand corner of the cabinet, possibly from the leak). Dry underneath vinyl

One thing I have been hearing over the past 2 weeks or so are noises from the toilet (similar to the noise a toilet makes when it is done filling the tank with water, but the noise will occur 5-10 minutes after the tank is full, and occurs randomly). The toilet is located to the left of the cabinet and is just out of shot in the first picture.

I don't know what to do next to investigate where the leak is coming from. Do I try and take the cabinet apart? Should I try and cut into the drywall on the side of the cabinet? For what it is worth the drywall near the cabinet feels completely dry, but the grout near the baseboard/shoe molding look like it has some water stains.

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    You didn't mention investigating the toilet. The fact that it runs periodically usually means a worn/sticky/slimy flapper valve, but it could also indicate a leak in the tank. Any moisture in that direction? The discoloration of the gout may indicate moisture, and the particle board cabinet would suck it up like a sponge. – isherwood Jan 24 '17 at 21:41
  • Turns out that the toilet tank was leaking from the hole where the screws that attach the toilet tank to the part you sit on. A new set of washers fixed that problem. However, how I am left trying to figure out how to deal with the water damage to the cabinet: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/107689/… – derNincompoop Jan 30 '17 at 18:51
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The fact that it runs periodically usually means a worn/sticky/slimy flapper valve, but it could also indicate a leak in the tank. The discoloration of the gout may indicate moisture, and the particle board cabinet would suck it up like a sponge.

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The leak is surely coming from the wall. Just from the pictures the part of the sink nearest the wall and the corner of your floorboards are the wettest part. Whether it be lines from the toilet or the sink, they are in the wall.

My hunch would be the leak is actually right behind the cabinet (but water can travel a bit before it finds an outlet). This is because of the height of the moisture. It seems that the leak his hitting the bottom plate behind the cabinet and releasing right in that corner. Since you have partical board cabinets it is natural for the water to work its way up as it absorbs moisture easily.

You are going to need to disconnect the lines below your sink (after you turn off water to that area of your house. Have a flat pan ready to catch a bit of water. Then you need to pull the cabinet out and investigate the leak. This looks like a pretty consistent drip leak at a connection. I would try to get to this as soon as possible as these things usually get worse over time.

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