DIY-oriented homeowners can resolve minor plumbing problems easily. It is easy to fix a leaky faucet or replace the fill valve for the toilet. Most homeowners can handle minor leaks with a little knowledge and the right tools. It’s not as easy to fix another type of plumbing problem. This problem may go unnoticed for weeks or even months.
Today’s blog post will discuss slab leaks, which are hidden leaks in hot or cold water pipes that are buried beneath your foundation. You’re lucky if you haven’t ever had a slab leak. You’ll still want to know more about the plumbing problem so you can act quickly if a slab leak occurs.
What is a slab leak?
A slab leak is not a concern if you live in a home that has a crawlspace or basement. However, slab-based homes have under-slab plumbing. This type of system uses cement to surround the pipes.
It is not difficult, but not impossible, to access and repair anything that has been buried in cement. It’s the most cost-effective method of getting water into your home. You could see the copper lines connecting at manifolds and each routing to your fixtures. These lines supply hot and cold water to your toilets, faucets, washing machines, and showers.
Sometimes, a pinhole leak can occur in one of your water lines. You have a slab leak! What are the most common causes of slab leaks? These questions will be answered in the next section.
What Happens to Slab Leaks Under a Foundation
Residents who live in earthquake-prone areas are more at risk than the rest of us. Even small earthquakes don’t make the news. They can cause cracking in pipes and plumbing pipes. The slab foundation can move slightly when soil shifts under stress. Poor construction and soil erosion can lead to shifting soil even if you are not in an earthquake hot area.
Slab leaks can also be caused by abrasion. Imagine the water moving through the pipes using your x-ray vision. Vibrations are caused by the movement of water. If the pipe is buried beneath the foundation, these vibrations can cause excessive wear to the pipes. The pipe can develop a pinhole leak over time. Copper is not an infallible material, but it can be durable for water supply lines. The best of us are affected by corrosion and age!
Slab Leak Signs
We have already discussed how slab leaks can be hidden under your feet and right beneath your nose. How can you tell if there is a leak?
Make use of your senses
Pay attention to the temperature if you notice water rising from your floor. If radiant heat is not present and you feel hot water, it’s possible that your hot water slab is leaking.
Another detection tool is your nose. You may have excess moisture if you smell moldy in your home. You can call your plumber if you are unable to locate the source of the moldy odor. They specialize in identifying the cause, which could include slab leaks. Pay attention to your ears! You can hear running water, even if there isn’t anyone using it, and that’s an indication of a leak. If the sound is coming from beneath the floor it could be a slab leak.
Your water bill is another indicator. A leak can be identified by rising water bills that have no explanation. No matter if you have a slab problem or not, any of these situations indicates that you have a plumbing issue. Do not wait to call a plumber. You could end up with water damage if you ignore the problem.
A plumber is the best slab leak detective
Although all of your evidence might point to a slab-leaking slab, you cannot rely on your instincts alone. To detect a slab leak, professional plumber must come to the scene and assess it. Although plumbers still use their senses, they have access to the most recent plumbing technology. Plumbers can use a ground microphone to detect leaks in pipes. Pinhole leaks can be detected by a video camera.
How plumbers approach slab leak repair
When repairing slab leaks, plumbing professionals have many options. The severity of the slab leak and the condition of the pipes will determine which option they choose. Your Long Beach Plumber will usually repair or replace the affected portion of the pipe if they only have a small section. This is the most cost-effective and minimally invasive option.
An old pipe or one that is in poor condition might be impossible to repair. Repairs could cause a leak in another part of the pipe. Your plumber might choose to reroute the pipe in this case.
Your entire pipe system could be at risk if you live in an older house. Plumbers recommend re piping in order to prevent future leaks and expensive repairs. Re-piping can be very difficult because it requires cutting into the slab and floor. Trench less pipe repair is another option. The plumber can make access holes at the pipe’s ends to re-line it. The plumber then inserts a new liner into the pipe to cover the leak and seal it.
Do you need to schedule slab leak detection and repair?
What should you do if all the signs point to a problem under your foundation? Slab leaks are not like other plumbing problems. They require more than a quick fix and a wrench. You should call a Long Beach Plumber if you suspect that there is a slab leak. Your plumber will help you determine the best solution.