How to Fix and Detect Slab Leaks
Most plumbing leaks have a source you can find without much trouble. Leaks usually come from plumbing fixtures or water heaters. There’s a different, more mysterious type of leak plaguing homes—maybe even yours!
Also called concrete slab leaks, these leaks occur underneath the foundation of your home.
Because of their location, most homeowners won’t know they have this type of leak. Read today’s post and learn the tell-tale signs and how you can detect and fix a slab leak.
Signs You Have a Leak
Common leaks show up as puddles on the floor (in extreme cases, rivers) and you can easily trace their origins. A slab leak won’t show up as a visible puddle.
Instead, you might notice water seeping up from underneath the surface of a floor. Since the leak can occur in either the hot or cold water pipes, make note of the temperature on the floor. If you don’t have radiant heat and the floor feels hot, it’s a sign the leak is in the hot water pipe.
You may also hear running water underneath your flooring—another sign you can’t ignore. A musty or moldy odor may also point to a leak. Finally, if you have no other solid clues, an unexplained spike in your water bill should cause you to do some investigating.
Leak Detection 101
The sound of running water or the smell of mold isn’t solid proof you have a leak. Add water seeping, along with a higher than usual water bill and it’s time to ask for help with slab leak detection.
Plumbers make the best detectives when it comes to any kind of leak. They’re skilled at figuring out the layout of your pipes. That along with the clues you provide, helps them narrow down the location of the leak.
Your plumber also uses a range of detection tools including:
- Acoustic Ground Microphones
- Pressure Sensors
- Infrared Cameras
- Video Pipe Inspection Tools
Locating the leak is the first step, but the plumber also needs to know the type and size of the leak. They’ll put the details together to come up with a repair method that causes the minimum damage to your home.
How Plumbers Fix Slab Leaks
You’ve called your plumber in to find the leak, now, you’ll need them to fix it!
Plumbers use several methods to repair a slab leak. The location and the type of leak you have both determine which technique your plumber chooses. Cutting into the foundation to fix the leaking pipe is a common method if you live in a modern home or you have newer pipes.
In older homes, plumbers often prefer to re-pipe the entire plumbing line. In some cases, they decide to fix the pipe from the inside using a technique called pipe lining.
Need More Information on Home Repair?
Anytime you experience a plumbing issue or home repair problem, you want help as soon as possible. We hope this post helped you understand detecting and fixing slab leaks.
For more help with plumbing issues or home improvement projects, continue reading our blog. You’ll find articles on a range of topics helpful to homeowners who want to know more about the inner workings of their homes.