Few things are more frustrating than knowing you have a leak somewhere in your home but not being able to find it. If your water bill is through the roof, you have unexplained low water pressure, or you hear running water but can't find the source, there's a good chance you've got a slab leak. But what is a slab leak?
Slab leaks are found under the concrete foundation of your house, and they can be tricky to find since access is so difficult. Knowing how they happen and how to fix a slab leak is the best way to ensure you get control of the situation quickly to prevent serious damage to your home.
Slab leaks can be difficult to manage without a professional on your side. Calling an expert to help you deal with the problem is your best chance of minimizing disruption to your household while the leak is repaired.
Experience service that makes you feel like part of the family with the plumbers at Red Cap Plumbing, Air & Electric. Call us if you need help with leak detection, and our friendly and experienced technicians will locate the issue and go over your options to repair your system quickly.
Due to the location of slab leaks beneath your foundation, a few likely scenarios could be responsible for the situation.
Water that's either too hard or too soft can wreak havoc on your pipes over time. The corrosion it causes usually starts with pinhole leaks that gradually grow in size when not addressed. Eventually, these holes can become large enough to create a full-blown slab leak.
The pilot light orifice controls the amount of gas allowed through to keep your pilot light going. If the orifice is clogged or dirty, chances are your water heater pilot won't light at all. This is because any gas being sent to start your pilot light is being blocked.
High water pressure in your home can take a toll on your plumbing due to the constant force being applied from inside your pipes. Since slab pipes are often made of copper, this softer pipe material will be more susceptible to warping or damaging over time, allowing water to escape under your home.
Carelessly installed pipes typically cause slab leaks. If your pipe was bent or kinked during installation, it creates a friction point for water that runs through it. Over time, these spots will eventually give and either create a hole or break completely.
Shifting soil under your home is fairly common, especially in areas prone to natural disasters. Earthquakes, floods, and heavy storms all contribute to soil erosion under your property's concrete. The movement of soil can damage pipes by putting pressure on them or opening up space that allows them to move freely. A strong earthquake could even break or disconnect your pipes on its own.
Slab leak repairs must be handled quickly before they become a much bigger issue. Free-flowing water under your concrete slab is likely to shift the surrounding soil, removing support for the concrete above. Fast repairs prevent expensive damage.
Detection for a slab leak is often done through pressure testing. Your plumber will isolate individual sections of pipe and perform a pressure test to locate the drop in water pressure that comes when there is a leak. Cameras fed into the pipes can help identify pinhole leaks, while a ground mic can pick up the sound of an active leak to let you know where the problem is located.
To eliminate the need to damage your concrete slab, most plumbers will opt for a trenchless pipe repair to resolve a slab leak. Rather than digging a hole and removing the offending pipe, trenchless repairs are typically done with pipe lining. A liner or sleeve is coated in epoxy and then thread through the damaged pipe. Once in place, it is expanded, sealing itself to the walls of your old pipe, effectively creating a new pipe.
With the leak detection service at Red Cap Plumbing, Air & Electric, our team will find the source of your troubles and promptly handle any repairs you might need. You won't have to wait around wondering when your plumber is going to show up with our on-time guarantee. We'll arrive when we say we will — or credit you $100 towards your current or future service with us.