In general, plumbing concerns should be handled by professionals. This is particularly true in case of slab leaks. Thus, if you are not an expert plumber, you should not even attempt to perform a slab leak repair DIY-style.
What Are Slab Leaks?
Water lines in some homes run underneath concrete floors. A slab leak happens when one of these lines starts to leak. Because the problem is underground, this is difficult for an ordinary homeowner to address.
Signs Indicating a Slab Leak
Several indicators point to the possibility of a slab leak. These include the following:
- Cracks in the walls or flooring
- No hot water from your taps
- Audible sounds of running water, although you have turned the water off
- Low water pressure
- Rising water bills
- Moisture under the carpet
Finding a Slab Leak
Without the benefit of professional help, and proper tools and equipment, you may only aggravate the problem if you try to find and fix the slab leak on your own. Professionals like Spartan Plumbing use electronic amplification equipment and electromagnetic pipeline locators to determine the leak’s exact location.
In the absence of this modern equipment, pinpointing the cause of the leak may result in massive and costly damage. Once the leak is found, the professional will then be able to repair the leak in a quick and easy manner.
Causes of a Slab Leak
In general, a slab leak occurs when there is a reaction between your copper pipes and drinking water. These reactions can be categorized into 4 groups:
- Electrolysis – This happens when two different types of metals come into contact or when the soil is high in metal content.
- Vibrations, Contraction, and Expansion from the Water Flow – These activities happen during the flow of water inside the pipes, and can trigger contact with gravel, concrete, and other pipes. The constant movement, over time, may create a leak.
- High Water Pressure – When there is improper pipe installation under a slab, high water pressure may cause damage to the pipe. One good way to prevent this from happening is by installing a pressure-reducing valve.
- Construction Issues – Defective workmanship during construction may also result in slab leaks.
How to Fix Slab Leaks
Several options for fixing slab leaks are available for your plumber to choose from, depending on the condition of the leak. These include the following:
- Re-routing or Re-piping – This fix involves complete replacement of the water line that has leaks or problems. One of the most common solutions, this method is also most effective to use for an older plumbing system that has a history of leaking.
- Epoxy Pipe Coating – Often used for systems plagued by numerous small leaks, this method calls for the application of in-place pipe coating inside the plumbing.
- Spot Repair – The spot repair method requires opening the slab right where the leak is and completing the necessary repairs on the leaking pipe. This is often the most cost effective and popular option for new constructions.
How Long It Takes to Perform a Slab Leak Repair
In general, a slab leak repair takes no more than 2 days, but this will depend on the damage and pipe condition. It also includes the time it will take to locate the leak and prepare the site for work. Possible City of Tucson water bill adjustments.
If you notice any signs of a slab leak, you need to call a professional plumber for help right away. Delaying or attempting to do a DIY fix may only worsen the situation. Spartan Plumbing has trained professionals and advanced equipment to handle any case of slab leak, as well as all other types of plumbing problems.