What Homeowners Need to Know About Slab Leaks

June 27, 2014

Knowing the signs of a slab leak can help homeowners limit water damage and waste.

Slab LeakWhen pipes are located beneath your foundation, it’s much more difficult to keep on top of their maintenance. You may fall into an out of sight, out of mind mode. However, a leak beneath your slab can cause extensive property damage as well as high water bills, so it pays to learn as much as you can about them.

Causes of Slab Leaks

Pipes contained within slabs are subject to all your basic problems that can compromise pipes, in addition to a few new ones occasioned by their tight cement jackets:

  • Ground shifting
  • Poor quality foundation
  • Old pipes
  • Clogs
  • Root incursion
  • Excessive water pressure
  • Cutting in the wrong place in a renovation

Pipe freezing is another common cause of pipe damage within a slab, but fortunately few California homeowners are ever at risk for this problem.

Signs of a Slab Leak

Be on the lookout for the following signs of a slab leak:

  • A sudden increase in your water bill
  • The sound of water running when no one is using the plumbing
  • Warm spots in the concrete floor
  • New cracks in walls or floors
  • Wet areas near the foundation outside
  • Water on the floor

If you notice any of these problems, you need to call an experienced plumber to investigate the situation as soon as possible.

Detecting Slab Leaks

At L.A. Master Plumbers, we have ample experience in leak detection. However, we don’t want to rush into a service you may not need, so before we break out our leak detection equipment, we first do a meter test to confirm that you are in fact losing water somewhere in your plumbing. Then and only then will we use our acoustic equipment to locate the pipes within your slab and then pinpoint the exact location of the leak using acoustics and inline video cameras as needed.

Repairing Slab Leaks

Depending on the type of leak you have and the condition of your pipes, you may have several options for slab leak repair:

Spot Repair: If we can tell that the leak is localized to one specific section of pipe, you may be able to correct the problem simply be repairing or replacing that section.

Pipe Relining: If your pipe has several leaks or is generally weak and corroded, you may want to choose pipe relining, which creates a new, durable, and reliable pipe right inside your existing pipe. We may not even have to cut any access points in order to provide this service.

Pipe Bursting: If there is room, we may also be able to use pipe bursting techniques to drag a new pipe through the old, damaged pipe. This method requires us to find or create 2 access points.