Did you know that the term slab leak refers to domestic water lines? Under normal conditions, they do their job quietly and carry water away from your home with no help from you. Whether hot or cold, these lines have live water distribution that are under full water pressure. Sometimes, however, these pipes can spring a leak that can lead to major water damage to your home. While you can’t see the actual slab leak, there are some telltale signs to watch for.
Signs of a Slab Leak
The term slab leak refers to domestic water lines. Live water distribution lines that are under full water pressure. They can be hot or cold. The first signs of a slab leak aren’t likely to be visible. A decrease in water pressure and an increase in your water bill may be the first signs that something is amiss. Unless there are other explanations for decreased water pressure and increased water usage, such as other plumbing leaks in the home or faulty faucets, this may indicate that a water pipe under the slab has deteriorated and has sprung a leak. Another sign of a slab leak could be hot spots on the floor or the sound of running water in the walls. Look for signs of mold growth, damp floorboards or carpets, wet baseboards or a shifting foundation. You may also hear the sound of running water under the slab.
Causes of Slab Leaks
There are a number of reasons you may experience a slab leak, but the four main reasons are:
- Corrosion of Pipes: Both hot water and cold water pipes can corrode over time. This may be due to chemicals in the soil that react with heat and corrode the outside of your hot water pipes or electrolytes in the water that deteriorates the inside of cold water pipes. Old or aging pipes are more susceptible to corrosion and may spring a leak.
- Vibration: Vibrations from outside sources can wreak havoc on the pipes under your slab. If you live in an area, such as close to the train tracks or other environmental sources of vibration, your pipes may be more susceptible to wear and tear that can result in a slab leak.
- Poor Construction: Pipes that were installed improperly or faulty construction practices on the part of the builder may lead to slab leaks.
- Ground Pressure Problems: Shifting soil can exert pressure on your pipes and cause them to break or spring a leak. Likewise, improperly installed plumbing can also result in too much pressure on the pipes, leading to leaks.
- Water Pressure Problems: One more cause of slab leaks is high water pressure. Pressure regulators fail and lead to excessive water pressure in the home. That excessive water pressure will then cause pin hole leaks/ slab leaks in the water lines.
Solutions to Slab Leaks
It may be tempting to try to correct slab leaks on your own, but they can be difficult to locate. For the do-it-yourselfer, this often means using a jackhammer to locate the leak. This method can be messy, frustrating and costly. Hiring a professional is often the best and most efficient solution to solving problems with slab leaks. A professional may drill access holes, called epoxy restoration, to repair the pipes. They may also re-route the pipes or re-pipe the area with plumbing that has the proper expansion joints to avoid leaks in the future. The method used depends on whether you have one or more leaks, the condition of the existing pipes and the location of the leak.
If you suspect you have a slab leak, take action today. Contact Big B’s Plumbing right away and talk to one of our experienced plumbers. We provide leak detection services to help find any leaks in your home. We also offer 24/7 emergency service and will have you up and running again in no time.