What You Should Know About Slab Leaks

Slab leaks are a growing epidemic in the plumbing community. If you suspect that you have a slab leak it’s important that you’re able to identify it and know what the next steps are in fixing it. Here’s what you should know:

What is a Slab Leak?

A slab leak is what a term that plumbing professionals use to describe leaks in he copper water lines that are located underneath the concrete floor of your home. They are sometimes also called concrete slab leaks or foundation leaks.

 What Causes Slab Leaks to happen?

Slab leaks can be caused by corrosion, abrasion, construction, or pressure.

  • Corrosion– Because underground pipes make contact with soil on the outside while running water on the inside, water balance and a charged ground runs the possibility of causing electrolysis in the copper pipes. As a result, the pipes become corroded which eventually leads to holes.
  • Abrasion– Sometimes, when water travels through the pipes, it causes the pipes to vibrate or expand which may cause the pipe to rub against gravel, concrete, or other pipes in the area. This friction sometimes causes a leak.
  • Construction-Faulty construction can cause slab leaks to occur.
  • Pressure- Underground pipes often experience extreme levels of pressure due to earthquakes and other natural causes. This pressure sometimes causes pipes to crush or crease which can lead to a leak.

 How Can I Tell If I Have A Slab Leak?

There are several signs that can indicate a slab leak:

  • Wet base boards
  • Planters near the house are wet
  • Mysterious puddles of water on the floor
  • Damp carpet
  • Water bill that is higher than usual
  • Water running noise, but nothing is on
  • Hot spots on the floor

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should contact a plumbing professional immediately.

 How Are Slab Leaks Fixed?

Slab leaks should only be fixed by plumbing professionals. Once the plumber has diagnosed the problem as a slab leak they will typically choose one of four ways (Or a combination) to fix it:

  • Re-Piping– Install a brand new water system.
  • Access the Pipes Directly- Go straight through the floor to get to the leak to repair.
  • Epoxy Restoration- Repair the leaks using epoxy pipeline restoration process.
  • Pipe Re-Route- Run a new water line through the walls and ceilings to replace the leaking pipeline below the floor.

 How much does it cost to fix a Slab Leak?

Depending on the severity of the slab leak, the cost for repair can vary.

  • Slab leak detection – $125- $400
  • Slab leak repair – $1,000- $5,000
  • Degenerating plumbing system repair – $2,000-$15,000

How Are Slab Leaks Prevented?

As you can see, the cost of repairing slab leaks can be very expensive so it is important to do what you can to prevent them from happening. Here are a few things that you can do:

  • Have regular plumbing maintenance
  • Have your water bill analyzed by an experienced plumber
  • Have your water pressure analyzed by an experienced plumber

If you think you may have a slab leak, don’t wait, give Jeff Shaffer Plumbing a call at (949) 361-2688.