Do You Have a Slab Leak?Dito Rodriguez | Jul 12, 2015
Do you have a water leak but don’t know where it is? You know you have a leak because your water bill has gone up. You can’t see it nor can you hear it. Every possibility has indicated you might have a slab leak. The problem with many slab leaks is that you just don’t know much. Where is it located? Is it a small leak or a large one? How bad is it?
Slab leaks result from leaks in the sewer or water lines beneath your concrete slab. Even the smallest drip from a line leak can cause thousands of gallons a month to leak. And one major problem with lines beneath your concrete slab is that they can be well hidden. The concrete not only hides the leak but can also hide any noise you might hear.
A Hidden Plumbing Disaster
As water seeps beneath the slab it can cause compacted soil that was supporting your home’s foundation to fill with water and create heaving. As the sediment swells with water, the pressure of the saturated sediment can be displaced. And once the pressure builds it can weaken the concrete slab area above and form a dome shape that will eventually crack the concrete.
Or maybe you have reached that point already. Is it obvious that your leak is in the slab? You may have noticed movement in your foundation or cracks in the foundation concrete. You may have mildew or excessive moisture beneath your carpet. The worst possibility is that your floors are wet or covered in a pool of water.
No matter how small a slab leak might appear, if you have one it can cause major foundation damage to your home (like cracked walls and floors) or create a damp place for toxic mold to grow. The problem requires immediate attention. To be certain there is testing that can be done to verify if you have a slab leak.
Testing for a Slab Leak
Before testing for a slab leak, it is very important that you and your plumber check every water fixture thoroughly to make sure they are not causing your leak. These are much easier and less costly fixes. And even if you have a wet spot on your floor, that does not always mean the leak is directly in that location. Water finds the easiest path to flow along. What might seem like a spot where the leak is could easily be the spot where there is a crack in your slab.
When you suspect a leak that is hidden, a pressure meter test is an easy way to determine if you have a leak. Your plumber will use a pressure gauge to test the pressure at spigots to help verify that you have a leak. Then the test is done in the sewer line to verify the leak is beneath the slab.
Finding a Slab Leak
A leak beneath your concrete slab is a plumbing emergency that needs to be fixed before the worst damage is done. But you don’t want anyone to go breaking up the concrete randomly to try to find the leak. The good news is that there is equipment expert plumbers like High Priority Plumbing have to find leaks beneath the slab and fix the leak.
There is non-invasive equipment available to locate line leaks accurately so that time and money is saved and property damage is minimized. Sewer line leaks can be located using a camera down the lines. Water line leaks can be located using leak detection equipment.
Once a slab leak is located an estimate can be provided to determine what is needed for repairing the leak. You do want to know the exact location of the leak since repair requires that a section of the concrete slab is removed. Once the slab is removed the damaged portion of the line can be repaired. And depending on the extent of damage to your slab, flooring, and foundation, other repairs and possibly remodeling may be needed.