A slab is a concrete foundation on which some homes are built. Plumbing lines run underneath the slab. A slab leak occurs when the plumbing pipes begin to leak. Over time, the leaks can cause serious damage to your home. Timely leak detection and repair is paramount. Here’s where our slab leak detection services in San Diego can help. Need an evaluation? Call us on (760) 670 – 4795.
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
- A spike in your water bill amount
- Floor host spots or areas of varying temperatures
- Excessive moisture or mildew on or under carpets
- The sound of running water in your flooring or coming from your walls
- Cracks in ceilings, walls or concrete flooring
- A constantly clogged drain
If you said yes to any of the above, it’s very possible you’re experiencing a slab leak on your property.
Detecting a Slab Leak
Slab leaks occur when pipes underneath a property’s concrete foundation “spring a leak”. Slab leaks are trickier than traditional leaking
systems in that they’re hidden and difficult to identify since the last thing you’re going to see is water spraying throughout your property. Instead, slab leaks give subtle warning signs like those listed above that you have a potentially serious issue developing.
If left unattended, a slab leak can become a homeowners’ most costly repair!
Causes of slab leaks
What would lead to leaky pipes under your home? Here are the common reasons for slab leaks:
Shifting soil can cause a shift in your home’s foundation, putting pressure on the pipes. A number of factors, including earthquakes and soil erosion, can cause the shift.
Clay soils are more prone to shifting. As the soils dry out, they shrink and crack, causing gaps around the house and letting in water from storms or floods easily. In San Diego, our soils are composed primarily of dense clay. When they shift, home piping can suffer damage and lead to slab leak.
Improperly installed or inferior quality pipes are a common cause of slab leaks. If your pipes became kinked while they were uncoiled or installed, leaks can form in the affected areas. While water itself is not abrasive, the non-dissolving contaminants in it can make it so. Over time, the abrasive action can cause corrosion in pipes, and eventually cause them to burst. If your home has copper pipes, which are more vulnerable to corrosion, you may need a pipe replacement rather than slab leak repair.
High or low water pH
Excessively acidic (“hard”) or alkaline (“soft”) water can corrode pipes. If you see blue-green stains around your plumbing fixtures or pipes, they’re likely due to acidic water. Over time, acidic water can cause damage to your pipes and appliances. It’s a good idea to have your water chemistry checked and adjusted in case of an abnormal pH.
Pipes can rub against soil, gravel, concrete, and other materials. The resulting friction can cause them to wear over time. Hot water pipes are at a higher risk of abrasion as they expand and contract with the rise and fall of temperature. The pipe movement against the surrounding soil and concrete can eventually give rise to leaks.
From these causes of slab leaks, you have gathered that problems come about with time. Your home’s pipes can take a beating from the pressure and stress. Corrosion can also occur over time. Regular plumbing maintenance, which includes plumbing leak detection, can catch issues quickly and prevent them from becoming expensive problems in the future.
What to do if you suspect a slab leak?
At San Diego Pipelining, our team of leak detection experts utilizes the latest technology like thermal imaging, electronic amplification and sonic detection to pinpoint any slab leaks you might be experiencing. With this type of equipment leaks can be located and repaired with very little disruption.
No longer do we have to tear apart your yard and basement to uncover the leaking system!
Signs of slab leaks in your home
- Water stains on the floor
- Warm spots on the floor
- An unexplained increase in water and heating bills
- Mold and mildew under carpets
- Sound of water running under your floors even when the water is off
- A running water meter even after all plumbing appliances are off
- Warps in flooring resembling a raised dome (from severe, long-term water damage)
Spotted one or more of these tell-tale signs of slab leak? Book a plumbing leak detection now.
Leak detection equipment we use
You cannot always rely on your senses to detect a slab leak. Only plumbers using specialized water leak detectors can make an accurate diagnosis. We use three types of under slab leak detection equipment:
Thermal imaging is a common method of leak detection. In this method, specialist infrared cameras measure the amount of infrared light emitted from a surface. The idea is to identify temperature differences in pipes, or the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ areas that make it easier to locate the leak. Thermal imaging is a faster and generally more affordable leak detection technique. Disruption is minimal and you can get back to your property quickly.
Electronic amplification equipment
Sometimes, leaks are more easily found when you listen for them. Our equipment for slab leak detection in San Diego includes listening equipment. Sound sensors powerful enough to hear through hardscape find dripping or gushing water. Multi-sensor microphones, and digital amplifiers and filters amplify the sound of moving water. Making accurate estimations is a matter of training and experience, both of which our technicians possess.
Ultrasonic Leak Detection
This method uses a hydrophone that detects air bubbles and water movement. It is able to provide an accurate picture of where the leak is coming from or going to.
Interested to know more about techniques to find leaks under your foundation? Talk to us to understand our process and how we can help you.
Slab leak repair
Once a leak is detected, our technicians will discuss slab leak repair options with you. If direct pipe repair is possible, we will open the floor, cut out the leaky section of the pipe, and replace only that bit. It’s the least expensive method and should be covered by homeowner’s insurance.
If you have one slab leak, you’re likely to have another. Direct repair is only a partial solution. Warranties will not cover future leaks in other parts of the pipe. To prevent further slab leaks in the line, rerouting can be done. In this type of repair, we replace the damaged pipe by rerouting the pipe from under the slab to above the slab to a single line.
Repiping all the water lines is the recommended slab leak repair method. Replacing all the pipes in your home is more expensive than other methods. If you don’t want to prevent slab leaks from recurring in the future, a full replacement is the way to go. It may even be the only option for a post-tension slab foundation, which isn’t built for direct repair.
Contact Us For Slab Leak Detection Services in San Diego – Find and fix leaks quickly
While there’s no saying whether the pipes below your home’s foundation will leak, you can watch out for signs of leakage and catch problems early. For example, you can check plumbing fittings for signs of high water pressure. If the pressure is higher than 80 PSI, install a water pressure-reducing valve to protect your pipes.
For more plumbing advice and information, have a look at our blog. To book a leak detection or explore options in slab leak repair, contact us right away.
Other Relevant Pipe Lining Services
PIPELINING – Piping systems that suffer from low pressure, discoloration, foul odors, off-putting taste, leaks or bursts can be handled with one of our pipelining solutions!
PIPE RESTORATION – Trust San Diego Pipelining to care for your current system with an affordable and non-invasive pipe restoration strategy to help repair damage to your current piping system.