Albert's Blog

Handling Slab Leaks in Your Home

 

A slab leak occurs when a water line beneath the concrete slab of your home or building develops a leak.

How Does a Slab Leak Occur?

The primary reason a slab leak occurs is the reaction between drinking water and copper piping. The water will corrode the pipe causing it to leak. Other reasons are poor installation practices, an abundance of soldering flux, piping coming in contact with reinforcing bars or rock and non-reamed pipe.

Determining if a Leak has Occurred

Detecting a slab leak can be challenging, since it is under the concrete slab, buy not impossible. There are a few tell tale signs that will help chase down the culprit.
If you hear running water, even when all the fixtures are off, it is possible a slab leak has occurred.

If your water bill high is higher than the normal, will indicate something is amiss. Slab leaks can be responsible for wasting gallons and gallons of water each day resulting in higher than normal water bills.

A warm spot on the floor may indicate a hot water pipe has ruptured and the water is collecting beneath the slab. Wet wood flooring or damp carpeting will indicate a leak under the slab.

Cracks in the ceiling and walls will indicate the building is settling, but it also indicates moisture is building up and that build up will be beneath the concrete slab.

In addition to the above noted obvious signs of water, a plumbing professional will utilize electronic tracing and listening equipment to locate a slab leak.

Repairing the Slab Leak

The first step in the repair process is to shut off the water. The repair technician will have to have access to the foundation and concrete slab. The repair tech will remove flooring necessary to expose the concrete slab. The concrete will be cut and removed and the section of compromised pipe will be replaced. The concrete will have to be removed in a size large enough to remove the damaged pipe.

Keep in mind that copper pipe will have to be soldered or welded, but High Density Polyethylene Pipe (HDPE) pipe will be repaired with epoxy. Replacing a segment of copper pipe with HDPE may not be possible.

The repair technician should leave the access to the pipe open for 24 hours to make sure the leak was fully repaired. Once the repair has been deemed complete, the repair tech will replace the concrete slab.

Don't let a Slab Leak take over your home! Call Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating at (510) 843-6904 right away for the best services in the Berkeley area. 

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