If your home is built on a slab foundation, then the floor you walk on is concrete. Regardless of your floor covering, you may have a slab leak if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Water percolating up through your floor covering (wood flooring, carpet, tile, granite etc.)
Higher than normal water or gas utility bills.
Warm or hot spots on your floor, if you are on a slab foundation.
Your hot water arrives at a fixture sooner than it ever did before.
Your cold water is suddenly warm or even hot at any fixture in your home.
You hear the sound of running water when you are not using water anywhere in your home.
A number of factors can work alone or in combination to affect the rate of corrosion in any piping system. Depending on the number and degree of these factors, even a new piping system can show signs of corrosive wear in as few as two years after installation. Even the highest quality water source can cause some of these problems in your piping system.
High water pressure can also contribute to slab leaks. Exterior corrosion on copper water lines causes pitting on water lines. Water pressure higher than 75 P.S.I. can cause pre-mature water leaks. A pressure regulator is required when a house’s water pressure is higher than 80 P.S.I. A water pressure gauge is attached to the hose bib and is included in our leak detection.
Undetected leaks can cause major damage to your home, such as mold. Mold may develop on drywall, walls, ceiling and wood floors within a couple of days given the right conditions.
Our technicians are experts in the art of leak detecting. We use state-of-the-art electronic leak detection and line locating equipment, manufactured by the pioneers of our industry. The equipment is so sensitive, we can usually hear the sound of a faucet that is dripping or a toilet that has a slow leak.
We can usually pinpoint a leak on a slab floor so accurately, that an opening the size of football is all that is needed to repair the leak.
After locating the slab leak or leak in the wall, our technicians will recommend the most cost effective way to repair the line.
TYPES OF REPAIRS FOR PIPE LEAKS
1. DIRECT ACCESS SLAB LEAK REPAIRS:
Leaks under the slab foundation inside the home are often referred to as “slab leaks.” After our technicians pinpoint the leak, we start by setting up a dust control enclosure with plastic from the floor to ceiling to protect your home.
We then open the slab, usually an area about the size of a football, to access the water pipe below the slab. This type of repair is usually referred to as a “direct access.”
After cutting out the leaking section of pipe and making the repair using type L copper pipe, we perform an additional electronic leak detection to ensure there are no additional leaks.
The pipe is then wrapped in plastic, the soil is replaced and we replace the concrete with fast drying cement. The entire process takes only a few hours and your water is restored the same day.
2. RE-ROUTING AND EPOXY “IN-PLACE” PIPE RESTORATION TECHNOLOGY, USING THE EPIPE® SYSTEM:
Re-routing, or single line re-piping, are the terms to describe the process of bypassing a line that is leaking under a slab foundation.
Homes built before 1960 usually have integrated piping systems where the hot and cold lines are connected under the slab using tees and elbow fittings. This type of system cannot be re-routed and a complete re-pipe or epoxy coating of the entire hot or cold is necessary, if a direct access is not possible or cost prohibited, due to continuous tile or marble flooring.
Newer homes have a piping system for the hot and cold lines that loop from fixture to fixture, usually starting at the water heater. Leaks can develop under the slab on either the hot or the cold lines. An average one bathroom home may have up to twelve individual lines under the slab. When a leak develops on one of the lines in an area where a direct access is not possible, then this line can be re-routed or restored with our ePIPE® restoration system.
Re-routing the line requires finding both ends of the line in the wall at the manifold, usually by making a small access hole in the wall. The line is then re-routed up the wall and either into the attic or across the ceiling and then back down the other wall and then reconnected to the other manifold. Complete dust control containment is set up prior to cutting out any drywall for a re-route. We also protect the flooring with rosin paper, tarps and cardboard.
A line that is twenty feet under the slab from manifold to manifold will generally require opening at least thirty eight feet (38) of drywall (less drywall is opened if there is an attic space above the ceiling). Additional to the expense of the plumbing re-route, is the cost of replacing the drywall, texturing and paint.