Fixing Leaking Pipes Under a Slab Foundation

Fixing the damaged line is not that hard, however locating and accessing it is a different story. Once located, you will have to cut and chisel your way through the concrete to repair the pipes.

Symptoms
Signs that point to a slab leak are presence of water or damp spots on your floor. Hot leaking water lines can create warm places on your floor. Walking around barefooted will expose the location of a leaking hot water line. The second alert that your water lines are leaking is the sound of rushing water underneath your floor. And, since a leaking water line runs continuously, you might receive a significantly higher water bill than you are used to.

Sewer lines
Sewer lines can be a different problem. Sewer line leaks go undetected until there are visible signs of foundation damage. In areas with spacious soil, a leaking sewer line can cause heaving, which is when the slab swells enough to lift the building. Also another sign indicating a potential sewer line leak is a dome or raised section in the floor.

Elusive leaks
Leaks that are hard to find require the use of specialized devices. After the water is turned off, air is pumped into the lines to force out remaining water, allowing the plumber to listen for escaping air from the damaged pipe. Once the leak is identified, the plumber can figure out the best way to repair it. It is better to re-plumb the entire house rather than waste money repairing old plumbing sometimes. This is recommended when a home is plumbed with old galvanized piping. Repairing old pipes is often not cost effective because old pipes are extremely hard to fix and will continue to brake and leaks as they age.

Gaining Access
When slab leak is located, access needs to be gained so that repair can be performed. Jack hammering the slab is a required step in this process. Flooring is removed to expose the concrete slab, with ceramic tile being the exception. Slab repair creates a lot of dust. Valuables should be covered or removed. Once the hole is cut, the dirt is removed to expose the leaking pipes.

Repairing Water Lines
Copper Tubing is the most common type of pipe used for water lines under a slab foundation. Copper pipes age, and as they age, they are prone to wearing thin and springing a leak. Repairing a copper pipe require cutting the damaged section of pipe with a hacksaw, reciprocating saw or tubing cutter and removing it. New piece of tubing combined with copper couplings is soldered into place.

Repairing Sewer Lines
When there is a leaking sewer line, fixing it may require the services of a plumber because of the types of pipes used for sewer lines. Health-related issues involving exposure to human waste can be faced if the incorrect procedure is performed. Depending on the age of the home, the pipe may be cast iron, clay or PVC. Special rubber couplings are ideal for connecting different types of pipes but they are not recommended for use underneath concrete slabs. Rubber boots can deteriorate over time, especially when they are used outdoors

Conclusion
Slab leaks are common, homes age and nothing lasts forever. Super Mario Plumbing has expertise to assist you in such matters with quick services and reasonable rates.
Call us today for free estimate and consultation.

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