If your house is built on a slab foundation and you notice a wet spot on your carpet or a warm spot on your vinyl floor, the problem could be a slab leak. You may not realize it, but houses are often built so the plumbing pipes run under the concrete slab. This can pose a problem if a pipe starts leaking because it's sometimes difficult to find the spot where the leak is and then repair it. Here's a look at how slab leak repair is done.
The First Step Is To Realize You Have A Slab Leak
You might not notice a slab leak right away since the pipes are hidden. If you detect a musty odor in your home or think you hear water running but don't know where the sound is coming from, you might have a plumbing leak. You can verify if you have a leak by checking your water meter for movement when you leave all the faucets off.
Once you know or suspect you have a leak somewhere, call a plumber to find it. You don't want to delay because your water bill will keep rising until the pipe is repaired.
The Plumber Finds The Leak
If you have a wet spot on your carpet, that gives the plumber a place to start looking for a leak, but the wet spot might not be right above the leak. The plumber can use a device like a microphone and move it across the floor while listening for sounds of running water. Changes in sound create a trail the plumber can follow to find the spot of the leak.
The plumber might use a pipe camera instead to look inside the pipe to determine the condition of the pipe and find out where it's leaking. A pipe inspection might need to be done before repairs are started. Once the leak has been found, the plumber marks the spot on the floor and considers all the repair options.
Slab Leak Repairs Are Done
Since the plumbing pipes are under your concrete slab, there's a good chance the slab will need to be broken up to reach and repair the pipe. If the pipe is in good shape except for the leaky area, the plumber may patch the hole and leave the rest of the pipe in place.
If the entire pipe is bad, the plumber may have to replace the pipe by adding a new pipe and rerouting the water or by digging up the old pipe to replace it.
It's not always necessary to dig up a leaky pipe to repair it. The plumber might be able to push or pull a patch into the pipe to plug the leak. They can even pull a liner through the entire length of the pipe to create a new pipe inside the old one. This type of slab leak repair allows the plumber to stop the leak without having to bust up your foundation to get to the pipe.
For more information, reach out to a local service, such as AZ Emergency Plumbing LLC.