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Possible Slab Leaks

How to find out if you have a leak under your cement slab (slab leak).

If you think you may have a broken water pipe (not drain pipe) under a cement slab turn off all running water in the house. Then find your water meter. You can check to see if it spins (starts and stops) when a water fixture is turned on and off. So if you’ve found your water meter and if all your fixtures are turned off take note of the dial on the meter. If it has moved after 5 or 10 minutes or is noticeably moving then you very well may have a slab leak. A warm cement slab floor and/or water heater that seems to run more than usual may be an indication of a hot water slab leak; which is more common than a cold water pipe slab leak although, both happens regularly. You can call your local plumber and ask about leak detection if you need to pinpoint the leak. If you plan to repipe you may not need to pinpoint the leak, saving you money on leak detection equipment. We recommend you ask your plumber what the best option may be for your situation. By situation, we mean layout and age of the structure etc.

A higher than usual water bill may also indicate a broken water pipe. If you have a slab leak you’ll have three choices; 1) break open the slab, repair the pipe and repair the cement, 2) eliminate that pipe line and reroute a new line possibly from another source, 3) preferred – repipe all water lines that are under the slab putting all new hot and cold water lines above ground in attic or walls etc. if you have a slab leak on a two story house you could just repipe the downstairs’ plumbing and reconnect to the existing pipes that serve the 2nd floor. But opening a floor to repair a pinhole leak on a water line is not cheap and there’s no guarantee you won’t just keep getting more pinhole leaks. So very often your best choice, especially if you plan on keeping the property, is to run new pipes for the ground level via the attic or in the walls. Houses / structures on raised foundations don’t have to deal with slab leaks.