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Every slab foundation has pipes running through or underneath it. These pipes can have leaks that are costly to diagnose because they are deep in or under the concrete of the slab.

 

A slab leak can be caused by several things, including poor installation of the pipes in the concrete slab, corrosion of pipes, and abrasion of the pipes. If the leaks are not repaired, they can waste water and do damage to your property.

There is no leak detector that tells a property owner a pipe is leaking in the slab. It is particularly difficult to find a leak if the pipes are contained in the concrete of that slab and covered by some flooring. Often, a pipe will leak for a period of time and harm the slab foundation before it is detected. The leaking water will soak the soil and can even begin to soak the walls adjoining the concrete slab.

Homeowners need to be aware of the warning signs of a slab leak:

  • An unexplained increase in the water bill
  • The water heater is on constantly, or the faucet delivers hot water on the cold side
  • Damp and moldy smell inside the house
  • A barely detectable sound of running water in the walls
  • Wet puddles in the yard
  • Puddles inside the house that do not go away
  • The foundation shifts
  • Floors buckle or feel warm to the touch
  • Wetness around the foundation

However, taking a few precautions can minimize the chance your property will develop a slab leak. Try the following tips:

  • Annual inspection of all valves and water lines on your property. It is best to have a professional plumber do the inspecting.
  • Routinely check the water pressure in your home to make sure it is between 65 and 8o psi. Maintain proper pressure by replacing pressure reducing valves.
  • Install an expansion tank above water heaters. The expansion tank will handle thermal expansion of the water and prevent the pressure in the water heater from getting too high.
  • Install water filtration and a conditioner for your entire home. This can ensure that the slab pipes do not get clogged with dirt and sand, which can impede water flow and increase pressure and the possibility of slab leaks.
  • Replace your gate valves with ball valves.

These preventive steps are important but should be done by a professional, licensed plumber. Having a well-maintained water system in your home will, in and of itself, greatly decrease the chance that your house will develop a slab leak. These improvements and projects are important but aren’t like putting in a new piece of furniture or remodeling. They are simply essential.


Plumbing Outfitters are experienced professionals who want to help you do the essential tasks that keep your home well maintained. Call 
Plumbing Outfitters today so we can set up a house call.

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