What are slab leaks?

Slab leaks generally occur in the clay beneath the concrete foundation of your home. Clay expands when wet and shrinks when dry, resulting in soil that heaves and shifts beneath the concrete slab, which in turn puts pressure on the foundation and can result in cracks in the foundation itself. But that is not the only thing affected. Beneath ground plumbing is also worked into the foundational slab, so when shifts occur, fittings or pipes can be loosened or cracked under the foundation of your home, resulting in leaks. Often these leaks show up as damp areas on your floor, carpet or foundation.

Slab Repair and Leak Detection

Prime Plumbers are qualified and knowledgeable about foundational warning signs that could lead to slab leaks. Without obvious indicators, it takes a trained eye and special tools to detect foundational issues. This is especially true when it comes to sewer leaks, which can go undetected for years because while there may be some soil swelling, there are often no clear indicators of a foundational leak. Our plumbing specialists utilize the newest technology to figure out where exactly your slab is leaking. We do this with the aid of a pipe line locator and a leak detection device, that can pinpoint the exact location of the leak and pipes. Once a location is established, we seek to understand the scope and severity of the leak. After the due diligence is done, we will then advise a course of action, whether it be repairing the leak in the slab or bypassing the leak. If the leak is severe, we may also recommend a reroute or repiping.

Common Indicators of Slab Leaks

Catching leaks early and avoiding foundation repairs or repiping can save you thousands of dollars. So be on the alert for the following signs:

  • Has your water bill increased?
  • Do you hear the sound of water running in your walls?
  • Do you notice a wet spot on the floor?
  • Have your utility bills gone through the roof?
  • Is there a hot spot in the floor?
  • Is their mildew or mold beneath your carpets?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions – you may have a slab leak. If you feel like you do in fact have one, your first action should be to turn off all water-using appliances. Shut off showers, washing machines, sprinklers, water spigots or double check valve assemblies. After, go and check your water meter. The triangular red, silver, or black disk on it is known as the “leak indicator.” If it is spinning and you have shot off all water usage, you likely have a leak. Shut off the primary shut-off valve to your home, which is usually located by the meter box.