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Slab Leak Detection in Phoenix

Stevens Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning has specialized in slab leak detection and slab leak repair since 1982 … over 32 years!

AC repair & installation

Under Slab leaks in water pipes happen frequently in Phoenix homes. There are many reasons your home may have a slab leak. And, even a relatively new home can have an under slab leak in the copper pipe.

Know the symptoms of a slab leak.

If your home has a slab leak, some of the symptoms you may notice include water on the floor, higher water bills, hot spots on the floor, or a variety of other symptoms. See below for a more detailed list of symptoms of a slab leak.

Slab Leak Detection is the only accurate detection.
While these signs are fairly reliable indicators of an underground pipe leak, the only way to be sure is electronic slab leak detection. If you think you have a leaking pipe under your slab, you’ll want to use the most accurate leak locating method possible. Our ultrasonic leak locating equipment has been proven to be fast and accurate. And our technicians are well trained professionals who can locate and fix that leaky pipe quickly and affordably. They are experts at slab leak detection, and slab leak repair, as well as being fully trained general plumbers.

A Slab Leak:
A copper pipe leak under the slab (your home’s concrete foundation) — can be costly. Many homes have small leaks that go unnoticed for long periods of time. But even a minor leak in your plumbing can waste 25 to 30 gallons of water a day, which can add up to literally thousands of gallons of water being wasted over the course of a year. And, slab leaks that occur in the hot water piping of your home also waste energy used to heat the water. Just as important, a minor leak can become a major leak and lead to significant damage to your home, and to your possessions.

SYMPTOMS of a Slab Leak: Is it a Pipe Leak?
The answer may be YES if you’re noticing any of the following SYMPTOMS:

• Water on floors
• High water bills
• A musty smell; mold/mildew/moisture in carpets
• Cracks in floors/walls
• Lack of hot water
• Instant hot water at fixtures that didn’t have instant hot water before
• Hot spot(s) on the floor

CHECK YOUR METER. If you suspect you have a Slab Leak, start with checking your water meter:

1. Turn off all water inside and outside your home. Remember to shut off your evaporative cooler and any irrigation or sprinkler systems. And don’t use your icemaker for a while before the test.
2. Locate your water meter, and watch it for a minute or more. When water is not being used, none of the numbers or dials on the meter should move.
3. Most meters also have a small “leak detector” arrow, which spins to record the low volume of water use that is common with leaks. If the leak detector dial is moving, you might have a leak.
4. You may also want to check the main meter reading (the numbers) at a set time, and then come back an hour later to check the reading. Be sure no water has been turned on during the hour. If the meter reading has increased, there is a leak.
5. To determine whether the leak is inside or outside your home, find the main shut-off valve for your home. Turn it off, and check the water meter. If the meter has stopped, the leak is inside your home.

Electronic Slab Leak Detection is the only accurate way to locate a Slab Pipe Leak!

We’ve been specializing in water plumbing leak detection – using state-of-the-art ultrasonic electronic leak locating equipment – for more than thirty years.

Our electronic slab leak detection equipment allows us to accurately and quickly diagnose your slab leak, and locate and fix the leaking pipe without excessive or unnecessary damage to your home.

Our slab leak detection and repair service also allows us to trace the leaky pipe to its source, which means we can give you the best options for pipe leak repair or pipe replacement.

What causes Pipe Leaks (Slab Leaks)?

• Poor installation, for one thing. Pipes which are kinked when they are installed, or pipes which are rubbing on rocks, are all candidates for leaks.

• Local soil conditions, including sulfite and chloride content, can cause corrosion/ deterioration in the pipes, resulting in leaking pipes.

Aggressive water can corrode the pipes from within. If this is the reason for your slab leak, you can count on having more than one leak!

Slab leak under post tension slab?

Many newer homes have been built on a post tension slab. Post tension slabs use high-strength steel strands, or cables, within the slab, which are stretched during construction of the slab using hydraulic jacks, to a specified level of tension (usually 25000 to 30000 psi for residential construction), then anchored in the concrete. These cables stabilize the slab, minimizing the impact of soil movement caused by expansive soil conditions (continual shrinking and swelling of the soil in response to wet/dry weather conditions) found in the Phoenix area. This soil movement can cause cracking, shifting and other damage to a traditional slab. Because of this, post tension slabs have become more common in the Phoenix area, and are found in many homes built since the mid-80s.

While the added strength and stability of a post tension slab is important, there are some drawbacks. For instance, since the cables are stretched to a very high tension, cutting or in any way damaging a cable can not only decrease the integrity of the structure, but can be dangerous. If the cable pops out of the concrete it can do so with a tremendous force and may injure anyone who happens to be near by. And repair of the cable is difficult and expensive, requiring engineering.

We strongly recommend to any homeowner who has a water pipe leak under a post tension slab that they either:

• Re-route the affected water line(s) above ground (a process we refer to as a “Reroute“);

• Or they Repipe the entire house, replacing all the underground pipes with new pipes that go overhead. These are the most cost-effective solutions, and can avoid potential damage to cables and/or the structural integrity of the home.

Occasionally we see homes where the problem is with the sewer or drain piping, rather than with the water pipes. In this case, it’s obvious the pipes can’t be rerouted. But, it’s still not a good idea to cut the slab. If you’re interested in how we solved this problem of a broken sewer line under a post tension slab at a Phoenix home recently, visit our blog about Sewer Repair under Post Tension Slab.

By the way, if you’re not sure whether your home has been built on a post-tension slab, look for a stamp in the concrete, usually located near the front of your house.

Affordable Options for Pipe Repair:

Underslab Repair (Slab Leak Repair)
The slab is jackhammered to expose the leaking pipe(s) and the leaks are repaired by replacing a small section of piping. Often this is the least expensive slab leak repair option, but it can involve significant damage to the interior of your home, and leave you with the possibility of future underslab plumbing leaks in the remainder of the old pipe system.

Reroute Leaking Pipe
Our slab leak expert may recommend that, rather than fix the few feet of leaking pipe(s) under your slab, the best option may be to replace the section of your water pipe system that is includes the leaking pipe, bypassing a portion of your existing water system. (Rerouting minimizes but does not entirely eliminate the possibility of future water pipe leaks, as much of the old, deteriorated system remains.)

Reroute Hot Side Piping
All your hot water pipes are replaced with new pipes, bypassing the leaking pipes completely. This eliminates the potential for slab leaks in the hot water piping system. Most slab leaks occur in the hot water pipes, however, cold water pipes can, and do, sometimes produce slab leaks. To ensure against any future water pipe leaks, many homeowners opt for a complete repipe.

Repipe Complete House

In order to gain the best assurance against future plumbing leaks. All water pipes (the entire interior hot and cold water system) are replaced with new piping. This eliminates not only the existing pipe leaks, but also any potential leaks in sections of old pipe that are not yet leaking but where leaks may be imminent due to rust or corrosion of the pipes. Most repipes are done in PEX piping, although some homeowners may prefer COPPER. Talk to your Plumbing Specialist about your best option. See our Repiping Page for more information.

Call for slab leak detection today!
Don’t ignore the symptoms of a slab or underground water leak. Water leaks (slab leaks) are expensive: you could be paying for gallons of wasted water each day. Underground slab leaks can cause serious structural problems: a leak under your concrete slab could, over time, undermine the slab and/or cause settling issues which might affect on the structural integrity of your home. Call us immediately if you suspect you have a leak under your slab. Accurate locating of the leak and expert slab leak repair are too important to take chances with a company that is not experienced in slab leak service and repair.

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