What, exactly, is a Slab Leak?

by stevensplumbingac on December 26, 2012

Phoenix Slab LeakSlab Leak is a term used to refer to a leak in a copper pipe under your home’s concrete slab (concrete foundation).


Questions? Give us a call!  (602) 273-7473

Slab leaks are more common than you think,

and even a newer home can have an underground copper pipe leak. Leaks under a home’s slab can occur for a number of reasons. Poor installation of the copper pipes, for instance. Pipes that are kinked when they are installed have a good chance of leaking. If rocks are left in the soil surrounding the pipes, pipes rubbing against a rock will wear over time, and this can also cause a leak. Local soil conditions, including sulfite and chloride content, can cause corrosion/ deterioration in the pipes, resulting in leaking pipes. And, aggressive water can corrode the pipes from within. If aggressive water is the reason for your slab leak, you can count on having more than one leak!

How do you know if a copper pipe under your home is leaking? 

There are a lot of symptoms of a slab leak.  You may see water on the floor, or feel a hot spot on the tile floor if the leak is in the hot water piping of your home; your water bills may increase for no apparent reason; you could notice a lack of hot water or maybe you notice hot water at a fixture that didn’t have hot water before; you may notice a musty smell if the leak is creating a mold situation.

If you notice any of these symptoms,
or for any reason think you have a slab leak, you may want to start your research by 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.

Slab pipe leaks can be costly. 

If you think you have a leak in the copper pipe under your slab, call us right away.  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.  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 the structural integrity of your home.

Call us immediately at 602-273-7473 if you suspect you have a leak under your slab.

Proper leak detection and slab leak repair are too important to take chances with a company that is not experienced in leak detection service and repair.

We’ve been providing Slab Leak Locating and Slab Leak Repair Services in Phoenix and in the entire Phoenix metro area since 1982.  We’re experts at all types of Slab/Water Leak Repair.

Questions? Give us a call!  An experienced Plumber is always available during business hours to answer your questions.

Stevens Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning
(602) 273-7473

Limited Time Offer: Slab Leak Detection only $69!

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