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Sweetwater Plumbing Blog

The Major Warning Signs You’ve Got a Slab Leak

finger-plugging-leakSlab leaks are bad news for a home—they’re one of the most destructive types of plumbing problems, leading to a huge waste of water, flooding in the lowest parts of the building, and health problems from mold growth. But if you catch signs of a slab leak early enough, you can have our expert plumbers on the job to fix it. The sooner we can stop the leak, the easier the work and the less it will cost. Best of all, you won’t have water seeping up into your home through the floorboards!

Slab Leak Basics

To know how best to watch for slab leaks, you need to know some basic facts about them. A slab leak is a leak in the pipes running through the concrete foundation of a house. Older homes are more likely to encounter slab leaks because the foundation has had longer to settle and put pressure on the pipes. Older homes also have pipes more prone to corrosion from age. But new homes can still encounter trouble from pinhole leaks that can affect copper lines. Because Southern Californian homes rarely have basements, slab leaks can often send water straight into the ground floor.

Keep a Watch for the Following

  • Hot floors: Here’s an advantage for a home that doesn’t have a basement—it’s easier to detect temperature changes in the floor when there’s a slab leak. The majority of slab leaks (around 80%) occur in the hot water lines, so when you notice odd hot spots along the floor in places with high amounts of plumbing (the kitchen, the bathrooms), you’ve likely got a slab leak.
  • Cracks in the flooring: The water escaping from slab leaks puts tremendous pressure on building materials, leading to cracks. You may not see water coming from the cracks yet—but it’s on the way. This is an emergency sign, so call a pro plumber immediately.
  • The sound of running water: Do you hear water running in your home even though nobody is using water anywhere? If you do, take a moment to turn off all the fixtures in the home that use water, including the water heater, and then listen closely to the floor. If you still hear the sound of running water, summon a plumber.
  • Water puddles: You find puddles of water in the kitchen or the bathroom. You’ll check first to see if there’s a visible reason for this, such as ice melt from the fridge or loose gaskets on the toilet. If you can’t figure out what’s wrong, call a plumber to see if it’s a slab leak.
  • High water and heating bills: Slab leaks can waste an extraordinary amount of water, so any sharp increase in water usage on your monthly bills is a warning flag of a slab leak. If your heating bills have also risen, that’s a double red flag. You may have leaking hot water lines that are pushing the water heater into working overtime.

Only let experts in plumbing in Riverside, CA handle slab leak detection and repair. This is a big job, and it takes licensed professionals with the finest tools to complete successfully.

Fix that slab leak with a call to Sweetwater Plumbing. We don’t charge by the hour, we charge by the job!

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