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Slab Leaks Are Tricky: Here’s How a Plumber Locates One

slab-leak-crack-in-foundationThere are few plumbing problems a home might encounter that present more difficulties than a slab leak. What’s a slab leak? It’s the name for a leak in the pipes laid in the concrete foundation of a building. These leaks can occur in either hot water or cold water lines (around 80% are in the hot water lines) and lead to extensive water waste and eventually damage to the foundations.

What makes slab leaks a tough plumbing repair is that they’re difficult to locate and then to reach. Skilled plumbers can use a variety of methods to fix a slab leak once they’ve gotten its location. Using a jackhammer to dig directly down is one option, but plumbers can often use lateral tools to avoid excavation and instead put in new pipes to bypass the leaking section.

How do they find the leaking pipe in the first place?

Yes, we skipped a step in the process! That’s because we want to focus on the job of slab leak detection, which is its own specialty field in professional plumbing. When you think that there’s a slab leak in your home because of high water bills, cracks in the basement floor, strange behavior from the water heater, or the sound of running water when there’s no tap on, contact a plumber with leak detection experience and the right equipment.

When a professional plumber comes to a house for leak detection, the first thing they’ll do is determine the basic layout of the pipes and look over the various clues regarding the leak. A trained plumber can narrow down the leak location significantly through skill even before picking up any detection tools.

A professional plumber has a range of leak detection equipment:

  • Acoustic disc and ground microphones that can hear sounds through thick layers of concrete. Water escaping from the pipe creates a distinct sound the discs and microphones will pick up, helping to narrow down the location.
  • Pressure sensors. The detectors scan for changes in temperature and pressure in the foundation, which will locate a spot where water is escaping from a pipe.
  • Video pipe cameras. This is the most powerful tool, since it allows the plumber to see the interior of the pipes. These cameras are mounted on long fiber optic cables and connect back to a monitor.

Locating the leak is not only about pinpointing where it is so the least amount of damage is done to reach it. It also provides the plumber with crucial information about the type and size of the leak. This knowledge allows the plumber to make the best choice about how to proceed and what tactics will fix the leak.

Are you looking for a plumber in Rancho Cucamonga, CA who can locate those tricky slab leaks—and then fix them? You are already at the right place! We provide a complete range of leak detection and leak repair services. Right now we’re offering a special: $50 off any plumbing service. So if you think you’ve got leaky pipes in your home, contact us right away.

Sweetwater Plumbing serves Southern California. We’re always open for business!

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