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Having a plumber with expertise in slab leaks can have unexpected advantages, such as when your hot water heater is underperforming and your hot water supply is surprisingly limited. At Slableak.com, we help our clients in Mansfield, TX discover whether this kind of problem is an issue with the water heater’s function, or a hot water line leak that requires slab leak repair. Any pipe that runs under the slab can create water loss problems and an increased water bill, but when the hot water line springs a leak, your energy costs will rise as well. There are a few additional signs that can help you recognize a potential hot water slab leak repair problem, rather than a standard leak from your plumbing beneath the slab. Repair techniques are similar, and as with any plumbing leak, it is important to evaluate whether this is an isolated incident, or a sign that your plumbing is getting older and in need of more general replacement.
What Makes Slab Leak Repair Different from Typical Plumbing Repairs?
In many cases, pipes are hidden behind walls or in other inaccessible locations, so finding and repairing leaks can be a challenging proposition. In the past, plumbers would have to cut into walls and follow the leak from the evidence such as a damp spot in the ceiling to the origin which could be some distance away. Water can easily flow along the outside of the pipe or other structural components before it reaches a point where it pools and becomes apparent through externally visible damage, mold and mildew smells, insect and vermin infestations, and electrical corrosion and short circuit problems.
Unlike a simple pipe leak beneath your sink, the hunt for the source is a major part of the work to be done. Fortunately, modern plumbing equipment includes a number of instruments that can be used to detect water leaks in hidden places, using acoustic, heat-sensing, and tiny video sensors that provide much of the information needed to make repairs. Slab leaks are similar to hidden leaks inside walls, except accessing them involves digging underneath the slab or cutting through the concrete slab, rather than simply making holes in the wall. It is especially important, then, to make sure that the nature and location of the leak is targeted as closely as possible before a slab leak repair is performed. This requires expertise and experience beyond traditional residential plumbing.
Signs of Slab Leaks
- Typical slab leak signs include these:
- Low water pressure problems
- Higher water bills
- Wet or damaged basement flooring
- Smells associated with lingering moisture
- The sound of running water beneath the floor
- Pooling water near your foundation edges outside
One more sign is typically an indicator that the slab leak is related to your hot water system:
- Warm areas on your basement floor
Plumbing and Slab-Based Construction
In some forms of home construction, much of the home’s plumbing that connects different parts of the house is laid out before concrete is poured, so that it is covered by the concrete slab. As you can imagine, it’s an exacting job because once the concrete sets, the plumbing is fixed in place. Plumbing in order under the slab can also face challenges over time, as pipes do tend to vibrate as well as expand and contract a slight amount due to temperature changes. This can lead to cracks, leaks, and slab leak repair situations. Hot water pipes, of course, are more prone to this slight movement since they naturally experience more significant temperature changes. Pipes under the slab are also exposed to the movement of the surrounding earth, especially clay-type soils that tend to expand and contract as with changes in moisture. A heavy rain can seep into the ground beneath your foundation, and even a slab leak can, as water pools, affect the soil underneath and cause further disruption of the plumbing’s stability and slab leak repair requirements.
When Hot Water Lines Leak Beneath the Slab
Diagnosis of a hot water problem in a home with plumbing under the slab typically requires a fundamental decision process. Many of the basic signs of trouble could indicate either a water heater repair such as a thermostat or heating element problem, but they could also indicate hot water loss through requiring a slab leak repair. If you’ve observed a warm spot on your basement floor, especially near your hot water heater, or if you’ve seen related signs such as disruption of flooring materials or even a clever pet that has found a warm place to relax, this information can help direct the solution towards slab leak repair. Our plumbers can investigate further, looking for signs like constant water flow from the water heater even when your home’s hot water taps are shut off, and a rise in water pressure or change in sounds such as water flowing under the foundation when the water supply to your water heater is turned off. These tests may take some time since your water heater tank contains a considerable amount of water.
Effects On Your Foundation from Delaying Hot Water Slab Leak Repair
In addition to lost water and wasted energy, both of which show up in your bills, large amounts of water leaking under your foundation can affect the soil, as mentioned, and also unbalance your foundation since it is resting partly on solid ground, partly on changing quantities of water. You may experience cracks, and they may be worsened by the effects of heat from the hot water. It’s important to investigate the possibility of a slab leak as soon as possible.
Local Slab Leak Experts in Mansfield, TX
At Slableak.com, our professionals are skilled plumbers with additional expertise in leak detection and slab leak repair. When it comes to your Mansfield, TX home’s foundation, our experience is an important factor in successful leak resolution. Give us a call for the expert help you need.