It is bad enough when you find out you have a pipe leak within your walls. You may have to cut holes in drywall or even worse plaster to fix the problem and the damage it has caused. When the pipes leak inside your foundations, you may face a much more time intensive and costly repair. One way to fix the problem is to re-route the water around the affected area with new above-ground pipes. Epoxy pipe lining can eliminate the need to tear or dig up the foundation by rehabilitating your pipes to ‘like new’ condition.
Sometimes a slab leak will be obvious. It could be a noticeable (or dramatic) increase in your water bill. You may be able to spot moist, wet, or damp spots (or stains) on your floor or carpeting. Maybe you’ve noticed low water flow. There may be water coming through your foundation or your foundation may begin to settle.
Slab leaks can occur in your homes potable water line or in your outgoing sanitary sewer line, both of which may be embedded in or under the foundation of the building. Leaks in either set of lines can cause large amounts of damage to the foundation and each has its own list of causes, some are shared. Slab leaks in the potable water line can potentially be more destructive because the supply water is under pressure. It runs through or under the concrete slab, then to the water heater where copper pipes split off and carry water to all the hot and cold water fixtures in your house.
Five Main Causes of Slab Leaks
The first is electrolysis, from the copper pipe coming into contact with soil. The second is due to the foundation shifting (because of poor design or installation, or a change in the moisture of the ground) your pipes pull apart. The third is pressure that is too high (the size of the pipes installed may be too small) which will corrode copper pipe. Leaks will also form at points where the pipes bend or change direction. The fourth cause may just be poor workmanship or craftsmanship, inferior plumbing supplies or materials (e.g. soldering, pipes) or a plumber that rushes or is inexperienced. It could also be a kinked line (a piece of pipe with an imperfection) or nicked by another (non-plumbing) worker, such as the concrete contractor. Chemistry is the fifth, either the chemical interaction between copper water pipes or the water running though them (copper pipe is very susceptible to pinhole leaks caused by the chemical composition of your water).
Slab Leaks In Sewer Pipes
Incoming water lines will constantly leak since they are under continuous flow and pressure – but slab leaks in sanitary sewer pipes only leak when a toilet is flushed, when someone takes a shower or bath, or when a faucet/tap is turned on. There are four main causes of slab leaks in sewer lines. The first is a fracture or break in the cast iron, galvanized steel, or PVC sewer pipes, caused by shifting of the foundation. The second is, in the case of cast iron or galvanized steel pipes, parts of the pipe may be exposed to soil, sand, or gravel which are porous to water -this can lead to corrosion. The third cause is the chemicals, solvents, and cleaning solutions that are poured down the drain which interact and corrode the metal pipes. The fourth cause is poor workmanship or craftsmanship, inferior plumbing supplies or materials, or a second-fiddle plumber.
If you have a slab leak, or think that you do, you should consider getting a free estimate from a qualified epoxy pipe lining company. Don’t automatically go through the time-consuming (days or even weeks) and expensive process of either re-routing the affected plumbing altogether, or digging/breaking up your concrete floor or foundation, destroying the flooring you may have covered it with, and buying new replacement pipes. You may be able to save time and money by restoring the pipes you have, right where they are (by connecting epoxy lining equipment to your existing fixtures and valves). A conventional repair (digging up and replacing pipe) will solve your problem right now, but epoxy pipe lining can protect your plumbing system from future slab leaks.