What Causes a Slab Leak?

What Causes a Slab Leak?

A slab leak is a common issue, but many of our customers don’t even know about slab leaks until one occurs in their home. The concrete slab that your property likely sits on—as many of the properties in our area have slab foundations rather than raised foundations or crawlspaces—has pipes running underneath it as part of your home’s water supply.

Unfortunately, a leak can occur in these pipes, and as you might guess, it can be rather difficult to catch. If you have some idea of why slab leaks occur, however, you may know what to look for and feel better prepared should one come your way. After all, it’s important to catch these leaks early to minimize the cost of repair and water damage.

Ground Movement

First, abrasion may occur with time or all at once due to occurrences that force the soil around the pipes and around the foundation to shift, such as nearby construction. One source Californians should be aware of is an earthquake. After an earthquake, it’s particularly important to pay attention to any signs of a slab leak (in addition to any signs of a gas leak).

  • The sound of rushing water.
  • A sudden drop in water pressure.
  • Rising utility bills.
  • Cracks in the foundation of your home, which you may see echoed in the walls or baseboards.

Corrosion

With time, any pipe will corrode, but older galvanized steel pipes corrode the fastest. If you know that this type of piping was used in your home, or that the pipes are about 50 years of age or older, it’s time to start keeping an eye on potential slab leaks. You may want to schedule regular inspections for your piping, just to be sure, or consider replacing the pipes regardless of leaks.

Corrosion of Hot Water Pipes

Hot water pipes tend to be the source of slab leaks. The heat and condensation that collects on the outside of these pipes may help to contribute to this. It could speed up the rate of corrosion, allowing hot water to leak underneath your foundation. There are a couple of specifics to look out for with this type of corrosion.

  • Hot spots on the floor.
  • No hot water.
  • A drop in water pressure only when you turn on the hot water.

Water Pressure

Issues with the pressure inside of the pipes could potentially be responsible for a pipe that breaks. A pressure regulator on the pipes may help you or your plumber to make any necessary adjustments to ensure that pressure levels coming into the home are ideal.

Poor Construction

It’s unlikely that water pressure alone will have much of an effect on the pipes if they are built properly and have not begun to corrode. However, poor construction can contribute to the possibility of a slab leak. Combine this with water pressure issues and/or ground movement, and a faulty installation can end up costing you—big time. Be sure you only allow skilled plumbers to work on your pipes!

Allstar Home Services is your source for plumbing service in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Call our team today!

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