Because of the type of soil we have here in the Dallas area, slab leaks are a big issue. The ground shifts with changes in temperature for hot to cold and conditions from dry to wet. Initial construction issues also contribute to the problem. Since we don’t have much cold weather here, water lines are not always insulated. Sometimes water lines are touching and develop holes over time because of the constant wear. There are also instances where we find a water line encased in a concrete beam and that’s where the break has occurred.
Locating a slab leak. Although Lewis Holden, our company president, says that back-in-the-day he effectively located slab leaks holding his ear to a regular kitchen glass, our technicians now use specialized locating equipment to facilitate the task. To explain the process in the simplest of terms, air is pumped into the line and then the technician listens along the water line route for the sound of the air bubbles.
Repair solutions. After locating the leak, our plumber will be able to provide the best option for making the repair. The least intrusive option is to reroute the water line overhead. If the leak is near the exterior of the home, the best option may be to tunnel underneath the foundation from outside. Leaks near the interior of the home may need to be accessed through the foundation. If this is the only option, our technicians will make certain to care for your home, keeping the work area as clean as possible and removing all debris.
We do our own leak detection. Sometimes we get calls from customers that say another company has already located the slab leak. However, we always locate the leak ourselves in order to provide the best possible service and solution for you. Otherwise, we would be taking someone else’s word for what needs to be done. We don’t want to break through the foundation only to find out the leak isn’t there! Leak location is not an exact science. For example, water may show up a few feet away from the leak is located if a line is encased in a concrete beam.
Things you can do to help prevent slab leaks.
Water the foundation of your home. Ground shifts are one of the things that cause water lines under the foundation to break. Keeping the yard area around the house watered will allow the soil to remain stable.
Have an electrician check for and remove grounding to water lines. Although it is no longer an accepted practice, electrical wiring in a home is sometimes grounded to copper water lines. This type of grounding can cause electrolysis, creating pinholes in the piping. The tiniest pinhole can allow a large amount water to pool under the foundation. For many people, this isn’t a concern because most water piping used today is plastic.