Many houses in Orange County and surrounding area are built on slabs, meaning the structure's pipes and sewer lines are laid out and then covered with concrete, which then becomes the flooring. Two reasons for building on slabs are cost—slab-build structures are much lower—and the environment. Oftentimes the land in a development will not support basements.
Because the floor of the house lies directly over water and sewage pipes, a pinhole leak under the slab can be a very scary thing to deal with. First, without being able to see the pipes, how do you find the leak? Second, if the leak proves to be under your living room—or in the middle of your restaurant—how can it be repaired without causing a mess?
S.O.S. Plumbing & Expert Drain Cleaning Service is dedicated to repairing any leak in your structure with minimal mess, trouble and expense. From a slab leak as small as a pinhole to a complete pipe burst under the slab, we can help. We're a family owned business in the Orange County areas since 1970, and you have our pledge on it.
- Is My Structure on a Slab?
- How Do I Know if I Have Some Kind of Leak Under the Slab?
- Finding a Slab Leak
- Repairing the Slab Leak
Is My Structure on a Slab?
Some owners think their structures rest on a slab but they are actually on crawl spaces. The first thing to do is determine if your structure is on a slab if you are uncertain. An simple way to find out is to stomp on the floor. If there is a slightly hollow sound, the floor has a crawl space below it. If the sound has a solid sound, the floor is over concrete. Of course, if there is a crawl space, finding and repairing the leak is much easier, but S.O.S. Plumbing technicians are trained in resolving trouble spots in both situations.
How Do I Know if I Have Some Kind of Leak Under the Slab?
Because pipes are hidden beneath your floors, you often won't know you have a pinhole leak under the slab until you receive an outrageous water bill, perhaps combined with a very high gas bill if the leak is in the hot water line. So, what are some signs of a slab leak?
- You notice your water meter is spinning out of control or your water heater runs on
- Your floor feels hot in a particular spot
- There are wet spots on the floor
- There's a soft spot underfoot
- You hear the sound of running water in a particular spot, when no water is turned on
- You've noticed more ants around the house
- You've found new cracks in the walls or floor
- There's an unusual smell coming from the floor
- You turn on the cold tap and the water starts out hot
Finding a Slab Leak
Locating a pinhole leak under the slab is a methodical procedure. While feeling a spot of warmth on the floor is a sign there might be a leak under the slab, it doesn't necessarily indicate the location of the leak. Water can travel for quite a distance from the leak before spreading out enough to form a warm area.
Locating a slab leak is a two-fold process.
- First, locate the structure's pipes
- Second, use an electronic leak detector in that area to find the leak itself
S.O.S. Plumbing uses many different types of equipment and technology to find a leak and determine where a problem is in the line. We choose the best technique to solve the individual problem.
Repairing a Slab Leak
Once the leak is isolated, we decide if the pipe can be accessed directly, if we need to reroute pipes or use some form of trenchless technology.
- Direct Access
It's usually best to avoid this because of possible collateral damage. Please consider other options below and check with us for a free estimate and our expert advice. If the direct access approach is best, we find the pinhole leak or broken pipe segment, cut it out and re-join the two ends by soldering them to a copper connector.
- The final steps in the repair process can make all the difference in how well the repair lasts. We test the connected pipe by turning on the water and making sure the leak is fixed. If all is well, the wet soil must be removed from around the pipe. We replace the soil with compacted sand and top it with concrete. When the concrete is cured, the hole can be covered.
- Re-routing Pipes
A partial or complete re-route can be done to avoid breaking through the floor. In re-routing, we will find some way around the trouble point, maybe through the walls or the attic.
- Trenchless Technology (ePipe Epoxy Pipe Restoration)
This involves ways to restore the pipe in place with S.O.S.'s patented ePipe water line restoration and eLiner drain line restoration. There is more about this repair method in the Trenchless technology section. This is the best option available to solve a pinhole leak or burst pipe under the slab with little or no damage.
Insurance often pays for all or most slab leak repair work. We work with most insurance companies. Please contact us, e-mail us or call for more information.
It's important to know that when it comes to slab leaks, S.O.S. Plumbing & Expert Drain Cleaning Service diagnoses the problem, designs a solution and carries out the repair work ourselves. We carry our own equipment and our personnel are expertly trained in its use. We don't sub-contract because there's no need to. When you contract with S.O.S. Plumbing, you get S.O.S. Plumbing from the beginning of the project to the end.
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