Detecting and Repairing an Under Slab Leak

Express Plumbing on 27 August 2015

Not all leaks are obvious or easily detectable. Many of your home’s water pipes and drains have been installed under concrete slabs, hidden to the naked eye. But as these pipes age, they can deteriorate and start leaking water into the surrounding concrete and foundations of your home.

These leaks can be costly. Not only will they blow out your water and energy bills, they can cause serious issues for the structure of your home and risk damage to floors and fittings. Getting quality repairs early is the only way to ensure that the issue is fixed and future problems are avoided.

At Express Plumbing, we have leak-detection technology to pinpoint the location of all kinds of leaks and burst pipes, even under concrete slabs. We take a comprehensive approach to drain repairs, so that we find the right solution for your needs in the most cost effective way possible.

To book a drain inspection or repair, call our Melbourne-based customer service team on 1300 852 815.

How to detect an under slab leak

Under slab leaks may not be immediately obvious, but they can be costly. Be on the lookout for some of these signs of a under concrete slab leak:

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Unusually high water bill. Your water bill should stay fairly consistent from month to month. If your latest water bill is two or three times higher than normal, there is a good chance that something is wrong with your plumbing.

Damp concrete slab. If you notice that a concrete slab is constantly damp, there is a good chance that a pipe is leaking underneath it, especially if the source of water – such as a nearby tap or hose – cannot be identified.

Water pooling or leaking from cracks. Any water pooling in places it shouldn't is a tell tale sign of a plumbing system in need of maintenance. The problem could be under the surface if the water is seeping from cracks where there is no obvious source of water, such as a nearby bathroom tap or shower.

Hot water system constantly running. If you suspect that an under slab pipe is leaking hot water, then check your hot water system. If it is constantly running, even when no hot water is being used, then there could be a problem. A high gas or energy bill is another give-away.

What are the causes of a under slab leak?

There can be a number of causes of a broken or leaking pipe under a concrete slab. The most common cause is the effect of time; old pipes in old homes will eventually degrade and corrode.

However, there can be a number of other causes of under slab leaks, including:

  • Soil and ground movement
  • The use of poor quality pipe material
  • Incorrect pipe installation

This means that no matter the age of your home, there is always the possibility of a under slab leak. Generally speaking, there is not much you can do to prevent under slab leaks, except to ensure that your plumbing has been installed correctly from the start. The consequences of poor plumbing can be serious, so always go with a highly recommended plumbing service.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to under slab plumbing repairs. It really depends on a number of factors, including the cause of the leak, the location and the extent of the damage.

Are under slab leaks serious?

Regardless of the cause of a under slab leak, the signs and seriousness are all the same. Not only will your monthly water bill blow out, the leaking water can cause some serious – and expensive – damage to your home.

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Some of this damage can include:

  • Cracked and broken slabs. This concrete will need to be ripped up and replaced.
  • Water-logged areas. This damage can include ruined carpet, flooring, walls and cabinets.
  • Structural movement. Water leaking into the ground can have a serious effect on the structural integrity of you home and foundations.

Early detection is the key to avoiding disaster and saving thousands of dollars later down the track. Be sure to call a quality plumber as soon as possible to reduce the long term consequences of an under slab leak.

What is the repair process?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to under slab plumbing repairs. It really depends on a number of factors, including the cause of the leak, the location and the extent of the damage.

In some cases, repairs are not expensive and can be performed in just a few hours. In such cases, the pipe could be by-passed to avoid ripping up the slab and large scale excavation.

However, other cases may be expensive, especially if there is widespread damage or if the pipe is difficult to access. In these cases, repairs could take a number of days.

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Call Express Plumbing today: 1300 852 815

If you suspect that you have a under slab leak, then it’s time to take action. A good plumber will be able to quickly identify the location of the leak and find the most cost-effective, quality solution to repair the leak.

At Express Plumbing, we have been in the business for over a quarter of a century. In that time we have seen all kinds of leaks and plumbing issues in Melbourne homes. Our advanced leak-detection technology will be able to pin-point the location of the leak to reduce excavation and costs. Our solutions are not quick-fix repairs—we get it right the first time, guaranteed.

Call our plumbing team on 1300 852 815 to talk to an expert today.