Many homes in Southern California are built on a slab foundation. This means that instead of having a basement or a crawl space under the house where the pipes are located, the house is built on a foundation of a concrete pad. The plumbing pipes run through this concrete pad. If the pipes in the concrete slab foundation of the home develop a leak, this is referred to as a slab leak. If your home is built on a slab, you may not be aware of the indications of a slab leak. The signs of a slab leak are different than the signs that you might see if you have a leaky pipe in a home with a basement, because a leak in the slab doesn’t have as many places to go. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about slab leaks and slab leak detection.
Q. How will I know if I have a slab leak?
A. You probably won’t be able to tell for sure whether you have a slab leak, since you can’t see the pipes under the slab. However, there are some common indications of a slab leak that can give you a heads up to the problem.
Q. What are the signs of a slab leak?
A. The first sign is a change in your water bill. Take note of your typical water bill throughout the year. If that amount suddenly increases with no reasonable explanation, it could be because you have an undetected slab leak.
Q. I haven’t noticed a change in my water bill. How else might I know that I have a slab leak?
A. Another common symptom of a slab leak is the sound of running water. If you are lying in bed at night and you hear water running, despite the fact that no one is out of bed to use the water, this could be a sign of a slab leak. The running water that you are hearing could be water leaking from the pipes in the slab, since none of the appliances or fixtures in the home are actually using water at the time. A warm spot on the floor is another common sign of a slab leak. If you are walking across the floor and you notice that there is an area that is noticeably warmer than the rest of the floor, this may be an indication of a slab leak. When there is a leak in the copper pipe in the slab, the leak allows hot water to accumulate in that area. The warmth of the hot water can sometimes be felt through the floor, which provides you with a warning that you have a slab leak.
Q. If I have a slab leak, will I see puddles on the ground?
A. If you have a slab leak, you might notice wet spots on the floor inside your home, or you might notice that the ground outside of your house is saturated. Walk around the outside of the house, and take note of particularly wet areas on the ground, especially around the edges of the house’s foundation. These can be a sign of a slab leak.
Q. What should I do if I have a slab leak?
A. If you suspect a slab leak, call a professional plumber for assistance right away. Addressing the problem quickly will help to prevent it from getting worse and more costly to repair.