Slab Leaks and the Earthquake: Find the Leak

Orange County is a beautiful place to live, but it does come with the occasional earthquake. Because of those natural shakes and quakes, plumbing issues do occur. Since houses in California usually do not have basements, but are built atop slabs made of concrete, there are chances that the plumbing embedded into those slabs can develop leaks. Fortunately, Orange County slab leaks are always dealt with by the professionals at Scott English Plumbing.

When it comes to adding plumbing to a home that is built on a slab, our plumbers know what to do. They understand the blueprints and know where they need to put pipes prior to the slab being poured. Once the concrete is poured, there is nothing they can do to change the location. In California, pipes are placed in trenches and then the tops are left exposed so at least eight inches is visible above the slab. Prior to the concrete being poured, all of the pipes are tested to prove they do not leak, especially at the joints.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when and where an earthquake will occur. Even if the epicenter is far from your home, you could still develop a slab leak. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to determine whether or not your slab is leaking. The first clue will be your water bills. It is important to keep track of how much you are paying monthly or quarterly for your water. If the bill unexpected spikes, you could have a leak somewhere. As a resident of earthquake-prone Orange County, it is a good idea to keep your water bills in a convenient location so you can immediately compare bills.

Prior to investigating the slab, it is helpful to see what is happening at the location of your water meter. They are usually in somewhere along the side of your house that faces the street. After you find the meter, then go inside your home and turn of the main water valve. Then, wander back out to the water meter. If you see the little arrow spinning, then you just might have a leak. If you do not have a leak, the arrow will not move. Even if it moves slowly but constantly, you have a leak.

The next step is to find the leak. But, don’t start digging until you are certain that you need to dig. Many people will start with their exterior plumbing systems. If you have a swimming pool, hoses, or a sprinkler system, start there. Usually, the sprinkler system will have an exterior plumbing system, so you should be able to shut that off separately from the rest of the house. Do that, then check the meter. If the water is still running, then you have the source of the leak. Also, check the faucets outside of your house. Many people leave them running and they don’t realize it – especially if the water empties into the grass. You should also check where your pool connects to the house and where the main drain empties.

If the exterior of your home offers no clues, then move inside – leaving the water main off. Start with the water heater. Turn it off to see if water continues to move into it or leak as it is coming out of it. Check out your water main meter. If the meter keeps spinning, then the cold water pipes are leaking somewhere. The issue will be on the hot water side of the pipes if the meter is still. Your hot water heater could be leaking.

After you have some idea of where the leak is or is not, it then becomes the time to call us at Scott English Plumbing at (714) 987-9801 or (949) 293-2037

North Orange County
(714) 987-9801(714) 987-9801
South Orange County
(949) 293-2037 (949) 293-2037