5 Symptoms of a False Slab Leak

5 Symptoms of a False Slab Leak

5 Common Signs of a False Slab Leak!

One of the most common things we see as slab leak detection expert's in Orange County is people thinking they have a slab leak, but really don't! If you do not know what a slab leak is, here is a link to an article of ours called, Slab Leak’s Torment Orange County. This will get you on track.

Thinking you have a slab leak is very common, almost the majority of our calls. Most commonly customer's receive notices from their water district saying they are using too much water and most likely have a leak. Let's go over the Top 5 things we find from customers who think they have a slab leak but really don't, this could save you big $$$.

Symptom #1 - Running Toilet Fill Valve

Probably the most common call we get is a customer who thinks they have a slab leak, but their toilet fill valve is running! Toilet fill valves get stuck, they wear out, they just plain don't work most of the time. Not only do they give a false symptom of a slab leak, but we have seen them get stuck open and overflow toilet bowls that are not draining or clogged while people are not home causing thousands of dollars in damage. Before calling a leak detection expert, go through your home and survey your toilets and make sure they are not running. Doing this could save you a few hundred dollar's from a leak detection service call or more.

Symptom #2 - Running Pool Autofill

A pool autofill valve is similar to a toilet fill valve and work exactly the same way. Being that they work the same way, they also share the same flaws. Pool autofill valves are typically found around the edge of your pool under a cover typically similar to a skimmer basket access lid. A lot of times they have a screw holding them in place. Putting your ear to the cover if it is not removable, you may hear a hissing sound. If you do hear that sound, it means that your pool autofill is running. This type of water loss just like a toilet can equate to hundreds of gallons of water being wasted and trick you and your water district into believing you have a slab leak.

Symptom #3 - Running Water Filtration System

Water filtration systems that can cause a false symptom of a slab leak are those that have an auto cleaning function such as a whole home filtration unit and reverse osmosis systems. Most of these systems are set to auto flush at night which makes it difficult to determine if they are the culprit. We recommend by-passing the unit, shutting the water off or unplugging these systems if you suspect that they are causing the mysterious loss of water.

Symptom #4 - Leaking Mainline

A mainline is the water line that runs from the water meter at the street to the house. This can often included the service line that goes to the irrigation system. Now this is a very common source of water loss, but it is not a slab leak because it is not inside your home. These leaks can be very expensive to fix because the location of the leak typically isn't accessible without major concrete demolition. Call us for a better option and a 50 Year Warranty on a new mainline that is minimally invasive to your home.

Symptom #1 - Irrigation Zone Valve

Irrigation zone valves....so many things can be going on with these units and is very often the source of a suspicious slab leak. Zone valves can get pieces of debris stuck inside the fragile diaphragm which will allow water to keep passing through undetected. The solenoid inside the valve can just stop functioning as well. Being that most systems water during the night for more efficient use of water, a faulty timer can also cause these valves to run for way to long which can very quickly add up to hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water loss while you are sleeping. We suggest shutting your irrigation system off and hand watering your plants in order to see if you are still losing high amounts of water.

 

OC Leak Detection, Orange County's Slab Leak Repair Expert's

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our company. OC Leak Detection is a family owned and operated company that was founded on the principal of providing the best customer service with a strong commitment to excellence. OC Leak Detection has been serving residents for leak detection and repair for over two decades. OC Leak Detection was started with the commitment to exemplify knowledge, honesty and customer service to our clients. Even after over two decades in the plumbing emergency and repair industry not much has changed in our commitment to excellence.

Our expertise lies in leak detection of residential plumbing systems, pool and spa systems and the repairs of the leaks we find. We also specialize in water and mold damage remediation working for homeowners and insurance companies alike. Our team of highly skilled technicians is available in Southern California serving San Diego County, Orange County and Los Angeles County. OC Leak Detection offers trucks completely stocked to get to you when you need us the most, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

OC Leak Detection Team
866.523.3303

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Slab Leak’s Torment Orange County

Slab Leak’s Torment Orange County

Slab Leak's Continue to Torment Orange County!

Slab leak's are a nightmare for Orange County Homeowners! I am sure a lot of you reading this have either experienced one or more slab leaks or pinhole leaks in Orange County or at minimum know a friend or a neighbor who has experienced a slab leak. Looking at the photo above, it can be a horrible experience causing thousands in damage and possibly displacing the owner of the home for months adding unnecessary stress.

This is a problem that is not going to go away and those with copper pipes in their homes are not immune! I have had many customers say they need to sell their home and get a different house in order to get away from slab leak and pinhole leak issues, that's not the answer, it hits every neighborhood in every city in Orange County! So what can you do about it? Can you make it go away? Let's find out how! But first lets discover who is to blame.

Slab Leak

Who Is At Fault for Your Slab Leak?

Are you at fault? You didnt create this problem! Those at fault are the builders for installing inferior low grade copper usually sourced from out of the U.S. and the water districts for serving high levels of Chloromines into the water that literally eat the copper from the inside out. There are other factors at times, but those are the two biggest contributors.

What is a Slab Leak?

To under stand exactly what a slab leak is, you first have to understand how the system runs under your concrete floors of your home.

Homes with underslab copper have lines running from point A to B and so on. Water comes in at your main shut off and goes under ground and pops up to supply a fixture. Pipes join together at areas called manifolds (pictured in the photo above), one line comes in to feed the fixture and other lines go out to perform the same task at other fixtures until every plumbing fixture has water. Imagine hoses strung to each fixture and then running of to feed another fixture, thats what the system is doing under slab. Its basically a spiderweb of copper lines all meeting above ground at the manifolds. This will be the same for the hot and cold water systems.

A "slab leak" is a term dubbed by plumbers which actually does not correctly identify what is going on. First off, copper lines penetrate the slab but do not run through them. The copper lines are running under the slab through the dirt typically at 12-18 inches down. When you have a "slab leak" it is a pinhole that has formed on one of the individual lines that are feeding fixtures. It is the same as a pinhole leak that would happen in the wall or overhead, this is just happening under slab. Keep in mind the average 3 bathroom home has roughly 20-30 individual copper lines running underground coming up to these manifold points.

Here are the most common signs of a slab leak:

  • A sudden rise in the gas or water bill
  • The sound of water flowing through pipes when they are not in use
  • The water heater running non-stop
  • Warm or hot spots on the floor
  • Constant wet spots outside or near the stucco of the home

Slab Leak Repair Orange County

So what can you do to prevent slab leaks from happening?
There are typically warning signs that you have a slab leak (as listed above). You may not be able to prevent a slab leak this way, but you can mitigate the damage before it occurs. In order to completely rid yourself of slab leaks your only option is to repipe which we will go over below.

In order to fix a slab leak, you have three options:

  • #1 The first option is what is called a direct access repair. This where the leak is identified on the line that is leaking, the ground is opened up and a spot fix is put on the leaking copper line. This is not the best repair in my opinion and is more of a band-aid approach. When a copper line has a pinhole in it, it is typically terminal and needs to be completely replaced. Most insurance companies try to opt for this approach because it is slightly cheaper. Do not be fooled, a repair this way will almost certainly lead you back to a repair on the same line very soon.
  • #2 The second and the most common option would be a single line reroute. This is where the line that is leaking is identified at the two points it comes out of the ground and abandoned. Once you have abandoned this individual line that was leaking underground, a new line is run overhead and or through the walls connecting the two original points that were being supplied. We always recommend running this line in Pex and typically Uponor Brand Pex because of the 25 Year Manufacturer Warranty it comes with. This is as bulletproof as it gets for a new line. Now keep in mind, this is a single line reroute. If the average 3 bath home has 20-30 individual lines running underground, you just replaced one.
  • #3 This last option is the most expensive and most invasive, but it will completely eliminate slab leaks from your life. This option is a whole house repipe. This involves opening walls and ceilings and running a brand new water system in Uponor Brand Pex for the hot and cold piping. This typically can be completed in a week or less while you are still living in your home with your water on (in most cases). More and more homeowners are opting for this option because either their insurance companies have given them no choice, or they are just done with the constant worry and stress of another potential surprise leak.

Whichever option you choose, OC Leak Detection can help you. We can locate and quickly stop the leak as well as help determine your best course of action on the repair, we can also handle all of the water damage remediation you have had from the leak if there is any, and we can help walk you through a potential insurance claim.

 

OC Leak Detection, Orange County's Slab Leak Repair Expert's

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our company. OC Leak Detection is a family owned and operated company that was founded on the principal of providing the best customer service with a strong commitment to excellence. OC Leak Detection has been serving residents for leak detection and repair for over two decades. OC Leak Detection was started with the commitment to exemplify knowledge, honesty and customer service to our clients. Even after over two decades in the plumbing emergency and repair industry not much has changed in our commitment to excellence.

Our expertise lies in leak detection of residential plumbing systems, pool and spa systems and the repairs of the leaks we find. We also specialize in water and mold damage remediation working for homeowners and insurance companies alike. Our team of highly skilled technicians is available in Southern California serving San Diego County, Orange County and Los Angeles County. OC Leak Detection offers trucks completely stocked to get to you when you need us the most, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

OC Leak Detection Team
866.523.3303

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Homeowners Guide for an HOA Plumber

Homeowners Guide for an HOA Plumber

Looking for an HOA Plumber in Orange County?

Imagine coming home to find that your sink, bathtub or toilet is overflowing with water and you know you have not been around to cause the issue. What do you do? Who is going to fix it? Who is responsible? The chances are that the issue is on a shared plumbing line in your building or community. This is a guide to knowing your HOA responsibilites and the HOA Plumber who will be fixing it.

What are the HOA Responsibilities?

Unless there are governing HOA documents that have other provisions, the HOA has the responsibility to maintain, replace and repair all damage in common areas. Sometimes there can be a leak in a separate unit that is not a common area that causes damage to your unit. Typically you will find in the documents pertaining to your HOA , the owner has the responsibility to fix the pipe leak but the HOA is responsible for the damage caused by that leak. It is very common to find condominiums in Orange County sharing main lines that are considered a "common area" and are under the responsibility of the HOA.

What are the Owners Responsibilities in Orange County?

Typically, the owner is responsible for maintaining all plumbing fixtures in the home. This includes but is not limited to, toilets, sinks, showers, tubs, appliances, sewer lines only serving your unit, water lines (including branch lines) serving your unit and water heaters.

Who Can Fix the Plumbing for my HOA?

Typically your HOA in Orange County will have a Plumbing Company that they are already contracted with. YOu would most likely want to go directly through your HOA in order to get this setup and have your repair run smoothly. Most scenarios are emergencies and the plumbing leak needs to be remedied immedately and the HOA Plumber in Orange County is not immediately available. It is within your right to call a plumber such as OC Leak Detection to come out and stop the leak immediately. The HOA is obligated to pay for this service. The repair itself would need to be approved through the HOA first but is typically not a problem.

OC Leak Detection Serving all of Orange County

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our company. OC Leak Detection is a family owned and operated company that was founded on the principal of providing the best customer service with a strong commitment to excellence. OC Leak Detection has been serving residents for leak detection and repair for over two decades. OC Leak Detection was started with the commitment to exemplify knowledge, honesty and customer service to our clients. Even after over two decades in the plumbing emergency and repair industry not much has changed in our commitment to excellence.

Our expertise lies in leak detection of residential plumbing systems, pool and spa systems and the repairs of the leaks we find. We also specialize in water and mold damage remediation working for homeowners and insurance companies alike. Our team of highly skilled technicians is available in Southern California serving San Diego County, Orange County and Los Angeles County. OC Leak Detection offers trucks completely stocked to get to you when you need us the most, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are a Home Owner Association or a Property Management Company, then OC Leak Detection is the solution for all your plumbing maintenance and leak detection needs. Experienced in fulfilling the demands of HOA's, OC Leak Detection offers rapid response and the highest level of service for your residents. It takes dedication and understanding to build a long term relationship that works for your HOA and your residents. You will be pleased by the commitment, experience and understanding we provide.

OC Leak Detection Team
866.523.3303

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