Slab Leak's Continue to Torment South Florida!
Slab leak's are a nightmare for South Florida Homeowners! I am sure a lot of you reading this have either experienced one or more slab leaks or pinhole leaks in South Florida 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 South Florida! 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.
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, that's 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 South Florida
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, South Florida'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 Southwest Florida serving Sarasota County, Charlotte County, Lee County and Collier 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