You may have noticed some wet areas in your flooring. What does this mean and how much will it cost to repair? This is a common sign that you have a plumbing leak under the foundation of your home. However, this is not the only sign that you may have a problem. You may have also noticed an increase in your water bill.Another sign may be the detection of a foul odor in one or more parts of your home. There is only one way to know for sure whether you have plumbing issues, and to what extent. You need to call in a plumbing expert to do an inspection.
When the plumbing expert has finished the inspection and has found that there is a problem with your freshwater pipes, you may wonder if this means you will need to dig up the foundation of your home to do a water line replacement. Reputable plumbers will give you other options to consider. A very expensive fix would be to tunnel underneath the slab foundation of your home and repair or replace your pipes.
This is both costly and unnecessary. There are plumbers that will recommend this process because it makes them the most money. Educate yourself before deciding on a plumbing expert. Once you find the right person for the job, they will test the pipes to determine how extensive the leaks are.
How Bad is the Problem?
There are two ways to test for leaks without disturbing your foundation. The first method is to just look at the city water meter. The meter has a triangle (also known as a drip indicator) that will be moving if you have a leak. The drip indicator also moves if there is water running in your home. It is important to make sure all the water in your home is turned off before checking the meter.
The second way to check for a water leak is to use a pressure gauge. The plumber will attach a pressure gauge to the hose pipe on your house. The main water supply coming into the house is then turned off so there is no water coming into your home. The pressure gauge will only indicate a drop in pressure if there is a leak in your pipes.
The next step is to determine how many leaks you have and where they are located. This can also be done without having to disturb the foundation under your home. The plumbing experts will use a pipe locating device to find the lines in your house underneath the slab. They will then pump air into the lines and use a special listening device to locate the water leak. They will be listening for the sound of air or water escaping through the leak in the pipe. The type of repair that the plumbers will recommend depends on the extent of the leak or leaks.
The first recommendation that a plumbing expert will make in most cases is to actually go through the slab that is located directly above the leak. There are plumbers that will tell you this can mess up the foundation under your home. However, when done correctly, this process does not compromise the slab foundation. There are times when foundation repair experts will punch a hole in a slab for certain fixes. The most important thing to remember is to do your homework. Make sure the plumbers you hire have the experience and reputation for doing the job right.
This is an option that is recommended when you have had leaks before or if there are multiple leaks found. This option does not disturb the slab foundation under your home. However, it is not without drawbacks. The pipes under the house are no longer used. The plumbers will instead reroute the freshwater pipes through the walls and the attic.
This can cause cosmetic issues in some cases. This means calling in other repair experts to fix the cosmetic issues created by the repiping. In the end, this could mean more time and money. However, this is still less costly than having to tunnel under the slab. It will also not disturb your home's foundation.
When having repairs done on your freshwater pipes, you need to be prepared to spend both time and money. How much time and money will depend on the extent of the leak or leaks and finding an expert that will not take advantage of you. Ask friends and family if they have anyone they would recommend. You can also go to the better business bureau to help you make an informed decision on whom to hire.