Plumbing leaks are fairly common, but a leak that's under the slab can be frustrating and difficult to notice. Even if you suspect you have a plumbing leak somewhere, you may not figure out it's under the slab until you call in a plumber. Slab leaks are hard to discover since the pipes are out of sight and there aren't always clear signs you have a slab leak.
Here are some possible signs you might see if you have a slab leak and methods used for residential slab water leak detection.
Signs That Could Indicate A Slab Leak
If the leak is big and sudden, you may notice a huge jump in your water bill. This is an unpleasant surprise and a sign you need to contact a plumber right away to find the leak. If the leak is small and has been going on for a long time, your bill may be consistently high so you don't realize you have a leak.
Slab leaks from a hot water line might make your floor warmer in a certain spot. You might notice your cat or dog likes to nap in a specific spot on the floor since it's warm. A leak in a hot water line is even more serious since it drives up your gas or electric bill because the water heater has to run more.
A slab leak can also make your floor wet, and if you have carpet, mold may grow underneath it. A musty odor usually indicates you have a leak of some kind, and it should be tracked down even if you need to call in a plumber to help.
Detection Methods For A Slab Leak
The first step is to verify there's a leak by doing a test on the water meter. Turn off all faucets indoors and then watch the meter to see if it still turns. If it does, water is leaking from a pipe somewhere. The next step is to figure out where the leak is.
Even if you have a wet spot on the floor, the plumber may still need to track down the damaged area of the pipe. That's because water can travel away from the pipe before it stops and collects under the floor. If you don't have any noticeable signs of a water leak, the plumber might use an infrared camera to scan your home for wet areas that show up as a different color on the video.
When the plumber finds a wet area on the floor, they can start looking for the leak with electronic leak detection equipment. The equipment has to be moved slowly across the floor so the plumber can detect changes in sound and follow the sound changes to the area where the pipe is cracked. This can be a slow process that takes a few hours until the leak is found.
Contact a plumber to learn more about residential slab water leak detection.