Slab leak is a professional plumbing term used for leaks that occur in water lines under the foundation of a home. The name can also apply to any leak that starts under a hard rock surface, but with homes it almost always means leaks in the cold and hot water pipes down in the concrete under the house. About 80% of slab leaks happen in the hot water lines, and the rest in the cold water lines.
Because slab leaks happen out of sight beneath your home, they are difficult to detect at first; it isn’t until a slab leak turns into a serious problem—which it eventually will—that it becomes obvious to detect. However, there are warning signs to watch for that will alert you to the need to call for professional plumbers to fix the leak. Here are three of them:
- Water heater turns on at unusual times: Because the majority of slab leaks happen in the hot water lines of a home, they will start to place extra pressure on the water heater and make it come on even when no hot water tap is turned on. If you notice that the water heater is coming to life when it shouldn’t, there may be a slab leak causing it.
- Cracks in the basement floor: The build-up of pressure from a slab leak can become tremendous, and an early sign of this is cracks developing on the concrete of the basement floor. You should have this looked at immediately, since it often means a leak in an advanced stage.
- Elevated water bills: Always keep a close watch on your water bills so that you will notice any sharp rise in costs. If you cannot account for the spike in your bills because of use, this issue may be a leak. If there is also a rise in water heating costs, it’s likely the leak is a slab leak.
Repairing slab leaks requires skilled professional plumbers. Call on the plumbing team at Red Rock Mechanical when you need leak detection and repair in Burlington, VT or the surrounding areas.