Plumbing Leaks Detection - Do I need in my house?
Plumbing leaks come in many forms and most of them are hidden. There are 3 Types of water leaks. The first is where you can physically see the water damage and the culprit causing the damage. The second one is when you have a hidden leak but you have visible water damage. The majority of plumbing leaks are hidden in walls, under slabs, or outside. The last type of leak is when you have a hidden leak with no visible water damage.
The visible Plumbing leaks are usually plumbing emergencies because of the damage the water is causing. Homeowners are usually made aware of a hidden leak by a spike in their water bill, if they are on city water or their pump is constantly running, if they are on well water. The majority of the time the most common reason for a high water bill is a running toilet, so make sure you are always checking your plumbing fixtures.
If you have visible water damage make sure you know where your main shut off valve is for your house. This will stop the leak and any further damage to your home. Water leaks are not as scary as most will lead you to believe. I am a firm believer in educating a customer about how their plumbing system works, so they are able to understand the leak detection process.
The old method of leak detection consisted of using equipment to pin-point a broken lines in the ground. The plumber would then tear up the floor to repair a section of pipe in the ground. The work ended up being highly intrusive and the problem was more of a repair than a permanent fix. The problem was fixed in only one area but you still had the rest of the line under the slab. What ended up happening was the house was put back and a year later you had a new leak on the same line. Now you had to go through the same nightmare again and your insurance provider was already ready to drop you.
Most of the water lines in Florida are run under your house in the slab. They are in a manifold system. A manifold system serve both hot and cold lines. The cold line is fed by the main feed and the hot water line is fed from the heater. The lines are then looped underground to different areas like the kitchen, bathroom, etc. You usually have a dedicated line for each fixture. When you have slab leak there are a couple questions that need to be answered. One is whether the line is a hot or cold. Second is determining what that line feeds. Like I said before each loop usually only feeds one or two fixtures. Lastly is whether the line can be eliminated completely and rerouted overhead. Once all those questions are answered then solutions can be presented. At Cleary Plumbing & Air we will give all solutions available and educate you on each. Cutting the floor and making a repair is a thing of the past!
In my opinion the best way to repair a slab leak is to eliminate the line altogether and run a brand new line either overhead or possibly outside. You won’t have to worry about tearing up your home or another leak popping up under the slab after a repair was made. There will be minor drywall patches that will need to be done for the access point for the new lines. Once the line is eliminated under the slab it will no longer have water feeding the line. You still will have other loops feeding other fixtures in your home. This maybe a time to talk about re-piping the whole house and having all the lines run overhead.
No matter what type of leak you have, first and foremost remember where your shut off is to your home. Next make sure whatever leak detection company that comes out explains and educates you on your home specifically. Every home is different and there might be other solutions that work best for your home that I didn’t even talk about. Do not be scared into making a quick decision. Make an educated decision that makes sense and hopefully fits into your budget.