Plumber repairing an underground slab leakWhat Causes Underground Slab Leak

Today one of our plumbers were called out to a possible slab leak. The complaint was that the tenant could her running water in the wall of their home but they couldn’t see any water. When the water heater was shutoff the noise stopped.

We sent out one of our plumbers to check it out and verify that they had a slab leak to which they did.

Upon assessing the home, the actual homeowner called to ask us to explain what a slab leak actually was.

So what is a slab leak?

A slab leak is basically a leak which occurs underground beneath the foundation of your home. You may experience water coming into your home, you may only hear running water or you can sometimes feel warm water under your feet when walking around your home.

What Causes an Underground Slab Leak?

So what causes an underground slab leak. A slab leak can occur from a couple different issues.

  1. Imperfections in your copper piping. Sometimes the copper piping beneath your home can get dings in the piping causing water to “swirl” in the area which eventually erodes the copper.
  2. Rocks. Believe it or not rocks can cause slab leaks if they are sitting next to the copper piping. As the pipes expand and contract, rocks can rub holes in the copper piping causing a slab leak.
  3. Electrolysis. On occasion you can have an issue where metals are touching which will cause a reaction and allow the copper to wear away in that area.

These are the most common reasons as to why you might have a slab leak. On occasion you can have a soils condition that may do it but that is rare. One thing to note is that there is no such thing as “defective” copper. It’s the only metal that comes in it’s natural state so it is never an issue of bad piping. It is usually an installation error in most cases.

For more information or questions on plumbing or slab leaks, please call 480-630-3981.

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