Under Slab Plumbing Leaks

Old 03-19-02, 10:22 PM
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Under Slab Plumbing Leaks

We have noticed that certain areas of our limestone flooring is much warmer in certain areas than others. I have taken the temperature and recorded readings of up to 104 degrees F in two specific areas. (Most areas are in the 65 to 70 range)Upon turning the heat off on the water heater and subsequently draining the system... the temps went down by 10 plus degrees during the day.
If we in fact do have plumbing leaks...how do we fix them? This sounds like a potentially large messy project. Any suggestions from pros experienced in this would be appreciated!
Old 03-20-02, 06:46 AM
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I'm not a pro, but if you have a plumbing leak in a slab, it usually means cutting or breaking up the slab to get to it, repairing the leak, pouring a slab repair, and then re-doing the floor covering.
There are some plumbers who have leak-detection equipment that can find the leak.
If you're on public water, turn off all water faucets, etc. in the house, and check the meter. There should be a small leak indicator triangle or dial on the meter face. If it is moving at all, you have a leak. Normally, it would be spnning if a faucet were open.
This usually is NOT an inexpensive repair job.
Good luck!
Old 03-20-02, 04:15 PM
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Don't confuse poor insulation or lack of insulation with a water leak on the hot water lines. Is there an indication of moisture on the floor or just warmth?
There are plumbing companies that specilized in find leaks under slabs and much deeper and with you having the location already spotted, your cost would be minimal.
Old 03-21-02, 06:00 PM
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Hi, you don,t have to have water in your home to have a slab leak. water can leak uner the slab and end up in you flower garden. Heat in a slab is a pretty good indicater of a leak. Checking the water meter is a good idea.You said you may have two leaks. If that is the case I would suspect the pipe was failing. If you live in a moderate area you may want to consider rerouting the water pipes to the attic. Good Luck Woodbutcher
Old 03-21-02, 08:30 PM
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Woodbutcher is right on. Start by checking your water meter. If you close all of the valves in the house and the meter is still running, chances are just about 100% that you have a leak. And, it's a hot water leak, which means you are paying to heat the water before it gets to the earthworms or flower beds. If your climate isn't too cold in the winter, reroute the pipes through the attic and abandon the ones in the slab.
Old 03-21-02, 10:06 PM
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Thanks for the help! We found a company that used an acoustic amplification device to locate the leak. The report from the technician was affirmative on the leak near where I took temperature readings with an Infrared temperature gauge. Their suggestion was also to bypass the in-slab pipes and to reroute above ground. I will observe the water meter as suggested as well. I will report back when the solution is complete.

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