Plumbing is always done in the early stages of construction work. The plumbing pipes are always put under walls, floors, and roofs. During the initial construction of a house in San Antonio under slab plumbing is done before pouring of concrete so that the pipes run under dust and not within the concrete. Most homes built using concrete slab is because the location has a high-water table and unstable soils. The slabs minimize any possible structural issues but do not eliminate them.
When the pipes under the slabs may have leakage due to leaks by the water supply lines or the drainage has problems. Such leaks are hard to access and repair since the pipes are underneath the house. Plumbers may have difficulty in identifying such leaks and once found, they can be quite costly to repair. To reach the pipes under a slab, it may need that the slab is cut into using a concrete saw and a jackhammer to reach the pipes. Once the repairs are done, a block of new concrete can be poured to create a new patch. Expansive soils are the major cause of most pipe leaks. The soils absorb water then expand and as it moves and bends it causes the underneath pipes to weaken and also loosen their connections. The type of plumbing material can also cause leakages when they wear out or break. Using metallic materials can also be corroded or have chemical reactions.
Sometimes leakages can be severe to the point remodeling projects have to be done since fixing the leaks will not make any difference.in such cases, the broken pipes may need rerouting since they have either deteriorated or have been relocated. This is done by tunneling and breaking the pipes from underneath the slab. A new pipe is then connected and placed to pass at the side of the home and not under. Relocation of the pipes from under the slab to the side of the house may help to improve the drainage system of the home and make the pipes easy to access during repairs. The newly rerouted pipes can be repaired without having to mess the home interior and the plumber when doing repairs does not have to find the exact position with a leak.
Signs used to determine whether there is a pipe leak include.
- Increased water bills
- Water running sound is heard when no taps are open.
- Foundation cracks
- Uneven growth of foundation plants or grass
- Soil shift around the home
- Warm spots felt on the slab floors.
- Identifying that some parts of the floor coverings are discolored.
- Bad odors from the floors and walls
There is special equipment used by professional plumbers to determine the exact location of the leak. They also provide a recommendation of then repair the leakage and an average cost estimate of materials needed. Early leak detection on under slabs can help save potential problems. Regular inspections can be done to check for any leaks and the inspection is done on the plumbing work systems and water pressure tests are done.