Santa Fe Slab Leak Detection
What is a slab leak?
A slab leak, also called a foundation leak or concrete slab leak, is a water leak in the pipes under the concrete foundation of your home or business. This type of leak can cause significant damage to a building’s structure and lead to the development of mold. It’s important that foundation leaks are repaired as soon as possible by a licensed professional to prevent further damage.
What Causes Slab Leaks?
If the foundation shifts, the pipes can move as well, which could cause them to pull apart, crack, or break. Foundation movement can be due to Santa Fe’s unique soil expanding and contracting with the changing weather or poor-quality foundation repairs.
Corroded copper or cast iron pipes
Over time, water and chemicals in and around pipes can cause them to break down or rust. Common causes include the use of water softeners and cleaning solutions. Corrosion can also happen when the water velocity in the pipes is too high, if pipes are sitting in wet soil, and where copper pipes come into contact with the steel rebar in the concrete foundation.
Pipes that are broken or cracked by tree roots
Poor installation of sewer lines or incoming water lines
What are the Symptoms or Problems of a Slab Leak?
Because slab leaks happen below the foundation of your home or business, you may not notice signs of a leak until water has built up and already caused damage. If you notice any of these things, you may have an under slab leak.
Water bill is unusually high
Unfortunately, this is usually how many home or business owners discover they have a leak in their water supply line. Even a small “pinhole” leak can waste over 10,000 gallons of water in just a month.
Excess water around the foundation
Unfortunately, a sewer line can leak under the foundation for years before being noticed. With the expansive soils in New Mexico, a sewer leak could cause the soil to swell. You may notice wet flower beds or soggy dirt around the building’s foundation. Over time, all that water can cause the slab to erode.
Structural damage to the building
If enough water is present, New Mexico’s expansive soil can swell up enough to actually lift a building. When this lifting, or heaving, is due to a water leak, you’ll see the foundation buckle. Cracks in floors or walls, floors that are uneven, or doors dragging on the floor are all signs that there could be a water leak under your building’s concrete slab.
Sound of running water
If you can hear water running through the pipes when there isn’t any water being used, that’s a good sign that there could be a leak.
Damp or warm spots on floor
When there’s a leak under the slab, water can seep up through the concrete and onto your flooring. Wet floors, carpet, or baseboards are all possible signs of a leak. Mildew under your flooring is another indicator. If areas of the floor feel warm or even hot, you could have a hot water line leaking out under your foundation.
Remember, these problems will only get worse with time, so it’s important to call the professionals at James’ Plumbing & Heating as soon as you suspect a slab leak. We’ll find and fix the leak, so you can be sure your home or business is a stable, safe, healthy place to be.
Slab Leak Detection
Before a leak can be fixed, we have to confirm that there is a leak, and find exactly where it’s located. James’ Plumbing & Heating starts investigating a slab leak by visually inspecting your property for the signs listed above. Based on this evidence, we can usually determine whether the source of the leak is more likely to be a sewer pipe or water supply line. Then we can begin the actual testing.
Detecting leaks from a sewer line
To check for sewer line leaks, hydrostatic testing is used. A special ball is placed in the main sewer line and inflated until it’s big enough to plug the line. Then we attempt to fill the entire system with water. After 20 minutes, if the lines can’t be filled or they’ve lost water, there’s a slab leak. Once we’ve confirmed a sewer line leak, we have to figure out where it is. We use a special camera to go into the sewer lines and inspect them visually. We can also perform a leak isolation test, which involves filling different sections of pipe with water to see if it will hold.
Detecting water supply line leaks
A pressure test checks for leaks by checking the water pressure delivered from the main supply at the street and comparing it to the pressure in the lines after the supply from the street is turned off. If the pressure in your home’s water lines drops, there’s a leak somewhere.
After a water supply line leak is confirmed, the location is determined by first checking faucets and toilets for drips and leaks. If there are none found, acoustical listening devices can be used to detect the sound of leaking water under the building.
James Plumbing also recommends slab leak detection in these situations:
- Before any foundation work is started
- After foundation repair has been completed
- Before you buy a home
- Once a year in areas where foundation cracks are common
Once we’ve discovered where the leak under your slab is located, we can fix it.
Need a Plumber for a Fix? Contact Us!
Audrey - Lamy, NM
They called me back first thing in the morning after I left a non-emergency message late the night before. They fit me in same-day so that our family would have access to a shower for the long holiday weekend. Isaac also noticed that our hot water setting was way too high and adjusted the hot water heater accordingly for safety. James’ has done an emergency call for us on a weekend in the past. They are the best!
Great response time
Kimberly - Santa Fe, NM
We could not regulate our new combination boiler for our hot water and floor heating last fall. James came out and fixed the problem when the original contractor would not because they had already been paid. Recently the middle of May we did not have constant hot water. It took a couple of call backs but James stayed on it to determine the recent influx of moths had clogged the heat exchanger. Great service and certainly appreciate their follow through.
Larry - Santa Fe, NM
Knowledgeable and thoughtful. Isaac did a first class job. Highly recommended.
Vernon - Santa Fe, NM
Excellent! Happy to give any reviews, testimonials you want.
Jessie - Santa Fe, NM
Isaac and Carlos were very professional and to the point. Everything was very easy and fluid from making an appointment to getting everything done in a timely manner. They were both very caring and educated me on what needed to be done and how to prevent further problems. Great company, thank you !
Arthur - Santa Fe, NM
Very nicely done , promptly with good explanations - will use you again
Expertise, reliability, courtesy
Alan - Santa Fe, NM
A stranger here in Santa Fe, I chose James Plumbing and Heating because of their web reviews. I was not misled. Their expertise is matched by their determination to get things right and to satisfy the needs of the customer. We were extremely well served by James senior and by the team of Isaac and Thomas.. One other thing that distinguishes this outfit, honesty, from top to bottom. We recommend them highly.
Lynn - Santa Fe, NM
Very professional, and reasonable.
Rick - Santa Fe, NM
Excellent service. Very helpful and prompt. Thank you.
James’ Plumbing &Heating
Wayne - Santa Fe, NM
Called late yesterday afternoon with 2 plumbing issues. Was called right back with an appointment for today. Mr. James was right on time, knew EXACTLY what to do. Great price, excellent service. Good company
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