Slab Leaks

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?

Foundation movement

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.

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Local Reviews

James' Plumbing and Heating Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars based on 122 customer reviews

Map of Santa Fe, NM

Fixed the problem




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

Needed water heater recirculating pump on brand new tankless . These guys said the pump was already there, just needed a part. Previous plumber wanted to sell me the entire new system. These guys were honest and got the job done. Educated me on the app on how to run my new pump. Completely satisfied with their work


Map of Santa Fe, NM

Great service




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

James Plumbing does a great job - always friendly and efficient. Nice guys. Real pros. I trust them.


Map of Santa Fe, NM

Great service




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

Dominic diagnosed my plumbing problem right away and fixed it within the promised time frame. He was very pleasant, knowledgeable, arrived on time, and cleaned up after. I paid with a charge card and had the invoice emailed to me. Great Service!


Map of Santa Fe, NM

Great service, professional workmanship, polite workers.




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

Very satisfied


Map of Santa Fe, NM

Professional, Friendly Service.




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

Isaac was so professional and friendly. He explained and showed me everything that needed to be done. Their prices were reasonable and fair. I will use their services again and will recommend them to friends and family.


Map of Santa Fe, NM

Friendly and Thorough




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

I was very pleased with Dominic’s willingness to listen to my concerns and investigate the situation. He did a quick and complete repair with grace. Thank you Dominic and James’ Plumbing.


Map of Santa Fe, NM

Saved us $19,000




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

So grateful Issac was able to come over on short notice to give us his assessment of a bad leak in our utility room. Another plumbing company told us we needed a new boiler (which we didn’t) and quoted $10-$22k depending on which boiler and waterheating system we went with. Issac fixed everything same day - we have hot water again and have several weak points in the system repaired for a tiny fraction of what the other company quoted. So glad I got a second opinion!


Map of Santa Fe, NM

Great Service




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

I have had a leaky faucet for over a year, decided call James Plumbing this morning. Dominic and Thomas arrived at noon to fix the faucet. These young men were very knowledgeable and replaced the faucet. They found my drain pipe leaked also (I suspected that) and they replaced it too. Thank you Dominic and Thomas for a job well done.


Map of Santa Fe, NM

Quick Service!




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

Service was timely and efficient. Thomas was very knowledgeable.


Map of Santa Fe, NM

Great service all around




Review of James' Plumbing and Heating

Isaac and Thomas completed our job in a short amount of time and were very professional. At the completion of the job, Isaac troubleshooted an issue that could occur with our boiler. He even had the part on hand, and replaced the part, saving us another service call in the future. All in all, a great job by both Isaac and Thomas! We will definitely continue to use James Plumbing for our plumbing needs.


Dominic M.

Dominic M.

Installed 3 boilers and water heater

Near Puma Cir, Santa Fe, NM 87506
Dominic M.

Dominic M.

Installed cross over tee and new filter for tankless water heater

Near Wildhorse, Santa Fe, NM 87506
Dominic M.

Dominic M.

Unclogged shower drain

Near Siri Dharma Ct, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Isaac M.

Isaac M.

Replace sewer line in Santa Fe

Near Agua Fria Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507
Thomas M.

Thomas M.

Servicing swamp cooler in Santa Fe

Near Eagle Peak, Santa Fe, NM 87508
Dominic M.

Dominic M.

Installed new kitchen facet, garbage disposal, and air gap

Near Canada Del Rancho, Santa Fe, NM 87508
Dominic M.

Dominic M.

Flushed out water heater and misc work

Near Osage Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87505
Dominic M.

Dominic M.

Main sewer line backed,unclogged main line

Near Osage Cir, Santa Fe, NM 87505
Dominic M.

Dominic M.

Removed and replaced one kitchen facet

Near Bishops Lodge Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Dominic M.

Dominic M.

Replace one kitchen facet and miscellaneous work

Near Pueblo Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87505

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About Us

James’ Plumbing & Heating has been solving Santa Fe’s plumbing, heating, and cooling needs for over 30 years. With 24/7 service and the best service technicians in town, it’s no wonder why we have some of the highest online reviews in the area! Call today to learn more.

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