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Thread: Slab Leak

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Default Slab Leak

    I live in Indiana where many homes are built on concrete slabs with the plumbing included in the slab. Most builders use copper piping for the water but after years of hard water use, these often develop small leaks. I can hear a faint sound of water running and my water bill has gone up in the last month. There is no sign of water anywhere inside or outside, so the only thing I can think of is a leak in the concrete pipe somewhere in the slab. Is this a DYI project possibility or no choice but call a plumber? Is it cheaper and more cost effective to fix the leak or is replumbing a better option. Seems more and more people are experiencing this in the Midwest.

  2. #2
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    West Jordan, Utah
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    Default Re: Slab Leak

    The leak may not be in or under the slab, you will be able to hear a leak in the service line out side of the house too.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Slab Leak

    First thing you might try .....

    Look at the water meter to locate the flow indicator to see if it's showing water flowing without anything open.

    A mechanical meter there will be some sort of spinning pointer .... possible star or triangular shape.

    On an electronic digital meter there will be a section of digits indicating of flow.

    If your unsure what to look for ....... turn on a faucet to see the flow indicator on the meter.

    Once you have found the flow indicator and if it does show a flow without anything running....turn off the angle stop valve to the toilets and check the flow indicator to see if it stops.
    There are occasions where the fill valve in the toilet tank are the culprit.

    If the toilets aren't the issue .... try turning off the main water shut off to see if the noise stops.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Slab Leak

    If you hear water leaking , then it should show up somewhere .
    Most leaks under the slab make themselves known in an unpleasant way . My late in-laws had one and it came up and soaked the carpet . A plumbing company came in with a leak detector and went right to the correct spot .

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Slab Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    First thing you might try .....

    Look at the water meter to locate the flow indicator to see if it's showing water flowing without anything open.

    A mechanical meter there will be some sort of spinning pointer .... possible star or triangular shape.

    On an electronic digital meter there will be a section of digits indicating of flow.

    If your unsure what to look for ....... turn on a faucet to see the flow indicator on the meter.

    Once you have found the flow indicator and if it does show a flow without anything running....turn off the angle stop valve to the toilets and check the flow indicator to see if it stops.
    There are occasions where the fill valve in the toilet tank are the culprit.

    If the toilets aren't the issue .... try turning off the main water shut off to see if the noise stops.
    Once you find the flow indicator on the water meter, if it shows a flow, I would turn off the main shut off valve first, if the flow doesn't stop the leak isn't inside the house and there is no need to check the toilets. If the flow stops then check your internal plumbing fixtures.
    Last edited by Blake; 10-04-2008 at 07:20 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Slab Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Blake View Post
    Once you find the flow indicator on the water meter, if it shows a flow, I would turn off the main shut off valve first, if the flow doesn't stop the leak isn't inside the house and there is no need to check the toilets. If the flow stops then check your internal plumbing fixtures.
    Same thing just in reverse order .
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    West Jordan, Utah
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    Default Re: Slab Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Same thing just in reverse order .
    If the leak doesn't stop when the main valve is shut off there is no need to check fixtures that are not leaking. Work smarter not harder.
    Last edited by Blake; 10-04-2008 at 08:46 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Slab Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Blake View Post
    If the leak doesn't stop when the main valve is shut off there is no need to check fixtures that are not leaking.
    That would be the conclusion.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Slab Leak

    YES as you should clearly see by now you should call a plumber. You do your job and let them do theirs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Default Re: Slab Leak

    I looked at the water meter and it is barely creeping up, but it is moving just a hair. There is no sign of water anywhere either inside the house or outside. There's not even any condensation on the floor or anything. Outside, there are no damp spots on the footer or places where the grass is green (we've been in a drought the past couple months).

    I replaced the toilet fill valve and flap as thought that might be a cause. Have looked at faucets to see if anything is dripping but nothing there. Only time I can har anything is when I put my ear up to shower wall and the house is very very quiet.

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