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    Once you have determined that there is definitely a pipe leak under the floor, there are two solutions for the repair:

  1. 1)Break open the concrete slab, remove the damaged pipe, replace it, and then replace the area of removed concrete and whatever floor covering was above it. This is the obvious way to do it.

  2. 2)An alternative is to abandon the damaged section of pipe and reroute a new pipe through the attic to replace it. If your water pipe is copper, pitting of the pipe from acidity in the water or soil underground may be what is causing the leak, and you can expect there will be more leaks in the future. Old galvanized steel or PB (polybutylene) pipes under the slab may have the same potential for recurring leakage. In that case, abandoning all your underground pipe and running new pipe in the attic may be the sensible solution. A local plumber that has experience with below-slab leaks in your neighborhood will the best person to advise you on which way to go.

    Even a small water pipe leak under a floor slab can pump an amazing amount of water into the ground, as this infographic shows.

   Another type of under-slab leak is caused by fractured drain pipe. It is slower to manifest itself as a wet spot under the slab and is best analyzed by a plumber with a video borescope. The leakage might also be located between the house and your septic tank or connection to the municipal sewer system near the street. To read more about it, see our blog post “Do you check the plumbing under the floor slab?”

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. Does the septic tank have to be re-certified if the house has been vacant for a while?

  2. Do I have to get a larger septic tank when I build a home addition?

  3. Do you check the plumbing under the floor slab?

  4. Should I call a plumber or septic tank contractor when my septic tank backs up into the house?

  5. What is well pump “short cycling”?

  6. How much does it cost to replace the plumbing pipe in a house?

  7. This home has galvanized water pipe. Is that a problem?

  8. What’s the flip-up handle on the water heater for?

  9. How come the water has a rotten-egg smell in some empty houses?

  10. My well water test came back positive for bacteria. What should I do?

  11. How old is that water heater?

  12. Do you test the well water?

  13. What is the difference between a regular water heater and a power vent water heater?

  14. How can I tell what type of plumbing pipe I have?

  15. How do you test a shower pan for leaks?

  16. What is a grinder pump?

  17. Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk?

  18. What is a dielectric union?

  19. What is a heat pump water heater?

  20. What is an auto vent, air admittance valve, or check vent?

  21. Why is a European-style bottle trap not approved by the plumbing codes in the U.S.?

  22. What is the average life expectancy of CPVC pipe?

  23. What is an escutcheon plate?

  24. How can I locate my septic tank?

  25. Why is a backflow preventer required on lawn sprinkler systems?

  26. What is a sediment trap or dirt leg?

  27. Is a hot water faucet required at a washing machine?

  28. Which plumbing fixtures require water shut off valves in a home?

  29. What is the minimum and maximum slope of the trap arm of a plumbing drain?