Summer is here and with that our water bills begin to increase. As we begin watering our lawns again or filling our swimming pools we begin our new water patterns. If you have a water bill that increases from month to month and it doesn’t match your personal water cycle you probably have some type of leak. If there is no sign of an above-ground leak it is most likely slab leak.
Slab leaks can happen anywhere underneath your home where there is a water pipe. There are two types of slab leaks – water and sewer. Hot water slab leaks are more common because slabs react to extreme temperatures by expanding and contracting as the ground heats up and cools down. Turbulence can happen anywhere where the pipe is not round and smooth on the inside causing the water to swirl or eddy. The swirling action of the water can cut right through the pipe.
The most common cause of a slab leak is an unprotected pipe. If the pipe is not protected from the concrete when it is poured it will rub up against the rough concrete as it heats up and cools down or as the foundation shifts. But, many times you will find the pipe itself was damaged during construction of the home. Sometimes pieces of debris get into the trenches, on top of the unprotected pipe, before it is back-filled.
If you think you have a slab leak or any type of leak call a qualified plumber. Your plumber will come out and do a pressure test in your yard and home. If the yard is isolated and the house won’t hold pressure then there is a problem in the house or something leaking above ground that is not evident. In any case, it is always a good idea to have a licensed plumber take a look. You will be on your way to enjoying your summer with peace of mind!