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Ask a Delaware County Plumber: What are Slab Leaks?


Q: What is a slab leak?
A: A slab leak is the industry term for a leak in one of the water lines that run below your home’s concrete floor and foundation where pipes are located. The pipes transfer water to and from your home. Minor or major cracks or holes in any of the pipes can cause serious water damage to your property. Common red flags of slab leaks include hot spots on flooring, discolored or warped flooring, wet spots on floors, and seepage from the home’s foundation.

Q: Why do I have a leak?
A: Based on over three decades of experience and the inspection of thousands of leaky pipes, the leaks are mainly the result of a reaction between your drinking water and the copper pipes that carry it. For many years, we believed most of the leaks we repaired could be attributed to poor installation practices, inadequate piping, and/or accidental contact with concrete, rebar, or rocks. However, those causes have only been found in a very low percentage of our inspections.

Q: How do you find the leak?
A: We are experienced in a wide range of leak detection methods, including infrared detection, smoke testing, acoustic emission detection, and video detection. We are big proponents of new technology here at Feehan Plumbing & Heating so depending on how your system is installed we will most likely track your leak down electronically.

Q: How do you fix the leak?
A: The ideal method to repair leaky pipes is pipe relining. We use the original pipe as a sort of scaffold to rebuild the damaged pipe walls. The interior of the pipes is sprayed with epoxy or cured-in-place resin or, in some cases, an epoxy/resin-soaked liner is pulled into the pipes and allowed to inflate and harden, forming a new leak-free, pipe interior.

Q: What is epoxy restoration?
A: Quite simply, it is the best, most cost-effective solution for repairing leaky pipes below your floor. The process is less expensive and invasive in all circumstances except for very short reroutes. With a 10-year warranty and better than a 95% success rate, it is the obvious choice for a single-line repair.

Q: How long does the repair take?
A: Most repairs require a two-day turnaround. On the first day of the project, our technicians will conduct the actual leak detection process. Once it is found, the leak site is prepped for repair on the second day. If conditions prevent a quick repair, we can install a temporary bi-pass line so that you are not inconvenienced by the water being shut off. We will always work with you to meet your needs as well as we can. Our goal is to help you make the best decision for your specific situation.

Now that you have a better grasp on the ‘ins and outs’ of leak detection, it’s time to contact Feehan Plumbing & Heating to learn how we can help. Our operators are standing by 24/7—call today!

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