Ways Your Plumber Can Use Under Slab Leak Detection Equipment To Find A Leaky Pipe

Posted on: 19 January 2023

You may not realize it, but if your home is built on a slab foundation, your plumbing pipes are probably underneath the slab. Pipes can last under a slab for decades, but when the pipes get old, a pipe might crack or develop a hole from corrosion, and then you'll have a slab leak.

Leaky pipes under a slab are a problem since they're hidden and difficult to reach to make repairs. The first step is to find out where the leak is, and this requires the use of special tools. Here's how under slab leak detection works.

The Leak Needs To Be Found Before Digging Starts

The problem a plumber faces is they don't know where all the pipes are located under your slab. Even if they find a pipe, they have no idea where it's leaking. Without slab leak detection equipment, the plumber would have to dig up the entire pipe to look for the leak. That would be expensive and very destructive for your slab.

When the leak is found before digging starts, the plumber can start digging right above the leak so your foundation is disturbed as little as possible. With leak detection equipment, it's possible to tell if the leak is cold or hot water, isolate the pipe, and then pinpoint the leak in the pipe.

Infrared Technology Is Often Used

By using an infrared camera to look at your floor, the plumber can learn a few things. Infrared cameras can't see through concrete, but they pick up temperature differences on the surface of concrete and use the temperatures to make a picture.

If the leak is hot water, the image will be redder where the water is leaking. If the leak is cold water, the water leak will be bluer than the dry area. Since incoming water always has a different temperature, the entire wet area under the slab will show up as a different color than the surrounding dry area.

Acoustic Technology Pinpoints Leaks

Water that's spewing out of a pipe under pressure makes noise. The closer you get to the leak, the louder the noise gets, and the sound changes. This allows the plumber to pick up the sound of a water leak far away from the source and follow the sound to find the leak.

This isn't always quick work, but it's an effective way to trace your way to a leaky pipe. The work involves using a listening device that's connected to headphones and placed on the floor. The device is moved slowly so the plumber can detect changes to the sound. First, they have to find the sound of rushing water, and then they follow it to the source of the leak.

Contact a plumber to learn more about under slab leak detection