How can I locate pipes under concrete slab?

I need to drill a number of 1/2" holes through the concrete slab of my house in order to poison the resident termites. The swarmers came out in three places in the center area of the house.
How can I avoid water and drainage pipes in or under the slab? Are these pipes usually imbedded in the concrete slab or are they underneath the concrete?
Thanks
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Walter
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Walter R. wrote:

Walter,
Those pipes are in the slab itself. I would never take the chance of drilling that many holes, one maybe ! This is a job for the termite contractor where you have the option to get a contract and a warranty plus they are liable for any damage or drilling through pipes.
Joey
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No contractor in his right mind would give a warranty like that. That's the problem!
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Walter
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Use a metal detector the layout should be simple to follow
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Good idea, but what about plastic drainage pipes, including the main drain?
Any ideas welcome
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how about running a snake down the drains and using a metal detector? BYTW around here plumbing runs under the slab, not in the concrete. guess if you hit a pipe, you can always dig it up and repair!
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth]

If not metallic, run a metallic item such as a snake or wire through the pipe.
Look into renting or borrowing a wire/pipe finder such as
http://www.lashen.com/vendors/tempo/cable_locators.asp
gerry
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A thermal imaging camera might be the answer, but I'm not sure if it can "see" through 6" of concrete. Local heating/air conditioning contractors may know where to get one. If not that, try the local fire dept. The more affluent dept's (they are quite expensive) have them to see people through smoke. Maybe they can call a trip to your house a "training exercise" to use it. :-)
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Bob M. posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.

for $5000 so a cheap bastard can save $100 - forget it.
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"> Use a metal detector the layout should be simple to follow How do you 'detect' waterline beneath VS rebar in the slab ? How do you detect ABS waste lines ?
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says... :) No contractor in his right mind would give a warranty like that. That's the :) problem! :) :) Not sure what you mean. Termite companies treat the homes to be able to warrant the home against future invasion.
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Lar

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wrote:

He means they wouldn't warrant their work against drilling holes in pipes.
I have no idea how any of this works. I only know what he means. :)
OP, you use the word "would" in your first sentence. It doesn't look like the "past tense" "would", so it makes me think you are reading their minds. You should ask them, instead of looking out for their interests in ways they might not be. They know their business.
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Not necessarily. Our main waterline came in below the footer and into the compacted fill below the slab. THEN, it came up into the framing thru the slab. The plumbing drain system (Black ABS) is also thru & below the slab.
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there? Genuinely curious, never (thank heavens) having had to deal with the little buggers.
aem sends...
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That's a good question. The answer is simple: You don't know where their nests under the house are. They dig tunnels through the soil under the house and when they emerge somewhere, they build their own tunnels of muddy earth. During their mating season, March/April, they swarm and build more tunnels, using the debris of the stuff they tunnel through, like wood or wallboard. Nasty critters, causing more damage than all the hurricanes and tornadoes together. Therefore you have to poison a fairly large swath, or all of the soil, under/around the house
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Not so much all the ground under if you do the perimeter. You have to go down a couple of feet though, for best protection. I did my last house when Chlorodane was still available and never had a crawling bug of any sort after that.
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i was under the impression they primarily treat the permiter and where openings occur in the slab.
i suggest you get some professional estimates and ask lots of questions
it should help educate you on proper procedure
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Please do not laugh at this answer. I learned it on a fire site from a gas utility worker who made these dowsing rods out of coat hangers to locate a gas shutoff in the front yard of a house that was ablaze.
You will need two steel coat hangers.
Take some utility pliars or wire cutters to cut through the hangers where the twisted wire meets the rest of tha hanger and at one of the bent "corners. Straighten them out a little until they look like two capital L s. You can see a picture at http://www.seanachaidh.com/dowsing.html
Holding the short ends loosely in your fists as if they were toy guns, pointing straight ahead of you with your fists 8 to 16 inches apart. Long ends should be parallel to each other. As you walk across your basement floor, the wires will cross over hollow spots in the floor, usually above pipes. Mark the floor directly below where the wires cross. Continue this on paths about three feet apart until you map the floor.
This will not be 100% accurate. You may find more hot spots than there are pipes, but you certainly will not find less.
If you do not believe this, cut the hangers and test it for yourself. Try it in your kitchen and walk across the floor until you find your water supply pipe. Even if you hold the wires firmly in your hands, they will take on a life of their own above the pipe.
It works in houses and in front yards, too.
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