Howdy. I've read a lot of the posts here on slab leaks. I finally
figured out where my mystery leak was coming from... at least I think
I have. Took up the carpeting today and found the cracked concrete and
large wet spots -- sure hope the bad pipe is under there.
So here's what I'm wondering -- any thoughts on whether it's easier to
fix a slab leak or to run new hot water lines through the attic crawl
space? Seems a little scary bringing a jackhammer into the house. But
maybe that's just cuz it's so new.
The ranch house was built in 1963 on a slab in Las Vegas. Hasn't had a
leak in at least 14 years -- and maybe never though I only know going
back the 14.
On Feb 8, 10:26 pm, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Took up the carpeting today and found the cracked concrete and
It will be a lot of work to break up the slab and pour a patch
compared to say running new Pex in the attic and with less down time.
That said, your attic must get very hot there quite hot enough to heat
up the tap water significantly.
This might be OK for the hot water but will suck when you want a cool
drink. I have a private well on my place goes down 150 feet. I can
enjoy a cool drink year round. You can keep cool water in the fridge
but it always gets that fridge taste.
I never get a fridge taste from water.
My mother had a glass bottle, flat with a special 3-piece aluminum lid
that screwed on. It has the part with the holes, a long rivet, and a
part with no holes that covered the holes when the bottle was upright,
and which fell away and opened the holes when the bottle was tipped.
But I didn't have that when I started, and I just used the plastic
half gallon bottles from milk, rinsed out a few times. now I also use
half-gallon plastic apple juice containers and 3 liter soda bottles.
Maybe your taste buds are more sensitive than mine, but all of these
I had the same problem in a suburb of Las Vegas. We determined that the
leaking pipe was the one from a manifold off the water heater to the kitchen
sink. We ran a new line from the manifold along the base of the wall in a
closet after ripping out the base board. The base board was later replaced
with finish lumber to form a decent looking cover for the pipe. In the
kitchen, the new line was threaded behind the range and a cabinet using the
concealment they provided.
It seems the attic relocation of faulty pipes is quite common. However
rarely, we do sometimes get severe freezes. In one home here, years ago, a
couple took a winter vacation and the attic pipe froze, then thawed, causing
considerable damage. They should have turned off the water when they turned
off the furnace.
I hope these comments may provide some help in determining the best way to
repair your problem.
SJF, Lawrence especially... and everybody...
Thanks so much. Seriously helpful stuff. I'm going to sleep on it and
decide the preferable course of action in the morning. I'll let y'all
know what happens next! This group rocks.
On 8 Feb 2007 20:26:32 -0800, " email@example.com"
I would think it's easier to just fix the break. You can rent a
concrete saw and saw out a hunk of concrete and bust it with a sledge
after you saw it. My pool had a leak under the deck and that's how
they repaired it. He had to saw to "holes" because he was a little
off on the first one and even so the whole repair only took a couple
hours including patching the deck with new concrete.
The tricky part of the problem is determining just where the leak is. The
water can migrate some distance under the slab before it find a way up.
Also, the line being repaired may fail elsewhere because of overall low
No, the plumber did not do that. Several plumbers shied away from the job
recommending I find someone with a sound listening device. So I hired one.
Since I had already determined it was a hot water line by turning off the
heater supply and the general area of the leak indicated it was the hot line
to the kitchen sink, this was verified by capping off that line at the
heater manifold. The listening device was not used even though they had
one available. It seems their first thought was to replace the line and I
agree it was the best solution.
On Feb 9, 9:41 am, firstname.lastname@example.org (Everett M.
I completely agree on the banning of such construction. What a
completely absurd concept. I found out they are still doing out here
in Vegas -- I assumed it was some silly "live-for-today" approach to
construction when the house was built. I guess all the builders live
for today out here. Or for keeping plumbers and repair crews busy. :-)
So I'm leaning the rerouting direction. I have my plumbing company
coming out today to give me an estimate on rerouting the hot water
lines through the attic crawlspace or walls. Since I don't have to
reroute the cold water (yet. heavy sigh.) it might not be too horrid.
At least I can do all the repair work to the walls and ceiling once
the plumbing is fixed. And who knows... maybe even the rerouting. It
will help having the plumber out here just to tell me how he would run
it - from where to where, etc.
I'll keep you all apprised.
Part of the cost of bypasssing the line will be determined by the size
of the line, which in turn will be based on what the line feeds. If it a
main line coming off the WH, and is leaking between the WH and the first
place it splits off to, it will be a larger pipe than an end run. If you
are real lucky, maybe the line will only go to some noncritical spot
like a vanity sink in a half bath. If so, you could run a much smaller
line (3/8) which would be much less in both materials and labor. So the
hot water comes out a little slower-- big deal. Larry
About as easy to run 2 lines as one, same access troubles, PEX is easy
to work with once your in there.
I would at least run all new pex before repairing walls, why do THAT
Busting into slab MAY do colateral damage to hidden sewer lines etc.
Better to go all overhaead ONCE and be done with it, may be advantage
at resale time too!
I believe we have all reached a consensus. I've decided to go for the
rerouting. Larry, though I can't be 100% certain of the leak spot
without the leak-detection service, I am absolutely confident that it
is from the hot water line that branches off after the kitchen. My
water lines go from the hot water heater to the kitchen (includes the
washer), then guest bath, finally master bath. It's a pretty compact
house from that standpoint.
My home-owner's insurance claims adjuster came out yesterday and I'm
pleased to say that my decision to buy the additional "water back-up"
insurance has paid off quite a lot (I think it cost me like $18 for
the year or something like that). With the check I was given to pay
for the carpet padding replacement, retacking, cleaning, etc etc etc
-- all of which I can do myself with no anxiety whatsoever -- I should
get away with less than a grand out of pocket for the plumber to run
all new lines.
I'm hoping that my ability to repair all the drywall after the
plumbing is done will cut my costs. So on the positive side, I'll have
great motivation to repaint in preparation for putting the house on
the market in a few months. And I really do believe it will help with
the sale having all new plumbing. These slab leaks are one of the
biggest risks when buying an older house out here (yes, in Vegas, they
think a 1963 house is really old. hahaa. they think a house built in
the 1940s should be on the historic register -- not kidding!). I'm in
a working-class neighborhood where a lot of us buy our first homes and
knowing the plumbing won't be exploding anytime soon could make it a
more appealing purchase.
Well I have some saturated carpet padding to get the heck out of this
house. Hey, any idea how long it takes a slab to dry after all this??
I don't want to put the new padding down until then.
Thanks again for all the help this week. I'll let y'all know what the
plumber says Monday.
Sure, if you are dealing with that kind of piping. I was talking
about the typical copper pipe systems we have out here in the west.
These kinds of leaks are very rare and usually caused by a
construction defect of some kind.
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