dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
12100
share rss forum feed


GadgetsRme
RIP lilhurricane
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Canon City, CO

1 edit
reply to Jack_in_VA

Re: Water leak under slab

said by Jack_in_VA:

Could it be enough heat rises through the ceiling to keep the pipes above freezing? How about if the power is off and no heat is present? They would have to equalize to the ambient temperature regardless of insulation level.

I don't think I would take that chance

That one is easy.
1. Shut off water to house.
2. Open all valves in the master bath.
3. Open all valves in the front bath and kitchen and leave open until water quits running.
4. Close main valves to master bath, which are in the crawl space.
5. If it looks to be an extended time with out power leave it like this.

This leaves water only in the crawl space and the feed to the two toilets, which is all pex. My master bed, bath, and office area are add-ons to the original house and are on a slab.
--
Gadgets


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to tberg
Here in Dallas with all the pools there area few companies that are called "Leak Detectors".

I've had them out twice over the last 25 years for pool leaks. Once great and once a disaster.

My friends had 1 out for a leak under the slab. Nailed it for them.

Not cheap. $500 to test, no repairs! Jack hammered the slab and fixed in a day for them.

Good luck. Let us know what happens.

SanJoseNerd
Premium
join:2002-07-24
San Jose, CA
reply to tberg
Years ago I was living in an apartment building built on a slab, and a leak developed under the slab. The landlord called in an expert on locating leaks. The guy spent about 2 hours walking thru the building, listening to the pipes, turning things on and off, etc. Finally he pointed to a spot and said "dig here". Unfortunately this spot was in the middle of my living room. The landlord brought a jackhammer into my apartment, made a small hole in the slab, and sure enough the leak was exactly where the guy said. It was amazing. I suggest calling in one of these experts.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to tberg
I can see why the main supply line might come up from the slab, but who in their right mind would run any of the other water lines through a slab? That's what walls are for.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to robbin
said by robbin:

Ok -- so you are thinking it may be possible to see a temp difference with a handheld IR thermometer. Be worth playing with if a person had or could borrow one. Doubt it would be worth the gamble if had to buy it. Good thought, though. I'd try it if I had one.

Actually the OP didn't describe their house. I have, in the past, used a cheap moisture detector on slab, tile joints as well as a hardwood floor to find a leak in a wall. It's amazing how what looks pretty much the same with the eye can have 10 to 20% difference in moisture content. Paid about $35 for mine at Lowes. Could possibly get you within 5 feet or less from my experience.

The moisture detector might be a better option. From the OP's description the leak is about 50 gal/day and the water might cool off quickly before warming the slab. Anything under a slab is a problem to find.


Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand
reply to tberg
said by tberg:


Thanks in advance for any tips. Of course, as a DIYer, I don't want to call the pros unless I really have to.


Buy a GPR off of EBAY, find your leak, then return it before two weeks and just pay return shipping.

--
January is National Oatmeal Month

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to tberg
Depending on soil type and location of the leak with respect to the edge of the slab tunneling can be used to access and repair the leak. I lived in a one bedroom one bath apartment when I moved to South Florida. The hot water line started to leak under the slab. The water heater was behind the bathtub/shower in a closet. The leak occurred in an elbow that connected the hot water heater to the hot water line to the kitchen. The leak was about as far from the edge of the slab as about the width of the bathtub and outside wall or five feet. It took about two days to fix the leak. The first day was tunneling and the second day was the repair and filling in of the tunnel.

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI

1 recommendation

And later the next fitting down the line started to leak...

I'd still just bypass the whole mess.


rusdi
American V
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-28
Flippin, AR
kudos:2
reply to tberg
There is an option that might solve your problem, I haven't seen mentioned, nor can I vouch for the claims, or success rate for this procedure. I also have no idea of the cost, but it would seem to me that it (should) be cheaper than digging up your foundation.

"Trench-less pipe replacement/repair".

»www.mrrooter.com/Services/Reside···air.aspx

Good luck!

tberg

join:2001-08-23
Greenville, SC
reply to tberg
Thanks for all of the ideas. I have a FLIR E45 in my office. I'll bring it home tomorrow and do some checking.
I'm in South Carolina, so lots of slab houses have all of the plumbing in the slab. My problem is that most of the pipes I can see coming out of the slab are green. Seems that the original installer really loved his acid flux. I can imagine what a T buried in clay for 22 years looks like.
I have engineered hardwood over most of the concrete where I think my pipes run. I'm working on plans to run PEX in the ceiling of first floor. I think I can do most of it through the laundry room and just add 1 bulkhead. In the kitchen, I think I can pull 2 cabinets and access above the ceiling through the soffits.
But, I'll see if it is a simple place to fix first. My mantra is "belt and suspenders" or Plan A and Plan B. I try to have two ways of fixing things in case the easy way doesn't work.


owlyn
Premium,MVM
join:2004-06-05
Newtown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to tberg
I had a similar problem (slab, hot water leak), but my leak was much smaller. Found it the same way (floor felt warm). It was easy to find the leak- we just traced it back to the warmest spot on the floor. Fortunately, the leak was just below where the hot water pipe entered the slab. Plumber fixed the leak, but I shortly abandoned that pipe and the cold water pipe in the slab as well. We replumbed the entire house with PEX (had other pinhole leaks in copper), and have been very, very happy. I only have one pipe that was not replaced (feeds hose outside), and I keep that pipe turned off and drained unless I need to use that particular hose (rare).

One thing you will need to check is how much soil was washed away underneath the slab. 50 gallons a day is a lot. We only had a pinhole leak for a few days, and it washed away a very small amount of the soil (maybe a cubic foot, probably less), and we just filled the little bit with concrete as part of the repatching.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to tberg
Some additional alternatives to either jackhammer or rerouting new pipes exist. From time to time I get junkmail advertising in-place repair of leaking pipes. One companies approach is to run a smaller diameter flexible plastic pipe through the existing metal pipe. Another companies approach is to coat the interior of the existing pipes with liquid plastic that is then cured hard.

I have no idea how well either of those methods work but would imagine possible problems with water volume/pressure in the first approach since the new pipe would be significantly smaller.

I think your plan is best but wanted to let you know that there may be more options.
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!

tberg

join:2001-08-23
Greenville, SC

3 recommendations

reply to tberg
Click for full size
 
Click for full size
Click for full size
Well, I have had success. I used the IR camera and found a spot of concrete near the water heater that was 107 degrees. This area of concrete had been patched. So, someone has been there before.
I've enclosed 4 pics. First is a visual of the area. Second is IR of the area. Third is the buried compression fitting that split. Fourth is my repair with the defective piece just above it.
I got off easy. Took less than 10 minutes to remove that concrete. Lines were just under the concrete.
As I suspected, the lines are buried with no insulation. Great energy saving idea. :-(


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
Nice!! Sure beats replumbing the whole house.

tberg

join:2001-08-23
Greenville, SC
Definitely. I just got my whole month back.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to tberg
Sure wish those cameras would come on down in price so I could afford one! Glad that turned out to be an easy job for you.

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to tberg
Very nice. It looks like the rest of the pipe is in good shape so this ought to be good for a long time.


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to tberg
Could you feel any moisture at the floor surface or was it all percolating through the soil?


owlyn
Premium,MVM
join:2004-06-05
Newtown, PA
reply to tberg
You may continue to have problems. The concrete will eat at the copper. The insulation is to prevent that, not for energy savings.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to tberg
It would have been a lot simpler if you just looked for the "X 107°" marking on the concrete.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
reply to tberg
Apologies to all for the cliche, but

This thread delivered!

Thanks for the photo documentation.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to tberg
Where were you able to rent the IR camera?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
said by tberg:

Thanks for all of the ideas. I have a FLIR E45 in my office. I'll bring it home tomorrow and do some checking.

Wish I had that kind of stuff in my office!

tberg

join:2001-08-23
Greenville, SC
reply to tberg
To answer the various questions, I borrowed the camera from work. It's part of my "learning curve" of how to use it. Consider it a class in "How to use an IR camera for something practical".
The water all perculated out (even in SC clay). Nothing was coming to the surface anywhere. There was also no erosion in the area. It was nice working on a heated slab in my garage. I knelt down on it and it felt great. Too bad it's such an expensive way to heat the slab.
I did have to take quite a bit of care to get to "new" copper so the solder would take. Emory cloth wasn't enough. I had to use a file for most of it. The ground contact had corroded it quite a bit.
I'll be filing my "Plan B" records of how I was planning on routing new PEX inside the house. Something else will probably let go in the future.
Thanks for all the ideas and interest.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
I think you would be surprised if you used a moisture meter on it. That area would have shown a greater moisture level the closer to the leak you measured.


owlyn
Premium,MVM
join:2004-06-05
Newtown, PA
reply to tberg
When you do the Pex, run 1/2" as a feed and then branch off 1/4" to the fixtures. Works great.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by owlyn:

When you do the Pex, run 1/2" as a feed and then branch off 1/4" to the fixtures. Works great.

1/4" to the fixtures is choking it down way too much IMO.


owlyn
Premium,MVM
join:2004-06-05
Newtown, PA
It works very well for me. Besides, most fixtures are 1/4" fittings anyway, no?


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

1 edit
said by owlyn:

It works very well for me. Besides, most fixtures are 1/4" fittings anyway, no?

If it works for you fine. It doesn't work for me. There's a big difference in 1/4 (actually 1/8 id) for any distance and 3/8 (1/4 id) at the fixture itself.

Actually the above is for copper. I couldn't find any listing for 1/4 PEX. From their website:

PEX Tubing Technical Specifications and General Installation Recommendations



pressure

@blackberry.net
reply to owlyn
Most fixtures are 3/8"not 1/4".