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Where Technology Meets Leak Detection Know-how
Utilizing state-of-the-art electronic leak detection equipment, Severson Plumbing is able to pinpoint slab leaks, pinhole leaks, cracked or burst pipes and all other types of plumbing leaks with extreme accuracy.
Homeowners, business owners, and HOAs across the region consider Severson Plumbing the best in the business and the local expert in slab leak detection for south Orange County.
Leak Detection With a Promise
Since the majority of single-family homes, condos, and businesses in south Orange County are built on concrete "slabs," we've become very familiar with the inner-workings of local construction. And with our no-mess leak detection promise, we guarantee that we'll find your leak without causing excessive damage to your flooring or walls.
Many times Severson Plumbing can start trouble shooting your leak right over the phone. So give us a call. If it sounds like you may have a slab leak, we'll schedule one of our friendly technicians to visit your residence or business to assess your individual situation. And when we're done, we'll explain all of your options for repairs. It's that easy.
Want to know more about slab leaks? Read our Slab Leak FAQs below.
Slab Leak Detection FAQs
Q: What is a slab leak?
A: The majority of the homes in the south Orange County area are of "slab construction". This means that the house is built on a slab of concrete sitting directly on the ground. The plumbing system is typically of copper piping running under this concrete slab. Although copper piping is considered a top quality material, it can begin to leak. When it does it is referred to as a "slab leak".
Q: How do I know if I have a slab leak?
A: The best way is to have one of our certified technicians perform a general inspection of your plumbing system. There are some tell tale signs of a slab leak. Many of these could also be caused by a far less serious problem. For example, a defective sprinkler valve or a toilet with faulty parts.
An excessive water bill.
- Keep track of your usage from month to month and year to year. A noticeable change could be a sign of a leak.
The sound of running water.
- Have you ever noticed that when you are in one part of the house and someone is using water in another part of the house, you can sometimes hear the sound of water running through the pipes? Well, if you hear that sound, yet know that there is no one using any water, it could be the sign of a leak.
Movement at the water meter.
To check your water meter:
- Lift the faceplate and note the position of the indicators.
- Return several hours later and if the indicators have moved, yet you know that no water has been used, it could be the sign of a leak.
Hotspots on the floor.
- If you are walking across a hard floor (i.e. tile, wood, vinyl, etc.) and suddenly feel an area that is noticeably warmer than the surrounding area or if there is a small room in your house (i.e. a laundry room, coat closet or powder room) that seems excessively hot or humid, these are all strong indications of a potential slab leak.
- A slab leak in a hot water line will allow hot water to accumulate under the slab and will quickly transfer that heat and moisture into the surrounding floor and area.
Saturated ground around your house.
- If you are having a slab leak, eventually that water has to go somewhere. Walk the perimeter of your house. If you find an area where there is standing water, mud, moss, etc., the first step is to make sure that it is simply not a case of over-watering or a defective irrigation valve.
- If not, then you may have a slab leak.
All of these conditions could exist without there being a slab leak. Certainly, a slab leak could be ongoing without producing any of these symptoms. If you suspect that you're having a leak of any kind, give us a call. Our skilled technicians can quickly diagnose the situation and give you a sound plan of action for solving the problem.
Q: I have a slab leak — now what?
A: If you do have a leak in the water piping below your slab, the next step is electronic leak detection. This is a highly technical process which allows us the accurately pinpoint an under slab plumbing leak. We use a specialized piece of equipment designed to trace the cooper piping under your slab. With this we can map out the network of water pipes servicing your home. Then we will use a very sensitive device to actually listen to your pipes. The sound of a slab leak is quite distinctive. With this information, we cannot only determine the point of the leak itself, but also the origin and destination of the leaking pipe.
- Important: You should never have to pay for electronic leak detection unless you actually have a slab leak.
Some companies may charge for electronic leak detection only to tell you that you a leaky toilet or hose faucet. That's not fair to you the customer. A good technician will know the difference between a slab leak and a running toilet without having to go through the entire leak detection process.
When you do pay for leak detection, you should receive the following specific information:
- Where the leak is occurring?
- Where exactly the pipe is coming from?
- Where exactly the pipe is going?
- What is the best course of action for repair?
Now you are in a position to get secondary estimates for repairs without having to pay for additional leak detection work (most companies would however want to do their own leak detection before they began repairs).
Q: How do you fix a slab leak? Are you going to tear up my floor?!!
A: There are a variety of ways to fix a slab leak. The best way depends on where the leak is and where the pipe is going. In some cases, it may involve accessing the pipe through the slab and repairing it at the point of the leak. More often however, the leaking pipe can simply be abandoned under the slab and a new pipe run through the attic or framework of the house to restore water to the effected areas without having to penetrate the slab or tear up flooring.
New technology also allows for epoxy coating of the pipe interior to stop the leak and avoid future potential leaks. Again the best method depends on the individual situation. It all begins with accurate leak detection, a clear picture of how your plumbing is laid out, and enough experience to know the least invasive and most cost effective solution.
Q: What causes a slab leak?
A: Copper water piping is considered one of the finest materials available for a home plumbing system, however, if not properly installed it may be prone to failure.
Some of the factors associated with cooper piping failures and slab leaks are:
- Abrasion - Copper pipe will expand and contract with temperature change. If it is in contact with a sharp or abrasive object, it can over time saw through the pipe causing a failure.
- Corrosion - Aggressive soil and water can also cause copper to deteriorate leading to potential slab leaks.
- Ground movement - Grated or filled lots, seismic activity…for variety of reasons cause some homes built on slabs to move. You may see separations in block walls, planters, patios, etc. This same movement can cause stress on the piping below your house leading to a slab leak.
- Poor quality installation - Unfortunately, many home experience slab leaks as a result of piping that was poorly installed. Piping that is kinked, dinged or forced into position or damaged after installation by other workers on the construction site are types of problems that can show up years later in the form of a slab leak.
- Time - As we all know nothing lasts forever, copper piping under your slab has a useful life expectancy of approximately 50 years assuming it has been properly installed, and is free from other stress factors, A thirty plus year old home is probably in need of a new roof, garage door, patio cover and maybe a new water piping system.
- Recent changes in city water purification have altered the chemistry of tap water and maybe linked to failures in copper piping.
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"The plumbers at Severson Plumbing have always excelled at the work they have done for me over the eight years I have lived in Aliso Viejo--and there has been lots of work! Two slab leaks, two new toilets installed, a new bathroom sink, new faucets, new garbage disposal, two pipe leaks, water detection leaks, and a new water heater! The men arrive on time, work efficiently, politely, and quietly (no radios or endless cell phone chatter), and complete the work to my satisfaction and delight. I have never had a single complaint. The men are honest--my neighbors and I will leave the plumbers in the house while we go to work or errands, letting them replace the key under the door mat. Prices are reasonable with never a surprised added on cost. The company is owned by Kurt Severson who sets the high standards for all his employees. My neighbors and I consider ourselves very fortunate to have Severson Plumbing the recommened vendor for our HOA, and confident the work will be completed above our expectations."
— Henrietta Spencer, Aliso Viejo