When talking about any profession, most people tend to focus on the here and now. That's understandable. it's really important to know what's going on in the present tense. But you are missing out on some vital information if you never read and learn about the history of a profession. This applies to plumbing, in particular. You can really further your understanding of the profession by knowing how it began and what changes have been made over the years. That's why we sometimes reference the history of plumbing on this blog. We'll also dive into the future of the profession from time to time because, after all, you have to know where you're headed.
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If your home has a slab-on-grade foundation, the plumbing pipes are probably buried under the slab. This makes things difficult if a pipe cracks and starts leaking. You might notice you have a slab leak if your floor gets wet, but sometimes, it's difficult to know when a pipe under a slab is leaking. You may have a high water bill and not know why. A plumber can detect a slab leak, pinpoint its location, and stop the leak.
Here are some steps involved in slab leak repair.
1. Bring In Leak Detection Equipment
Equipment used to find leaks under a slab includes thermal cameras and acoustic devices. Water may be spread out under the slab, so the plumber has to use tools to find out exactly where the water is coming from. This might be a long process since the plumber has to move a listening device across the floor a little at a time to track changes in the sound of the water.
A thermal camera image gives clues for where to start listening and then the plumber follows the sound to the crack in the pipe where water is spewing out.
2. Decide If Repairs Are Possible
The plumber has to decide if the cracked pipe can be repaired or if the pipe should be replaced. This depends on the position of the crack and how badly the pipe is damaged. If the pipe is in bad shape, it may be best to replace the entire thing.
The plumber also has to decide if they'll bust up the slab and dig up the pipe or if they'll leave the pipe in place and pull a liner through. Both methods can be used for repairing or replacing the pipe.
3. Make The Slab Leak Repair
Using a pipe liner to repair or replace the bad pipe is a good choice since it eliminates the need to dig up your foundation. However, the pipe in question has to be accessible on one or both ends so the equipment can insert the liner and inflate it.
A liner is collapsed when it goes in the pipe and it's coated with adhesive. Once inside the pipe, the liner is inflated so it sticks to the walls of the pipe to create a patch for the crack or to replace the entire pipe.
In some cases, the plumber may need to make the slab leak repair by digging up the pipe instead. To do this, the plumber may start digging over the point where the crack is located to see if it can be repaired. If so, they may not need to dig up the entire pipe.
If the whole pipe needs to be replaced, the plumber needs to dig up the foundation and dig a trench the length of the pipe. This is a destructive process, but it allows the plumber to inspect the pipe carefully and get rid of a pipe that's at risk of future leaking.Share