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Old 03-02-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


I have the unfortunate experience recently to discover an "under the slab" leak in my guest bathroom under the tub area... my plumber came out and went through the concrete to repair the hot water copper supply line and had advised me to consider a "re-pipe." He said that he could fix the leak but risk another "blow-out" somewhere else. I have a 2300 square foot home in Arizona and I've been told that I have hot and cold copper supply lines under my foundation.

How common is it to repair an "under the slab" leak and have another leak somewhere in the pipe later??

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Old 03-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


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Originally Posted by SooSooStudio View Post
How common is it to repair an "under the slab" leak...
and have another leak somewhere in the pipe later??
somewhere real close to 100%

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:03 PM   #3
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


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Originally Posted by SooSooStudio View Post
I have the unfortunate experience recently to discover an "under the slab" leak in my guest bathroom under the tub area... my plumber came out and went through the concrete to repair the hot water copper supply line and had advised me to consider a "re-pipe." He said that he could fix the leak but risk another "blow-out" somewhere else. I have a 2300 square foot home in Arizona and I've been told that I have hot and cold copper supply lines under my foundation.

How common is it to repair an "under the slab" leak and have another leak somewhere in the pipe later??
It depends. Was your under slab leak at a solder connection at an elbow caused by the slab shifting or settling? Or in the copper pipe due to deterioration?

If the former, then you're probably OK unless the slab continues to move. If the latter, then you're on borrowed time. I suspect the latter since your plumber recommended a re-pipe.

If your current copper lines deteriorated, consider re-piping using PEX . Aside from PEX not deteriorating like copper, PEX lines could be installed above the slab in double walls or in the attic without having to break the slab, depending on your home location, configuration and local codes. Either way, re-piping using PEX should be a much cheaper option than re-piping using copper and you won't be faced with the same copper deterioration problem years from now.

If you do need to re-pipe using PEX, re-post as there are different ways to re-pipe using PEX and that knowledge will help you select a plumbing contractor who does the job the way you want it.

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Old 03-02-2012, 06:54 PM   #4
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


My neighborhood is full of them. Across the street the plumber fixed one leak, only to have another one occur within a month. Both on the hot water line. My next door neighbor had one about six months ago. Our houses were built in 1982, all with copper pipe.

Right now, I am dealing with a leak to my powder room toilet. In the powder room wall we located the manifold for the powder room, which has a 1/2 inch going to the toilet, and a 3/4 inch that continues on to the kitchen. We capped off the 1/2 to the toilet, which stopped the stream of water on my front porch. Then via ultrasound we found another leak in the 3/4 supply line to the powder room. Both on the cold line, which is unusual, most times they are on the hot.

The leak in the 3/4 is right under my front door, so to fix that we'd have to do some major damage to the door, the front entry and the porch. So instead we are going to repipe both the cold and hot water line overhead to the powder room, and leave stubs to repipe the rest of the house overhead if needed at a later date. I could just do the cold right now, but since we are opening walls I figure I should do the hot too.

My plumber wants to do copper, rather than PEX. Since it is all above ground, it should be fine.

Last edited by M3 Pete; 03-02-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


Why would you have under ground solder joints under a slab?
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:13 PM   #6
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


Pex would be at least 1/2 the cost for labor and materails and will have far fewer joints.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:22 PM   #7
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


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Why would you have under ground solder joints under a slab?
You're right, I wasn't thinking when I posted. Copper pipes underground should only be brazed. Unless the affected areas were additions built by a diy'er without a building permit.

Good catch,
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:34 AM   #8
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Any joints under slab sucks.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:00 AM   #9
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


Nothing brazed nothing soldered, looped from manifold to manifold. The only time we can solder under a slab is a repair / remodel , were looping is not possible . then the joints need to be wrapped.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:09 AM   #10
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


Howdy - I'm in Phoenix too. I'm kind of surprised to hear about under-slab plumbing in our area, but I'm not a plumber, so maybe its not that uncommon.

Fixing your current leak would be a bandaid to get you through until the next leak. At some point, replumbing the house is going to be a cheaper alternative to having a plumber bust out concrete and fix your old pipe every time there is a leak.

If it were my house, and if I had the funds available, I would re-pipe through the attic using Pex.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:29 PM   #11
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"Under the SLAB" Leak???


Guess what happened today? My second leak, which was minor and not showing on the surface, decided to get bigger and now there is water on the bathroom floor and outside my front porch again.

Plumber scheduled for the weekend to reroute the lines into the attic.

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