Locating and Repairing Slab Leaks by your Arlington Plumber
Staggs Plumbing has been repairing water leaks in the DFW metroplex area since 1990. Most of our experience has come from finding and repairing leaks that come from under your home’s foundation.
This is a major problem that needs to be addressed. It will not go away by itself, instead create bigger issues down the road. If you are going to be selling your house in the next few years, the new buyer will ask a local Arlington plumber to inspect your home for leaks, amongst other things. They’ll test for water pressure, perform a hydrostatic pressure test and proper sewer operation. If they detect leaks, the potential buyer will either walk away from the deal or negotiate you down several thousands of dollars,
It is in your best interest to get this problem taken care of as soon as possible. There are also potential health hazards if mold develops – this can become very costly to your health and bank account. Do not delay and call your affordable leak repair plumbers today.
Signs that you have a Leak Coming from under your Foundation
Many homeowners who call in for a slab leak repair have told us they knew something was wrong when they walked over their floor in bare feet and noticed damp spots or squishy carpets. After ruling out pets and kids, they knew something was amiss and started to further investigate.
The initial signs of a slab leak can be either the sound of running water that you hear when the house is quiet (ex at night time) when no water should be running. You might notice that the hot water heater is turning on long after showers have been taken or the washing machine has washed a load of clothes.
If you suspect that water is running and you’ve checked all the faucet and water appliances, then the best way to check to see if there really is a leak is to look at your water meter out by the road.
If you locate the water meter (where the water comes in from the city), check to see if it has a leak indicator. Most newer homes in Arlington have modern water meters with a leak indicator that looks like a triangle or spinner.
Check to make sure that:
- All the faucets turned off and there are no drips
- There are no appliances such as washing machine running
- The toilets are not flushing or leaking water / constantly filling
- Outside faucets are turned off with no drips
- Locate the water meter cover and remove it – sometimes you’ll need a special key to unlock the latch.
- Find the water dial which measures the water flow.
- Clean off the dial with a damp rag.
- Locate the leak detector and verify if it’s moving or not.
- Sometimes a leak is so small, you’ll have to watch the detector for a minute or so to make sure it is moving.
If you have verified there is a leak, and you’ve ruled out any obvious drips, then call Staggs Plumbing as soon as possible. It may not be caused by a leak under the house foundation, perhaps a water line in the wall or in a cupboard, but the only way to verify is to call out your Arlington slab leak experts at Staggs Plumbing.
Causes of Leaks under the Foundation
For most of the time, water leaks happen because the pipes are weakened due to stresses of the concrete slab moving up and down due to the expanding and contracting soil. North Texas soil has a high quantity of clay, which is very porous, thus loves to soak up water when it’s really wet and readily gives it up due to evaporation in the hot dry summer months.
Arlington saw extreme dry spells in the summers of 2011 and 2014, with both years registering record low rainfall as well as long hot summer temperatures. Staggs Plumbing received a lot of calls for slab leak repairs during those years as a results of extreme soil shrinkage and drying.
Facts about Arlington TX
The geographical center of Arlington is at 32.7357° N, 97.1081° W
Arlington is a city in Tarrant County in the U.S. state of Texas between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. It has a population of around 400,000, which makes it the third largest city in north Texas.
Useful city Links
- Pay Water Bill
- Apply for a building or plumbing repair permit
- Code compliance
- The City of Arlington’s website
Favorite Points of Interest
Arlington is known for its sporting venues such as the Texas Rangers baseball team at Globe Life Park. The Texas Rangers have played in the MLB as a franchise since 1961 and moved to their current home in 1994. They originally started off as the Washington Senators, and after the 1971 season, changed their name to the Texas Rangers. They won the American League championship for the first time in 2010.
Within walking distance of Globe Life Park, you will find AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, which is a massive stadium, holding some 100,000 fans. The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American team competing in the NFL (National Football League). AT&T Stadium opened in 2009 as Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys have made it to the Superbowl eight times so far, winning five out those eight games.
Arlington’s city council is made up of the Mayor and eight city council members.
As far as schools, Arlington boasts the largest university in North Texas, the University of Texas at Arlington. Approximately 40,000 students study there full time and has become a valuable asset to Arlington and surrounding areas.
For the super shoppers, look no further than the Parks Mall at Arlington. It has been open since 1988, underwent a complete renovation in 1996. Besides a plethora of shops, it also has a skating rink and a movie theater. It has over 170 specialty stores and a huge kids’ play area.
If you fancy a few rounds of golf, you may want to consider joining the Tierra Verde Golf club. Visit their website at https://www.arlingtongolf.com. They cater to both the uber enthusiasts and first timers alike. With novice-friendly tee boxes, they are quite forgiving. Serious players will find that a 4 hour round is not uncommon
The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is a central hub for local businesses looking to network and grow their business. Their website can be found at https://www.arlingtontx.com and are open M-F 8am-5pm. You can find driving directions to their address at 505 E Border St, Arlington, TX 76010.
The History of Arlington
The city was named after General Robert Lee’s house in Arlington VA. It was founded in 1876 as a convenient stop off point of the Texas and Pacific railway, later being incorporated in 1884.
It’s main industry at that time was cotton-ginning and farming becoming more industrialized in 1954 when General Motors broke ground on a huge car manufacturing plant. Shortly thereafter, aircraft companies like Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopter called Arlington their home.
Known for it’s adventure parks at 6 Flags as well as the sporting complexes for the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys, there is a lot of appeal for this growing city.
Finding the Broken Water Line
Staggs Plumbing uses state of the art technology to listen for water escaping through the pipes. At the point where water is leaking out of the lines, it will make a faint noise, similar if you will to when water runs out of a faucet. Sometimes we’ll block off the water lines and blow compressed air through the pipes to make the leak detection easier.
One obvious starting point is to look for wet patches on your flooring that hasn’t been caused by spills or overflows. Even though that is a good starting point, water can travel several feet from the actual break before making its way up through the concrete foundation.
When to Call a Plumber and How to Fix the Broken Water Line
There are two methods that most plumbers will use, either:
- Break through the slab from inside the home.
- Dig a tunnel under the foundation from the closest outside wall to the source of the leak.
Digging through the slab can cause a little bit of a mess and we’ll have to move furniture etc around so that we can gain access. This method is faster, but a bit of an inconvenience to the homeowner.
The second method involves our plumbing crew excavating a small tunnel underneath your home. This will take a bit longer, but minimal intrusion into your home. Excavating can take the most part of the day, maybe more depending on the type of soils, rocks, and other obstructions.
Prevention of Slab Leaks
Since the soil under the city of Arlington has a very high clay content, it’s not “if” you’ll have a slab leak, it’s “when” it will happen.
As previously mentioned, water lines under the foundation usually break because they are stressed by the routine expansion and contraction of the soil as the moisture is retained or lost through evaporation.
What we recommend is to keep the soil moist during periods of prolonged periods of dry hot weather in the summer time. You can do this inexpensively with soaker hoses laid around the foundation of the house. You can purchase those at most home improvement stores. Just let them run for a couple of hours every few days. You can also check in with Arlington’s water department and see what suggestions they offer.
One scenario worth mentioning here is that if you have a sprinkler line that has broken and is continually gushing gallons of water, that can also cause the soil to become over saturated. Make sure all of your sprinkler lines are operating correctly.
How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Slab Leak?
Will Insurance Cover Water Leak Repairs?
Always check with your insurance agent that slab leaks are within “named perils” or if there are no exclusions. If your insurance doesn’t cover leaks like this, then you will have to foot the bill.
When insurance does cover this situation, they usually pay for the locating of the leak, but not for the actual pipe fix. In other words, they will pay for the cost to locate the leak, dig through (either from inside the house or tunnel underneath the foundation and fill the holes back with dirt and concrete. The actual time and materials that we use to fix the broken pipe will be your responsibility.
A typical leak repair will set you back about $200-$300.
Don’t forget that you will also be responsible to pay for the deductible. If your insurance deductible is $2,000 and the cost to locate the leak and to fill back in the holes is $4,000, then you will end up spending $2,000 plus the cost to repair, so around $2,200. All cases will be different, this is only meant as a guide.
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