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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

The Unfortunate Reality of Slab Leaks

woman-and-child-dancing-on-wood-floorFor those people who have already dealt with a slab leak, the term is pretty scary. It describes a leak that occurs in either the hot water (more common) or cold water lines that lie underneath your concrete foundation, and is a problem for the homes it happens in. Not only do slab leaks create a lot of water waste, they also can damage the property, lead to the growth of mildew and mold, plus add extra strain to the water heater if the leak is occurring in the hot water lines.

Our trained and experienced professional plumbers are well equipped to accurately locate and repair these issues. But what causes a slab leak to begin with? Shouldn’t a plumbing pipe that is set down in your concrete be pretty protected from the damage that can lead to pipe breaks and pinhole leaks?

Well actually, there are a few different things that can create a slab leak. Read on to learn more.


One of the most common causes of slab leaks is pressure placed on the pipes beneath your home’s foundation. This can come from a variety of different sources, such as soil shifting, which can cause your home’s foundation to move slightly. Or it could be from a poor construction job finally showing symptoms. Leaks that happen due to pressure creates a high right of property damage because of flooding.


Above, we mentioned how it’s typically for slab leaks to happen with hot water lines vs. cold water lines. The reason for this is because corrosion is more common inside hot water lines. There is a reaction between the heat of the water and the pipe material, and it can cause the pipe to start corroding from the inside.

Of course it’s important to note–cold water lines are not immune to corrosion. It can occur here too.


Have you ever been in a home or building where you see exposed plumbing? Perhaps you noticed how they sometimes rattle around a little bit when water passes through them? This is because those pipes are contracting and expanding with the fluctuation in temperature. Today’s plumbing pipes are built to last. However, in an older home, pipes that rattle like this beneath a concrete foundation will start to experience abrasion as they rub against the rock surface, which will lead to leaking over time.

Abrasion is another one of those issues that’s more typically in your hot water pipes. But it shouldn’t be ignored if it happens in your cold water lines! No matter what, if you suspect your home has a slab leak, then it’s time to call in our pros. The faster you have the problem repaired, the less damage the slab leak will cause.

“How Do I Know If I Have a Slab Leak?”

If you hear water running but no taps or plumbing appliances are currently on, there’s a good chance you have a leak somewhere in your home, and it could be beneath the slab. Another sign of a slab leak is hot or cold spots on the ground. The best thing you can do if you think you may have a leak anywhere in or around your living space, is give our pros a call!

For professional Glenview, IL plumbing services, look no further than Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Rely on Reliance! 

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