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Uptick in water bill may indicate leak in slab

Finding out your home has a slab leak can feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. But panic and confusion are not a great starting point when seeking out the right contractor. There are plenty of tools at your disposal to get a grip on what is happening with your home and your plumbing. Armed with knowledge, you’re better prepared to tackle that slab leak.

欧洲杯竞猜The majority of homes in California have slab foundations. In these homes, the plumbing generally runs in the ground under the slab. Winter weather causes soil — especially the expansive soil in Davis — to expand and contract. That movement causes pipe breaks, a.k.a. slab leaks.

Usually a pipe break conjures images of gushing water and flooding. Most slab leaks, though, are the size of a pinhole and water will only surface after months of steady, concealed leakage. By then, that pinhole has run up a high water bill and — if the leak is hot water — a high gas or electric bill.

欧洲杯竞猜Homeowners have a few tools at their disposal to catch a slab leak before it causes property damage or more damage to their wallets. It just takes a bit of detective work.

Clues come in a variety of forms, though. The city notes a sharp uptick in water usage. The PG&E bill is unusually high. Mr. Biggles has found a nice warm spot on the tile floor to curl up and take a nap. Hot water comes out of the tap instantaneously. The water heater seems to run continuously. Misinterpreting one of those last clues has lead more than one homeowner to replace a perfectly good water heater. Some proactive sleuthing can save time and money.   

Start by figuring out if there is a plumbing leak at all. You’ll need to locate your water meter. After making sure no water is running — including that tricky toilet in the back bathroom and the pool’s auto-fill — check the meter’s indicator. You’ll see a needle, a triangle or a digital read-out. Movement indicates a plumbing leak.

Now you can narrow your search to either the interior or the exterior of the home. You’ll need to find the water shut-off valve to the house. After shutting off the water, check the meter again. Movement tells you that the leak is outside the house. It is not a slab leak, but it could be a main line or irrigation leak. Lack of movement tells you the leak is inside the house.

欧洲杯竞猜Next, determine if the leak is on the cold side or hot side of the interior plumbing. Turn the water to the house back on. Head over to the water heater and find its shut-off valve. Shut off the hot water and check the meter again. If the meter is moving, the leak is on the cold side of the system. If the meter is still, the leak is on the hot side.

California has set its sights on reducing average per person per day water usage from 85 gallons to 55 gallons by 2025. The EPA asserts that 10 percent of U.S. households waste at least 90 gallons of water every day because of leaks. A few simple steps can help staunch that flow.

If you have any questions about slab leaks — or leaks in general — contact Bullseye Leak Detection a call at 916-760-8944 or email [email protected]欧洲杯竞猜 You can also visit www.bullseyeleak.com to review a couple of do-it-yourself plumbing tests as well as our range of services.

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