Pinholes, Slab Leaks, and Repipes, Oh My!
Many homeowners are unfortunately experiencing leaks in their home’s water pipes. We are going out to houses on a very regular basis because people have water coming up through their floor, or down through their ceiling, or out of a wall. These leaks are sadly becoming more and more common and it is a very difficult situation. It is hard to determine exactly what is the cause of these leaks, whether it is chemicals added to water in order to clean it, old piping that has worn away, or the pipes below your house shifting from ground movement. Any number of these or other causes could be contributing to a leak in your home and it is near impossible to pin point exactly what the cause is.
In the plumbing world, if the leak is coming from underneath the concrete slab your house sits on, it is known as a “slab leak”. If you have a slab leak, you will most likely notice it from a warm spot on your floor or eventually the water will start coming up through the floor. If the water is coming through the ceiling or wall, it is known as a “pinhole leak”.
Here at Santa Margarita Plumbing, we have moved away from replacing copper pipe and installing plastic pipe known as PEX pipe. We have found that the copper pipe we’ve used in homes is failing sooner and sooner; so we have begun to use PEX as a way to avoid further leaks. PEX is also usually both a quicker and more cost-efficient option when making a repair or re-piping an entire home.
Many customers ask about re-piping their home, and our recommendation is if you get one leak, you are likely to eventually get another one. When repairing a slab leak, we repair it by rerouting the line through your walls and ceiling, avoiding any further damage to your flooring. Pinhole leaks are repaired by opening up your drywall and exposing the leaking pipe; from there we will cut out the leaking portion and replace it with new piping. These repairs can range from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand, depending on a few factors including the extent of pipe that needs to be used and the layout of your home.
When you start getting multiple leaks or even one more expensive slab leak repair, your best option can sometimes be to repipe the entire house. Although more costly up front, this can help you avoid several hundred or thousand dollars in multiple smaller reroutes or pinhole repairs down the line, because one day you are most likely going eventually have to repipe the house anyways.
If you think you have a leak your best course of action is to call a plumber immediately to avoid as much damage as possible. We will be able to pin point the leak and fix it, or cap the line to keep it from leaking until a repair or a decision on a repipe can be made.
If you are in need of any help with a leak or would even just like more information on your options as a homeowner, call us today and we would be happy to help!