How Deep are Plumbing Pipes Under a Slab House

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Every house has a network of taps, pipes, and valves. which combine to form the plumbing infrastructure of that home. It is one of the most complex infrastructures in a residential place. It is also the most important network of your home.

Any fault in a plumbing structure will result in the unavailability of water or flooding. It can result in severe damage to your home, furniture, and other valuable belonging.

Finding fault in a plumbing infrastructure is particularly tough because most pipes that are a part of the plumbing infrastructure of any home are concealed under the floor or inside the wall.

Finding a fault and fixing it means you will first have to excavate the wall or the floor. But there is a common mistake that most people make while excavating their floor and wall to find plumbing issues.

They don’t gauge the position of pipes underneath the floor and inside the wall and don’t know how deep the pipes are.

It wastes money as excavation fails to bring out pipes, and you have to dig another hole. Now you will also have to get the floor tiled again.

To learn how to gauge the depth of pipes in your home, you first have to understand what concrete flooring is.

Concrete Flooring

Houses that have concrete flooring a build on a flat base. It means that they do not have a basement underneath. The concrete is a mixture of cement, water, sand, and gravel poured inside a mold.

Since there is no basement under the concrete flooring, the plumbing structure is encased in this flooring. This is also called “under slab plumbing.”

What are the signs to identify a leak under a concrete slab

If the pipes underneath the concrete flooring of your home are leaking or have ruptured, here are the signs to look out for:

  1. Wet spots on the floor: any leak from underneath the concrete flooring leaves wet marks on the floor. You might not find stagnant water on the floor, but there will be palpable wetness on the floor.
  2. Low water pressure: any leakage in pipes underneath the concrete flooring result in water loss. As a result, water flow in the pipes gets affected, and you don’t get adequate pressure in your faucets.
  3. Increased water bill: One of the biggest indications of water leakage is an abnormal increase in your home’s water bill. If you see a sudden increase in your water bill that doesn’t match the water consumption in your home. There must be a leakage somewhere in the home.
  4. Smell: Drainpipes run underneath the concrete flooring on your home. So, if there is a leakage there, it will cause a foul and unpleasant odor.
  5. Cracks in concrete flooring: Another indication of water leakage under concrete flooring is the apparent cracks that might appear on your home’s floor. These cracks are a direct result of leakage in your pipes underneath the floor.

If you see any of the above signs in your home, there is a good chance of leakage in your home’s plumbing infrastructure. To see where the leakage is, you first have to understand the plumbing system of your home.

credit: build-my-own-home.com

Check Out Your Floor Plan

Every house has a floor plan that carries the details of every pipe laid down while constructing the home. You can check it to locate where every pipe is situated in each room.

Plumbing Pipes Depth

The depth at which a pipe is laid during the construction of a home varies on its purpose.

PVC pipes are usually laid 8 to 12 feet under the concrete flooring. However, this is not a standardized depth or all house construction.

The depth of pipes in a concrete floor depends upon the requirements of building codes and the frost lines.

Frost line is the depth till which the water freezes during the winter at a particular location. The pipes in a home’s plumbing structure are laid below the frost lines.

At places where these pipes are above the frost line. They are properly covered with an insulating material to protect them in winter and ensure that water inside them doesn’t freeze.

Now that you know where the pipes are. You can call a plumber to fix the leakage. However, leakage in pipes that run through concrete slabs requires a different technique to be fixed.

So, you will have to call a plumber with expertise in slab foundation plumbing. As it involves digging and possible relocation of pipes. Plumbers use leak detection devices to find where the leak is.

So, once you suspect a leakage, call a plumbing expert right away. If you do not have the contact number of a trustworthy plumber, you can find one on the internet. Go to Google and enter “licensed plumber near me” in the search bar.

The results will give you a list of all the licensed plumbers in your area. You can call one of them to get the leakage in your home fixed.

These plumbers will detect the leakage point and will identify the extent of the leakage. Then, there are multiple options for you to get the leak fixed.

If the leak is minimal, you might get it fixed by replacing a section of the pipe. And then using an epoxy sealer to close the joint.

You might need to isolate the leakage area and get the pipe rerouted in case of a major leak. Rerouting is a costly process and becomes the only solution if the pipes are old and dilapidated. Fixing the old pipes will result in future leakages, so plumbers recommend rerouting the pipes to a different location.

Final Words

A plumbing problem in a concrete slab house can cause minor inconvenience or turn into your biggest nightmare. It depends on how swiftly you identify the issue and call an expert to fix it. If you have found the leakage, you shouldn’t waste any time before you call a plumber.