Finding & Repairing Underground Water Leaks | RF Plumbing & Air · Rainforest Plumbing and Air

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Underground & Foundation Slab Leaks

Do You Have an Underground or Under Foundation Slab Leak?

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Underground Slab Leaks & Broken Pipe Leaks are serious problems that require immediate attention!

What Causes A Leak Under Your Foundation?

Leaking pipes located under the ground are more likely to occur than you might think. The cause of an underground or under slab leak isn’t always readily apparent. The ground under your foundation slab can become quite unstable over time. Settling frequently occurs due to the weight of the overlying structure and the properties of the soil. Saturation can take place, causing the ground to “sag” with increased weight. This is a factor but there are other reasons that slab leaks occur.

Tree roots can move pipes around. Also, expansion and contraction occur with fluctuations in temperature. This can cause failure where two pipes are joined together. One of the most common causes of under slab water leaks is when iron in the soil comes into contact with copper pipes. Iron from things like construction nails, screws, wire and re-bar are frequently the cause of these leaks.

Often, leaks occur at the turn where soft copper is bent to come out of the ground and into the wall. We usually find a “manifold” in these areas where several pipes come together in a series of turns and joints. It is quite common to find that the soft copper was kinked in these areas. Eventually, the sharp turns of a kink become exactly where copper pipe leaks occur.

Your pipes are under a lot of pressure and sometimes will leak under the strain. Copper piping is appropriate for underground water supplies but must be properly installed and maintained.

Photo of a slab leak repair:


How do you locate a slab leak?

When a slab leak repair becomes necessary, Rainforest Plumbing & Air technicians first use electronic locating equipment to find the point of the leak. This equipment includes pipe locating and listening devices. Sometimes a simple laser thermometer can reveal the exact location if a leak is on the hot side. Leaks of this time can actually create a hot spot that can be seen with an infrared scan.

What if a leak under the floor is located inaccurately?

A proper locate is critical to be sure the repair is done with pin-point accuracy and doesn’t disturb more flooring than necessary. Sometimes the spot where water is showing up is not the actual location of the leak. This is critical since flooring is expensive to replace. You don’t want to be “chasing” the leak with multiple holes.

Once the leak is confirmed electronically, we will use a saw cutter and jackhammer to carefully remove the concrete and excavate down to the effected area. The actual pipe repair is the easiest and cheapest part.

Do you do more than just the pipe repair?

Don’t worry. We take the process all the way through backfilling and making a professional concrete patch. Many times we can also repair your flooring if you have extra tile. Every job is different but we have the resources and skill to put everything back like framing, drywall, texture and paint if necessary. Our technicians do these repairs often making the whole process less of a mystery than you might think. We’ll have you up and running again in no time.

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Are slab leaks covered by insurance?

We’ll guide you through the process of making an insurance claim. You’ll appreciate the help as it can be a bit tricky but not difficult if you do it right. Insurance typically covers the cost of access and related damage including flooring and cabinetry. Insurance does not typically cover the actual pipe repair. Fortunately, that’s the easy and inexpensive part. We’ll detail it properly when the claim is filed. The short answer is “yes” but you have to make the claim correctly.

Can I screw up an insurance claim?

Yes. Say it wrong and coverage will be denied.

What’s the secret to getting a slab leak covered by insurance?

Hint: Insurance prefers language like “pipe burst” rather than “slow leak”. This is a good reason to take action immediately to prevent evidence of a “slow leak”. Insurance doesn’t like to see situations where property damage was allowed to occur over a long time. So, avoid that language and you’ll avoid having your claim denied. We are experts in this after having had years of experience helping homeowners file insurance claims.

Here are a few signs that will alert you to a water leak under your slab.

  • Unexplained spike in your water bill
  • Wet spot in the carpet
  • Smell or visibility of mold or mildew
  • Decreased water pressure
  • Consistently running hot water heater
  • Areas of the floor are always hot
  • Cracking foundation or walls

How to find an underground or slab water leak?

If water is seeping or “pooling” near the foundation of your home or anywhere on your property, you could have a broken or cracked pipe underground.

If the leak is coming up through floors or pavement, we can find and fix that too!

The first thing to do if you suspect a water leak is to pay attention to the signs and look for any damage.

Is there anything I can do myself to know if I have a slab leak?

You can test things yourself by turning off your water, faucets and water appliances. Then, check the water meter for any activity. Most water meters will have a sensitivity indicator that will turn even when there is the smallest leak. If there is any movement in this indicator, you most likely have a leak somewhere. The next step will be to pinpoint the exact location of the leak.

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Why Use Rainforest to Repair a Slab Leak?

  • At Rainforest Plumbing and Air, we offer the Upfront Guarantee so there are no surprises.
  • We always provide you with an accurate estimate before we begin the job. If there are any changes in price as we get going, we will always alert you to the changes.
  • We know customers appreciate an up-front flat-rate price by the job and not by the hour.
  • We help you get your slab leak repair covered by insurance by actually speaking with the adjuster.
  • Rainforest Plumbing and Air has been serving the greater Phoenix area for over 20 years, offering timely, accurate, and fair service.
  • We get 5-star reviews all day long and make sure our customers get the value they expect.
  • From preventative maintenance to reactive maintenance, the team at Rainforest is just a call, click or text away.
  • We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we are always here when you need us.

Trust-Guarantee from the Owner of Rainforest Plumbing & Air!

“You deserve a smooth-running home… and when something breaks down… you need help you can trust. Our aim is to guide you to a 5-star experience with qualified, honest technicians that will make an accurate slab leak locate and repair at an honest price. And… you can relax without the anxiety of a surprise invoice at the end. You’ll receive complete, up-front price to repair your slab leak before we start any work… we do not charge by the hour. You can call any time day or night for an instant response and rest assured your place will be left as clean as we found it.  If we don’t live up any of these promises, we will bend over backwards to make it right – guaranteed! -Ike Tippetts

What are the steps to repairing a slab leak?

To fix an underground leak or slab leak, the tricky part is locating and access.

  • First, locate the leak, most often with electronic equipment.
  • Next, saw-cut the floor and jackhammer to remove the concrete above the leak.
  • Excavate the underlying soil.
  • Repair the actual pipe.
  • Backfill and compact the soil to prevent future problems through settling.
  • Make a concrete patch and repair any other areas such as drywall, texture and paint.

We can also repair sewer pipe leaks in a similar manner.

Photo of a sewer drain repair:

We are timely, accurate and fair and get the job done right with no surprises.

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Slab Leak Testimonials

The proof is in the pudding and the pudding is our solid list of 5-star reviews!

In the last 20+ years, we have repaired hundreds of slab leaks so it’s nothing new to us.

These clients reviewed us online after we repaired their slab leaks:


How much does an underground leak cost?

The cost of an underground leak is mainly based on the difficulty of locating and accessing the leak. Every situation is different. The actual pipe repair is an easy task for an experienced plumber and doesn’t cost that much. The ideal situation is when the leak is under the floor in the middle of a room where there is a wet spot or hot spot under the carpet. In that case, locating and access is quite obvious and makes for a quicker repair and a lower cost. In the best of circumstances, we can repair a slab leak for less than your deductible, avoiding an insurance claim. In the worst of circumstances, we can work with your insurance company to get the job paid for along with any costs associated with water damage. If you are handling a claim yourself, just make sure to get the details right so you get the most coverage possible.

Where do slab leaks occur?

Often, slab leaks are deep and under a footing or support structure. It is not uncommon to have a slab leak in the kitchen under cabinets or walls. That’s why it’s important to have a contractor that will work with you and your insurance company to file a claim that covers you for more costly damage. Slab leaks can occur anywhere but we see them often where there is a manifold with a lot of connections or where soft copper was kinked during construction installation.

Do I need to repair a leak under my concrete floor?

One thing is for sure, leaks under floors need to be repaired ASAP! Too much water under the foundation is dangerous and at the very least damaging to your home or commercial structure.


We are your guide to a 5-star experience!


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5 star reviews

Our tech, Bryan, could not have been any better. It was like having a family member come fix our AC. Fast, friendly, effective service. Could not ask for more. All of the Rainforest people we have had over the years have been excellent. Highly recommend!”

– Nanette Kryske

I have been very impressed with the responsive and professional way that Rainforest has handled my phone calls and provided excellent customer service. I recommend them whole heartedly! Thank you!”

– Kelly Reagin

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