How to Inspect Leakage of Hot Water Slab Without Tools

There are times when we suspect a leak in the hot water slab plumbing. We may hear some type of hissing sound or notice a damp spot on the floor. Whatever the sign be, it is important to detect a leak in the hot water slab on time so that it can be fixed sooner and a water damage scenario avoided.  

These leaks are hard to inspect on your own without professional assistance, but there are some measures that can be taken to identify a leak and its extent. 

  1. Sign of Damp Spots on the Floor

If you see any kind of warm, damp spots on the floor, then a leak in the hot water slab is highly likely. You might have to walk barefoot on the floor to be able to perceive the hot damp spots. 

  1. Significant Increase in Your Water Bill

A water leak implies 24/7 water consumption until it is repaired. If there is a leak in the slab plumbing, you might not be immediately aware of it, but it will definitely make your water meter run more. If you notice a higher monthly water bill despite controlled water usage, it could be because of a water leak. 

Check the water meter after turning off all water supply sources. If you still find the meter running, search the home for likelihood of leaks. Silent leaks in the toilet can be traced through a closer check. But if you cannot find any likelihood of leaks in the water supply fixtures above ground, it is most probably a slab pipe leak. 

  1. Watch Out for Cracks
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When there is a leak in a hot water slab to the extent that a lot of water escapes from the cracks or holes in the pipe, it will penetrate into the slab or onto the flooring. Sometimes, the condition of the slabs or flooring might be such that this continual flow of water and resultant moisture cause cracks to develop on the surface. 

Check the cracks to find out if they have been caused by a water leak or due to some other factors. If you find the presence of moisture or dampness on several areas of the slab, the chances of a water leak cannot be ruled out. 

  1. Switch or Turn off all Water Supply Fixtures

If you want to trace a leak to your hot water plumbing under the slab, you could try this: Turn off all sources of water supply in your house. Check the water meter and see if it is still running. 

Check the water pressure of your hot water supply fixtures, and if you find low pressure issues, call for professional assistance. If you are looking for a slab leak repair Lake Forest plumber, hire one who is licensed and certified to conduct water leak detection and inspection and repairs.

  1. Excessive Moisture under the Carpets

When the pipeline in your slab plumbing develops cracks or pin-sized holes, the resulting water leaks will spread and dampen the areas of the wall and flooring exposed to water. The continual presence of water and moisture dampens  carpets and furnishing. 

If you find damp spots on carpets, remove them and check for the presence of damp spots on the floor that could be due to a water leak underneath. 

  1. Strange Noises From Plumbing Systems
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The sound of running water when no water supply fixture is switched on is worth inspecting. You would need to stand near walls or lie down on the floor from where you suspect the sounds are often heard. If there is a rumbling sound of water coming from underneath floors, then it is most likely a slab plumbing leak. You could also use infrared thermometers to narrow down the source of a leak.

When to Call An Expert

You can easily identify that there is a slab plumbing leak through the steps indicated above. It is one thing to find a leak, and quite another to get the leak source identified to the section in the pipe and get it repaired. This is when you need professional assistance. 

If you are looking for a slab leak repair Lake Forest company, find one that has long years of experience in slab plumbing repair. Check if they offer trenchless repair options and non-invasive slab leak detection solutions. Also, check with your insurer about repair cost claims, and find out if the plumbing contractor or company could help with insurance. 

What Causes Hot Water Slab Leaks

It is not just old or aging slab plumbing that causes water leakage. There are many other reasons:

  • Water Quality Issues

Hard water often causes corrosion or buildup in pipes, leading to cracks and water leaks. 

  • Improper Pipe Layout During Construction

When the slab plumbing is laid out during construction, if the pipes are not aligned properly, then over time the pipes rub against each other, and develop cracks and water leaks.

  • Soil Shifting and Construction Work Inside or Nearby the House
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Soil shifting, seismic activities and continual vibration affecting the slab foundation due to construction work within or nearby your house also cause damage to the slab plumbing, leading to water leaks. 


There are many factors that lead to leaks in the plumbing system. Being alert, doing monthly checks of the plumbing and your water meter helps identify leaks faster. You could easily prevent a lot of water damage from happening by doing a whole-house plumbing inspection every year. 

Slab pipe repairs could vary depending on the root cause of the leak, damaged or aging pipes, damaged section of an otherwise good pipeline, a pinhole leak, misaligned pipes, or root intrusion into pipes. The costs vary depending on the overall time and material needed to fix the leak and process involved.


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