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What are options for a replumb/repiping?


We suspect we have a slab leak and have read other posts regarding them. We think our best option is to replumb. My husband is an amazing DIY-er, but sometimes jumps to the solution prematurely - that is, we have not had this checked out by a plumber. ;) But let's assume we do have a slab leak.

Our house is in Ohio. The original house was built in 1955 and has a full basement. An addition was built sometime in the 1970s on a slab. There is no crawl space access. The plumbing is copper, laid in gravel (assume) below the slab and goes to a full bathroom (remodeled 2 years ago with plumbing to the shower and sink updated) and a laundry room. We can hear rushing water in the wall between the bathroom and laundry when the cold water is not shut off where it enters the basement foundation wall from the old part of the house and then goes under the slab.
Mr. removed some drywall and we cannot see anything leaking. Also, our water bill spiked several months ago.

Since this is an extra bathroom, we simply have turned off the cold water where I described above. The water bill is back down to normal. Sooooo, someone told us we can replumb but trenching out part of the slab and laying new pipes in the trench and then covering with concrete. Sounds better than digging up the whole slab, but still will involve ripping up my beautiful tile floor and shower in the remodeled bathroom. I also have read about running new pipes through walls and ceilings.

Can someone please tell me if these are both valid option and if there are any others. Oh, also read about trenchless epoxy repiping. While this is not drinking water we are talking about, I'm concerned about possible health implications. Last, don't know if this is important, but about a year before we noticed this problem, we had our outside water line replace after a major leak.

Re: What are options for a replumb/repiping?

your best bet is to call a plumbing contractor that has a line camera and can investigate any ruptures in drain lines. for the water line they will test the pressure.

one a project like this some things are diy others are left to the pros. you could bring in the plumber and get him to find out the source of hte problem, if they need the slab broken up and the pipes exposed they might not have any issue with you doing this, as its normally done by the carpenters on bigger projects. you could save yourself 1 or 2 days labour at a plumbers rate

Re: What are options for a replumb/repiping?

A plumber can check the water lines by pressurizing them. They would cut and cap the lines in the basement for the feed to the new addition. Then cut the lines at some point in the bathroom --- insert a fill valve and air pressure gauge --- fill the lines with air. If the lines leak the gauge indicate pressure dropping.

If there is a leak in one or both lines consider abondoning them and run new lines through the walls. Running them in the ceiling is possible though if that space is a cold attic I wouldn't recommend it. The lines can be hidden within thin profile vertical and horizontal bulkheads if there is a need to surface runn the lines.
Chances are this would be less costly and less invasive than busting up the concrete slab.

Re: What are options for a replumb/repiping?

Thank you. We will probably do surface mount, which I did not know was an option, since one of the walls between the start of the plumbing and the bathroom is brick. Much appreciated!

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