All homes have piping to supply water to the various plumbing fixtures throughout the house. There is a wide variety of different types of water piping. Water pipes are made of copper, PEX, PVC, CPVC, polybutylene, or galvanized steel. In addition, any piping can be installed overhead in the ceiling or the under slab (foundation) of the house. Any of these types of pipes can develop leaks over an extended period of time, and we are experienced in working with them all.
Most water leaks inside the home are fairly easy to locate. If you have water running out of a wall or the ceiling and onto the floor, it is a pretty safe bet you have a leak, and finding it is pretty straight forward.
Water piping under the slab of the house is totally different. Being that the piping is under concrete, you may not even know that the leak exists until your floor becomes discolored due to the concrete soaking up water, your water bill is unreasonably high, or the leak is so bad that you can hear water running. Finding the leak is also more challenging since the leak cannot be seen. To locate this type of leak, we use isolation of valves and electronic leak detectors, which allows us to “see” what the eyes cannot.
Water leaks in the yard are also usually obvious as mud spots in our desert are normally an indication that something is not right.
There are several considerations involved in deciding if the best course of action is to repair a leak, or to replace the piece of pipe that is leaking.
Cost: Sometimes, it can actually be less expensive to replace a piece of pipe than to repair it. If a leak is under the slab and a new piece of pipe can be added to by-pass the leak, it could be less expensive than cutting a hole in the concrete, repairing the leak and then repairing the concrete and flooring.
Type of piping: Everyone has heard the horror stories about polybutylene water piping. Poly water piping was used from 1978 through 1995, and some estimates say it was used in up to 10 million homes. If you have this type of pipe and have not already had problems, you are quite fortunate, but you still have a problem just waiting to happen. Repairs to poly should be made for a very temporary, emergency fix only; the only real way to fix these problems with poly is to completely replace it. Galvanized steel pipe has not been used for water distribution since the late 1960’s. Water eventually corrodes and deteriorates anything made of steel. Once you start to have leaks in galvanized steel piping, it is much better to replace the system because the leak problems have only just begun.
Stability of piping: When a leak occurs, the piping around the leak should be inspected for stability to ensure it has not deteriorated to the point of needing complete replacement. If the pipe is still in good stable condition, then a simple repair will probably be sufficient.
Any type of water piping can deteriorate to the point that it is better to completely replace it rather than make repairs that are only going to be a temporary fix. This is especially true for polybutylene or galvanized water piping, both of these types of piping have shown that once they start leaking it is a continuing occurrence.
Water re-pipes are not cheap, but when you consider the amount of damage that can be caused to a house by repeating water leaks or by flooding, the better choice becomes pretty obvious.
Wood’s Plumbing has made contact with Synchrony Financial, A part of Synchrony Bank, about providing home improvement financing for our customers. They will provide a revolving credit card with special promotional financing for customers who make application and are accepted into their consumer financing program. This may be a way to help you get needed repairs during tight financial times without completely blowing your household budget. For more information on this finance program, see Customer Finance Program on this web site.
Wood’s Plumbing now offers Prepaid Plumbing Service Agreements to our customers.
With a Prepaid Agreement, you will save a minimum of 10% on all parts and labor during plumbing services, plus be eligible for many other benefits included in the program. For more information, see Prepaid Plumbing Service Agreements on this web site.
We are a locally owned and operated company that has been serving the Tucson and southern Arizona area for over 30 years. Let us locate the problem, discuss options with you and fix the problem.