Plumbing Company Says Earthquakes May Be Causing Increase In Slab Leaks


Thursday, March 10th 2016, 6:35 pm
By: News 9


Metro plumbers are seeing an increase in ground water breaks and slab leaks. One company questions whether earthquakes are to blame.

John Burdin, the owner of Plumb Crazy Plumbing, tells News 9 he has seen a 15% increase in slab leaks this year alone and the number one question customers ask is, “Was it caused by earthquakes?”

“Same kind of problems we always see when we get to the slab leaks, it's just a lot more of them here recently,” Burdin told News 9.

Slab leaks are when the water pipes under your home break or puncture. Burdin said earthquakes may be the extra push to already existing problems.

“It's vibration in the ground and that's what a slab leak starts with,” Burdin explained. “We just believe that the vibrations, the earthquake stuff has actually impacted it - to take a problem you already have and speed it up.”

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Burdin was skeptical for a long time, but said it is too hard to deny these days.

“When we start seeing the increases in the calls and nothing changing on the other side, we're like, ‘OK maybe there is something to it,’” Burdin said.

So how do you know you have a water or slab leak? You hear the sound of running water when all water is turned off. You feel a hot spot on the floor above a hot water line leak. There is mildew or excessive moisture inside the house. However, the biggest indicator is usually a high water bill.

“We're forecasting to stay this steady for a while,” Burdin said.

News 9 spoke with two other plumbing companies who also reported an increase in slab leaks. A repair job could run anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to $10,000 in certain cases.