Locating fresh water leaks is one of the hardest jobs in the plumbing industry.
It requires specialized skills and equipment. And because fresh water leaks aren’t as common as many of the sewer problems we encounter, most plumbers and plumbing companies don’t get the opportunity to go out on enough leak location jobs.
It’s because of this that we decided around 2010 to start using an outside company to do most of the leak location tests for our customers.
Because tell me this. Would you rather have someone who specializes in and performs these tests all day, everyday? Or a company that does a few a week, at most?
Water Leak Detection and Location
Before I explain why I believe this decision was the best choice for our customers and for our business, let’s briefly cover fresh water leaks. If you want more information, I talk a bit more in depth about fresh water leak detection and location in this post.
A few indicators that you might have a leak are higher than normal water bills, the sound of rushing water, and warm or hot spots on the floor.
If a fresh water leak is suspected, we can determine if there is in fact a leak by looking at the city’s meter or by attaching a pressure gauge to a hose bibb on your house.
Locating the leaks, however, is a much more difficult process.
Once the lines are located air is pumped into them and the technician then uses a specialized listening device to enable him to hear where the leak is. He is listening for the sound of escaping air or sometimes a mixture of escaping air and water.
As you can imagine, listening for something under a slab or under ground in a yard is not easy. And when you bring in any one of the many variables like pockets of air under the slab or the plastic sleeves that are sometimes found on pipes, it’s no wonder this is one of the most difficult jobs in our industry.
So it stands to reason that the more experience you have, the better you are. And because we don’t tunnel to fresh water leaks, it’s important to get as close as possible to the leak area so we know where to punch a hole in the slab.
Why We Started Using An Outside Company
Around 2010 we got a call for a leak location test. At the time one of our team members who had taught himself how to locate fresh water leaks performed these tests for us.
Our guy went out to the house and pinpointed the leak on the floor under some hardwood flooring. The customer then called the insurance company to see what might be covered.
The insurance company sent out another very reputable plumbing company to verify the leak and location. This company pinpointed the leak to be about 40 feet away from our spot. The customer called us back wondering what to do at this point.
I had known of the owner of the outside leak location company, Ken, so I recommended having him come out to find the leak. He went out to the house and pinpointed the leak 20 feet away from our spot AND 20 feet away from the other company’s spot — right in the middle of our two results.
When went out to do the repair, we found the leak directly under the two inch tape mark Ken used to mark the spot.
That’s when I decided that trying to make a little money on leak location tests didn’t make sense when we could lose a lot of money by being wrong.
Since then Ken has built a team and they are all trained to accurately locate fresh water leaks better than most plumbing companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Why are Ken and his team so good at finding leaks? Because several other companies in the area farm their tests out to him as well and this is all they do.
Our Process When You Call
To better serve our customers, we refer Ken and his team to do location tests and we do repairs. In fact, we will not perform any fresh water leak repairs under a slab unless Ken’s company is the one who located the leak.
So when a customer calls and it’s been determined that there is in fact a fresh water leak, we have the customer call Ken’s company and book a leak location test with him. Even if a homeowner calls asking for a fresh water leak repaired that was located by another company, we still need them to have Ken’s company out before we will agree to do any work.
We don’t call Ken’s company and collect the money for the test. If we did we’d have to mark up the price of the test. I explain why it makes more sense for a customer to take care of certain things rather than us in this post. The post also covers what we do and don’t take responsibility for when performing repairs.
Once Ken’s company locates the leak, they send us a picture or video of the leak location(s) and from there we give an estimate for how much it will cost to make the repair.
There are occasions when we need to go out and do an investigation to verify there is a leak under the slab and not something like a dripping faucet or water leaking through a toilet flapper. But if we find that we do need to send Ken and his team out to the house, we don’t charge for our visit.
I consider Ken and his team a part of our team here at In-House Plumbing Company. And because we offer a leak location guarantee, I need to know you’ve had the best possible leak location test done. I’m not going to guarantee anyone else’s test results.
If you suspect a fresh water leak, give us a call and we can go from there. And as always, if you have any questions about what you’ve read here or anywhere on the site, give us a call at 972-494-1750 or email email@example.com.