What to Know About Rerouting Plumbing Lines Under Your Slab Foundation

Marwa Hasan
Written by Marwa Hasan
Updated October 15, 2021
woman walking barefoot on house floor
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If you have leaky pipes under your slab, call a plumber ASAP

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If you hear running water under the floor, feel warm spots underfoot, or notice leaking or cracking in your concrete slab, these could be signs of a plumbing slab leak.

A slab leak can do significant damage in a short amount of time, but don’t panic—pinpointing the problem and taking care of the pipes below can solve the problem while keeping your foundation intact.

A Slab Leak Can Cause Permanent Home Damage

While slab leaks can cause cosmetic repairable foundation damage, such as cracked walls and water pooling on your property, they can also cause permanent damage that’s even costlier to repair, such as:

  • Water leaks can cause mold and mildew. Not only does mold ruin the look of your home, but it can also cause breathing issues and other health problems.

  • Slab leaks can seep into floors and damage tiles, carpeting, and hardwood floors.

  • When flooring is damaged, it can also cause damage to the subfloor, which introduces even more renovation expenses.

  • Slab leaks can cause structural damage to the home’s foundation. Depending on the type of soil beneath your home, leaks can cause soil to wash away, leaving your concrete slab foundation with no solid ground beneath it. This is why it’s essential to repair slab leaks ASAP.

Why Rerouting Works

running water pipe in the ground
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Once a pipe fails, the rest of your plumbing system can follow. Save your floor by hiring a local plumber to reroute the plumbing and avoid any further damage. 

But repiping a house built on a slab comes with challenges not seen with homes with a basement or crawlspace. Many plumbing professionals may choose to reroute existing pipes that are located in a slab.

While rerouting might be your only option, working with a professional who understands the logistics of is highly recommended. Though, it helps to understand the process before hiring a professional plumbing company. Repiping a house on a concrete slab typically takes several steps, but keeping those points in mind is essential:

  • Determining how the slab is supporting the building before cutting or breaking into it.

  • Be sure to obtain all permits necessary to do the work—your plumbing company should help with this step.

  • The plumber will reroute new pipes, which often require cutting into walls, floors, or ceilings. Your home may require extensive renovation after repiping.

How to Reroute Plumbing Lines Under Your Slab Foundation

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to slab leak rerouting—every case has a different solution, and you may find pros and cons of each method of repairing a slab leak. 

A professional discovers which line is leaking under the slab and where the ends come from the slab. They abandon the leaking line and start a new line above the ground, through the walls, or the attic with some creative construction solutions to conceal the pipes.

 Rerouting is a great option in this case, especially for one-story houses. However, a multiple-story house can be challenging, but a skilled and technical professional will be able to reroute plumbing using advanced techniques and equipment.

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