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Thread: Slab leak: repipe, reroute, or epoxy reline?

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    ahirai is offline New Member
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    Slab leak: repipe, reroute, or epoxy reline?

    Hi folks,

    I have a slab leak - perhaps more than one. There are hot spots on the floor in a number of rooms, 24/7, all year. One of the hot spots recently started seeping water.

    The 3 bed, 3 bath single-story house was built in 1986 and is in Phoenix.

    A spot repair would be the cheapest thing to do, but I'm worried that if I have one leak now, others will follow.

    So, I'm trying to decide between (1) repiping, (2) rerouting, or (3) epoxy relining.

    (1) Repiping will be very expensive because of the marble floors and the likelihood that I would have to demo some kitchen cabinets.

    (2) Rerouting (say, with PEX) doesn't seem to be terribly practical because it is a single-story structure with a flat roof, no attic, and a very unusual floor plan.

    (3) Epoxy relining seems like my only practical choice. I've been searching online for information. Most of the negative remarks seem to be coming from crusty old plumbers who have a vested interest in keeping things the way they are (no offense to anybody - that's just the way I perceive it).

    If you are a homeowner who has gone the epoxy relining route, or if you are a plumber who has first-hand knowledge of these systems (but who is not a franchisee of an epoxy company), I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Redwood's Avatar
    Redwood is offline Journeyman
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    I'm a crusty old plumber that doesn't believe epoxy relining is a good choice for water supply pipes.

    My one basic concern is there is no way to verify that it can or has worked until the job is done. Then there is also no way to verify that the inside of the pipe is completely coated offering total protection against further leaks.

    I am a big time advocate of relining sewers however as that work uses a fiberglass liner and it is easily inspected before with a sewer inspection camera to determine the viability and afterwards to inspect the outcome of the job.

    In your application it requires faith and luck.

    If you have it go ahead!

    The fact that you have multiple hot spots under the slab says you have several leaks going on and repair is probably not the best option.

    I would highly recommend consulting a plumber in your area that is highly experienced in PEX repipes and you may be pleasantly surprised at the techniques he uses to pull off the repipe with as little collateral damage to walls and ceilings. A plumber that specializes in work of this nature often has some very creative techniques they use.
    I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
    Now I can Plumb!

    For great information on the history of sanitary sewers including the use of Redwood Pipe
    Visit http://www.sewerhistory.org/
    Did you know some Redwood Pipe is still in service today.

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    ahirai is offline New Member
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    Thanks, Redwood.

    I understand your arguments, and I am definitely looking at PEX replumbing as one of the alternatives.

    Having said that, if I ultimately go with epoxy relining, it's my understanding that the main providers like CuraFlo, Nu Flow, or ACE Duraflo all have 10+ year guarantees. It seems like the developers / franchisors are somewhat large companies, and are more likely to be able to stand behind a long-term warranty than an average local plumbing company. So, perhaps a measure of faith is required, but the faith is also backed by a guarantee, right?

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    Redwood's Avatar
    Redwood is offline Journeyman
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    I would research the guarantee carefully...

    It is my understanding the main companies do not offer the guarantee but their franchises do...

    I could find nothing about the guarantee on the main company websites, but tons of them on the franchise websites.
    I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
    Now I can Plumb!

    For great information on the history of sanitary sewers including the use of Redwood Pipe
    Visit http://www.sewerhistory.org/
    Did you know some Redwood Pipe is still in service today.

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    HeadnSouth's Avatar
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    You can always get the feed ultrasonically scanned for leaks to get an idea on how many leaks you have. From there you can figure repair cost options. If you have aPolybutylene pipe you may want to consider just replacing it all.

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