FAQs for Dealing with Slab Leaks

What is a Slab Leak? 

In most homes in the area, the foundation is a large block of concrete called a ‘slab.’ The materials that make up a home weigh a lot, not to mention the weight of the belongings inside a home. That means the home should be thoroughly supported to carry the weight of the building materials and everything inside a finished home. Engineers have figured out that monolithic concrete slabs are the best way to carry the load. 

The main problem with building a home on a poured slab is that the most effective way to route utilities around the home is to bury them in the ground before the slab is poured. Once the pipes are underground and cased in concrete, they are relatively safe. However, accessing these pipes when slab leaks arise can be a tricky problem. 

How to Spot the Signs of Slab Leaks 

leakSince pipes are encased in concrete, their leaks can be particularly tricky to spot. Water will likely pop up anywhere because it has limited options to relieve the building pressure. However, there are always signs of slab leaks, allowing homeowners to recognize the problem and respond quickly. Here are the most common signs of slab leaks. 

  • Hissing or gurgling noises with an undetermined source
  • High water bills
  • Clean water leaking out along the edge of a foundation
  • Wet or moist floors
  • Mold problems or associated odors

Responding to slab leaks at the first sign of trouble is important to minimizing damage. Read on to learn the dangers that slab leaks pose. 

Common Dangers of Slab Leaks 

Slab leaks are dangerous because they affect the very foundation of a home. This can lead to all sorts of very expensive problems. In the worst case, water can undermine soil from underneath the slab. This can lead to voids where the concrete has no support. Without repairs, the slab can crack and fail. 

Less serious cases can involve several scenarios that are still pretty serious. The excess moisture can bolster mold growth and damage walls and flooring if water absorbs upwards through the slab. Apart from the repair process, mold remediation will need to be contracted, and floors and walls replaced. 

How Do Professionals Deal with Slab Leaks 

leakFinding the right professionals to deal with slab leaks can be the difference between a quick repair and a major upset. Experts jackhammer the slab out of the way to access piping and dig away soil to expose the pipe. Repairs will be made then the pipe will be reburied in sand before more concrete is poured. Because these repairs are invasive, finding a plumbing contractor with experience is important. 

The right plumbing contractor will advertise their expertise in slab leaks. They often will have specialized tools for pinpointing the source of leaks before they start jackhammering the slab. This makes them more accurate, so they will minimize the secondary repairs that must be made after repairing the pipe. 

About A&A Plumbing

A&A Plumbing is a full-service plumbing contractor. Their technicians handle anything from clogged drains to serious below-foundation repairs. Call today for slab leak repair in San Antonio, TX. 

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Repiping: When It Is Necessary

Signs That Home Needs Repiping Services

A home plumbing system cannot last forever, but the decision to repipe is never easy. It can be expensive and invasive, but repiping a house may be necessary. There may be times when a homeowner can do one part of their home at a time, and there are also ways to perform repiping minimally invasively. Suppose a homeowner wants more information on methods. In that case, they should contact a reputable plumbing company, but if they are interested in signs that indicate a need to repipe, they should read on.

The Pipes Are Falling Apart: Leaks and Constant Need for Repair

Repiping a house may seem like an extreme measure, which it undoubtedly is, but it can make daily living much more convenient if a household encounters certain problems with its plumbing system. A leaking pipe may be an isolated incident. Still, if a house has to have several leaking pipes repaired over a fairly short period (say months) then it is probably time to consider replacing the pipes. This constant need for repair means that pipes are losing their ability to function properly and cannot be considered reliable. Replacing the pipes can save money by remedying the cause of constant repairs and can lower water bills due to the lack of leaks.

Water Pressure Problems

Low water pressure can plague a home for many reasons. Some of them have more to do with the water supply than the home’s piping, but there are usually solutions. If the pump fails, a home that gets its water supply from a well can have water pressure issues. People with municipal water are likely to get consistent service unless there is a problem with their pipes. Reasons for low water pressure can include the following:

  • Leaking Pipes: A supply line leak can lower the home's water pressure. A leak near a faucet can cause issues for that particular outlet.
  • Hard Water Scale: A buildup of hard water deposits, called scale, can inhibit the water flow just as cholesterol in the arteries inhibits blood flow.
  • Pipe Corrosion: Pipes that have begun to corrode can fill up with flakes of rust and are also prone to leaks. 

These are the three major reasons for low water pressure, and it is easy to see why repiping might be necessary in each case.

A Change in Water Color or Smell


Another issue that indicates a need for repiping is a change in the color or smell of a home's water. If it has always smelled sulfurous, then there is likely not a problem, but if it begins to smell sulfurous with no explanation, then there may be an issue. Pipe corrosion can be a big part of this problem. Pipe corrosion can cause:

  • A metallic smell or taste
  • A rusty color
  • Yellowish water
  • Brownish water

Homeowners should call a plumbing professional to check their pipes if any of these symptoms occur suddenly.

About A&A Plumbing

A&A Plumbing prides itself on its excellent service and personal attention to customers. The company serves the people of San Antonio, TX, and the surrounding communities. Call today for plumbing service!

Why Having A Water Filter Can Make the Summer Better and Less Expensive

The Benefits of a Whole House Water Filtration System

It is perhaps culturally understood that water put through a water filtration system is better. It may, however, leave people asking, “In what way?” If filtered water is better, how and why is this so? That is the question that this article will try to answer. Since most people don’t know exactly where their water comes from, it can be difficult to know what it may contain. When people are backpacking in the wilderness, they must carry water filtration equipment with them to keep from getting sick from the microbes that may be present in the water. Even though the water that comes into individual homes in residential areas is treated, there are still things that people may not want to ingest. Below, the paragraphs will discuss why filtered water is the best choice for any household.

Benefit #1: Improves Taste of Drinking Water and the Beverages Made from It

waterAnyone who has had to drink sulfurous well water knows the rotten egg smell that never quite leaves the water. It has very little taste, and such water is not harmful, but it is a bit unappealing. In the same way, even if a home doesn’t have well water, invisible elements can affect the water’s taste. Purer water makes for better-tasting water and better-tasting coffee, tea, lemonade, etc., because if there are contaminants in the water, they are in the drinks that use water as well. A few examples of the types of water filtration systems used in homes are listed below.

  • Activated Charcoal: This is often the first step in water filtration to remove things from the water that affect the taste of it. This is the most common filter in those that attach to a sink.
  • Reverse Osmosis Water Filter: This filter forces the water through a thin membrane that removes particulate matter, larger molecules, and even some microbes. This leaves the water purer and better tasting.
  • UV Filter: Though this is not a “filter,” passing the water through a beam of UV light does sanitize it by destroying any remaining germs.

All three of these filters are often combined with a whole-house filtration system. 

Benefit #2: The Water is Purer and Safer

Not only do filters make water taste better, they also make it safer. Everyone knows that water is healthy and humans need to drink a lot of it. But if the water has contaminants, it can do more harm than good. Some of the contaminants that filters remove are:

  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Hard water salts
  • Heavy metals
  • Iron rust
  • Microbes

This ensures that the water household members pitting in their bodies are actually good for them.

Benefit #3: It Pays for Itself

saveBuying and drinking bottled water can get expensive, and it can be very bad for the environment with all the plastic trash it produces. Having a whole house water filter can nip this problem in the bud. If a household uses reusable bottles and fills them with their filtered water, they can drink safe, healthy, and paid-for water. It is money-saving as well as helpful to the planet.

About A&A Plumbing

A&A Plumbing offers multiple-award-winning service to the Greater San Antonio, TX Area. Call them today for comprehensive water filter service from friendly technicians.

Give Mom the Gift of a Relaxing Spa at Home

Turn Any Bathroom into a Magnificent Oasis With These Three Upgrades

Bathroom remodeling may seem like a costly endeavor to some homeowners. Those two words could bring visions of contractors stomping through the house for a week or more, tearing out everything to replace it with all new stuff. And while this certainly is one way to go, many homeowners don’t realize that upgrading the bathroom doesn’t have to be a big deal. Nor does it have to be expensive. 

Simple upgrades can go a long way toward transforming a simple bathroom into a relaxing oasis. And with Mother’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time. Learn three ways to upgrade the bathroom without breaking the bank or putting a kink in the normal household schedule. 

Showerhead Replacement: Low Cost and High Value

shower headFor those who want to start simply, a new showerhead could be the ideal upgrade. There’s a showerhead for anyone’s personality these days. Among the most popular styles is the showerhead with a built-in speaker — ideal for anyone who likes to sing in the shower. But models are also available with LED lights, turning a chore into a relaxing or energizing experience. If mom would enjoy both, some models come with built-in speakers and LED lights. Another luxurious favorite is the rain showerhead, which uses gravity to provide a relaxing rainfall-like experience in the shower. 

For a more practical upgrade, there’s the low-flow showerhead. These showerheads use different tactics to reduce water waste during the shower. Of course, new sensor-operated showerheads are on the market now that reduce water flow when it isn’t needed and resume strong flow when it’s time to rinse. These are great for anyone who wants to save water and, in turn, save money. 

Bathtub Installation for Maximum Relaxation

tubAnother great option for upgrading the bathroom is installing or replacing the bathtub. Everyone knows that soaking in a warm bath can promote relaxation, but other proven health benefits exist. They promote restful sleep and muscle relaxation. Baths also reduce anxiety and stress, helping people recover and recharge. They may also help lower high blood pressure, which can greatly affect overall heart health. 

While the specific type of tub is a matter of preference, there are plenty of options. For a unique design, many homeowners opt for the free-standing bathtub. These come in different styles, from classic clawfoot to more modern designs, and are great for deep bathing. For those with the space, a large corner bathtub with jets and room for two could be the best bet. Of course, most homes also have modern upgrades to the traditional alcove and drop-in tubs.  

Aesthetic Upgrades 

Those looking to do more of a complete bathroom upgrade will want to consider replacing the sink and faucets. As is the case with bathtubs, many different styles of the sink are available, from free-standing and drop-in to pedestal and vessel sinks. And upgrading the bathroom faucet along with the sink is always a good idea. The most popular type this year is the touchless faucet. These operate on sensors and help keep things sanitary. Of course, all kinds of single and double-handle faucets are also available. 

Whether upgrading the showerhead or the whole bathroom, it’s always a good idea to contact a professional plumber to ensure the fixture is properly installed. The plumbing technician can also answer questions about installing new fixtures, making the entire process quick and easy from start to finish.  

About A&A Plumbing

A&A Plumbing has been serving San Antonio, TX, with pride since 2007. They offer expert workmanship and personal attention, ensuring the solution is cost-efficient and appropriate. They also leave the home as clean or cleaner than they found it! Contact A&A Plumbing today for plumbing service in San Antonio, TX. 

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Common Tools Plumbers Use on the Job

The Kinds of Tools Plumbing Contractors Keep in Their Fully Stocked Trucks

With how-to videos available on home improvement, it’s easy to think that dealing with a home plumbing issue is simple. And while some basic plumbing issues can and should be dealt with by the homeowner (typical toilet clog, loose shower head, etc.), many more require specific tools and special know-how. But since knowledge is power, it’s a good idea for homeowners to know what tools professional plumbing contractors carry in their trucks when they do a job!

Handy Hand Tools

toolsThere are many hand tools that plumbers use regularly. These are the bread and butter of a plumber’s toolbox. And they each serve distinct purposes to help deal with a wide range of plumbing issues. Perhaps the tool most commonly associated with plumbers is the adjustable wrench. A small set of adjustable wrenches can cover all the sizes of a heavy non-adjustable wrench set. Likewise, adjustable pliers are also a must for any plumber. These can be adjusted to grip pipes, fittings, fasteners, and bolts of many sizes. 

Ratcheting pipe cutters are also found in plumbing trucks. These help work in tight spaces and can facilitate the cutting of different kinds of pipes. Basin wrenches are another hand tool used by all plumbers. With a pivoting head at one and a telescoping handle, these wrenches are made for reaching up into tight spaces behind sinks or other plumbing fixtures. 

Important Safety Equipment

Of course, when discussing plumbing tools, it’s impossible not to mention safety equipment. All kinds of gloves can help protect the plumber’s hands from cuts and scratches. Depending on the type of work, a plumber may be dealing with chemicals that can burn the skin or heat when joining pipes. There are also safety glasses or goggles that help protect their eyes when working a job. Of course, plumbers on construction sites will wear hard hats to protect their heads. 

Masks are essential for any plumbers working around dust, chemicals that might harm the lungs, or small particles that could be inhaled. Many plumbers may also wear knee pads or back braces to protect their joints long-term. 

Specialized Plumbing Tools

toolsPerhaps the most exciting type of equipment is the specialized tools unique to plumbers. Several specialized plumbing tools are very useful for certain plumbing jobs. Most people are familiar with the plumbing snake — an auger with a handle that can be “snaked” down a drain to clear a clog. However, not everyone knows about the hydrojet tool, which uses a high-powered water flow to break tough clogs. Hydrojets are often preferable to drain snakes because they are less likely to damage old or weakened pipes. 

Some plumbers also use certain camera equipment to visualize the clog, leak, or obstruction. Using a drain before clearing a clog can help ensure the plumber uses the right tools. Then, they can use the camera afterward to ensure the clog is fully cleared. These sewer inspection cameras are ideal for ensuring the job is done right and are a powerful tool in any plumber’s arsenal. 

About A&A Plumbing

The friendly professionals at A&A Plumbing have been serving San Antonio, TX, since 2007. They offer a simple, straightforward process helmed by courteous plumbing technicians. Through personal attention and comprehensive service, they ensure that every customer gets what they need at a price they can afford. Contact A&A Plumbing today for drain cleaning in San Antonio, TX. 

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