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Sometimes we are asked when is a good time to have a plumbing test done. And the truth is, a plumbing test is a always a good idea. Knowing how moisture (either from leaks or other sources) can damage your foundation and wreak havoc in your property, a plumbing tests should always be on your list of preventive measures for keeping your foundation safe.

There are however certain occasions when plumbing tests should be a must and we will tell you when and why this is the case.

To refresh our memory; some of the signs of possible foundation damage caused by water are noticing wet carpets or moist spots on the floor. What this could indicate is that water, in the case of slab on grade foundations, is coming up from beneath the concrete slab and leaks are the usual suspects. The thing with leaks and slab on grade foundations is that they could go undetected for years. And during all this time water and moisture could be gathering, slowly but steadfastly working and conspiring to damage your foundation. So if you see any of these signs then you should definitely make sure to have a plumbing test done, and act accordingly to prevent any potential or additional damage to the foundation.

In the case of pier and beam foundations plumbing tests are also recommended if your crawlspace is damp or has a bad odor as one of the reasons for this could be a plumbing leak and the only way to be certain is to have the plumbing tested.

Finally, it is highly recommended that a plumbing test is run just after a foundation is repaired. After all, lifting the structure of your house back into place might cause breaks or fissures in plumbing lines. There’s also the fact that those very same lines could have been ruptured long ago when the foundation started to sustain damage for starters. So, once the foundation has been lifted back into place it is imperative to have the plumbing checked. I mean, with the foundation newly repaired the last thing you want is for new or pre-existing plumbing leaks to start damaging your foundation, once again, from day one.

A hydrostatic plumbing test is ideal for any of these scenarios. A licensed plumber can carry this out and it’ll take him less than half an hour to complete the test, which will determine if you have leaks or not. From there you can proceed to locate the leaks and repair them, in case there are any.

It is important to remember that if there are any leaks foundation repair warranties may be cancelled, given that damages sustained by the foundation after it has been repaired might be a direct results of these leaks, and not because of a faulty foundation repair job.

But what exactly is a hydrostatic plumbing test? Well it is a specific test carried out by licensed plumbers. It can detect foundation leaks and issues in both slab on grade and pier and beam houses. It works by putting your domestic and sanitary sewage systems under great pressure in order to determine if there are leaks in the pipes. This is generally achieved by gaining access to the ‘clean-outs’ typically located right next to the home. It is a pipe that sticks up from the ground.

A floating ball is placed inside the pipe and placing the system under pressure and seeing if the water level drops. If it doesn’t drop then you don’t have anything to worry about, but if it does the more it drops the bigger the leaks.

If any given house does not have clean-outs however, it might be necessary for the plumber to go inside the house, remove a toilet from the ground floor and test the system from there.

Now, locating where the leak is coming from might be the tricky part. Sometimes it can be done quite quickly, other times… note so much. In any case the only way to go about it is by hiring a certified plumber.

If at any point during or after the foundation repair process a leak is found, you will be informed immediately. The decision of hiring a licensed plumber of your own, or using the contractors the foundation repair company usually works with, will be yours.

It is essential not to neglect to fix leaks as in little time they can lead to severe and costly damage later on. Remember that repairing plumbing leaks will protect your foundation and home for years to come. 

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