my worst home repair nightmare has happened, a slab leak. at least it's a hot water leak and there's no water damage and the insurance doesn't want to pay. closing the cold water shutoff valve to the water heater has stopped it temporarily. I can't afford a plumber and will attempt to fix it myself. walking into the house from the garage on the right in the house there is a wall. on the other side of the wall there is a full bath. in the bathroom against the wall there is a sink and vanity. the floor facing the vanity along the front edge is warm as is the floor on the other side of the wall along the wall. apparently the water leak is somewhere under the slab in this vicinity. my first question is would anyone have an idea of the most likely spot to break open the slab to access the leaking hot water pipe? now when I find it it will need to be silver soldered. will the bernzomatic propane be able to melt the silver solder or will I have to get the map gas. will a stethoscope aid in finding the exact location of the leak? thanks for any advice
Not sure on the best way to locate the leak but, I would start where the supply lines come out of the floor fo the sink.
The repair approach will depend on what material has been used for plumbing (galvanized, copper, pvc, etc....).
Call a good leak detection company. The should be able to get in a couple sq foot area of the leak. Depending on the actual leak a small section of pipe and a couple of slip couplings should do the trick. MAPP gas or more will be needed as you will have to get all the water/steam out before you can get a good solder job. If you are a real gambler, a shark bite slip coupling may work. A bitch if it ever starts leaking again....
If you have a bad length of pipe, would you just repair a leak and then wait for the next leak. I would look at replacing it with both hot and cold running in the ceiling from the area near the water tank.
Lightly tapping the floor with a hammer will help you find voids under the slab, if the water has washed away some fill.