Barbosa Plumbing and Air Conditioning has provided services in the North Dallas area for over 40 years, and we have seen many changes and challenges within the plumbing industry. One of the recent challenges that impacts plumbing in our area is the movement and instability caused by fracking. What is fracking? How does it impact your plumbing? Here’s what you need to know!
What is Fracking?
Fracking is a process used to obtain gas and oil from shale rock underneath the earth’s surface. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, uses highly pressurized water, sand and chemicals to drill into the rock in order to release its natural gasses. While fracking has helped our country gain access to a previously untapped fuel resource, driven down gas prices, and allowed us to generate electricity with smaller CO2 emissions, there is a downside to the fracking process.
When the highly pressurized mixture is sent down into the earth, it disrupts an otherwise still and stable area. The release of the gas causes small tremors. Though scientists are still studying the results of fracking, there is an alarming amount of earthquake activity in our area that didn’t exist before fracking. Since fracking has become common practice, there have been hundreds of earthquakes documented in Northern Texas.
How Does Fracking Impact Your Plumbing Pipes?
When homes and businesses are built and plumbing pipes installed, contractors and plumbers work under the assumption that the earth, and the building foundations will remain stable. However, the movement caused by fracking creates instability and forces movement. Even the smallest amount of movement puts pressure on your plumbing pipes, especially in the joints. As fracking continues to become common practice in Northern Texas, we have noticed a rising number of customers with slab leaks and damaged plumbing systems.
Barbosa’s Response To Fracking & Earthquake Activity
Barbosa combats the problems caused by fracking with expert leak detection and repair capabilities. When you suspect a leak, we have the equipment and training needed to find the leak in your plumbing system, even when it’s hidden under your slab foundation, and make the necessary repairs. We utilize several types of piping materials with different characteristics:
- Copper Piping – more flexible, malleable, more costly
- PEX Piping – less flexible, durable, less expensive
Our experienced plumbers carefully consider each situation and choose the best piping material for a cost effective, long term solution that will hold up under pressure of future tremors.