How Does Electronic Leak Detection Work?
The principle behind electronic leak detection is that all leaks produce sounds. An electronic leak detection system operates on that principle known as acoustics or the principles of sounds. The electronic machine that is attached to a building’s security system registers the sound made by leaks since it picks up sound waves and transmits their originating site using the safety system installed.
Leaks have different frequencies made by the type of leak whether coming from pipes that are under greater pressure or from pipes that are under lower pressure and from the contents of these pipes. These leaks transmit a frequency that is picked up by the electronic leak detector and is applied while being transmitted through the security system. The amplified sounds that the leak is making is picked up by a trained worker who is also given access to other information regarding the location of the leak found on the leak detection machine and on the type of leak based on the sounds it makes as well as the location.
An electronic leak detector is equipped with a transducer that is sensitive to sounds coming from a system of pipes. If a sound registers on the machine, it is transmitted to the security system at a higher frequency. The amplified leak is then detected and can be attended to immediately following detection. There are various sources that supply leak detectors or for electronic leak detectors. A plumber is an expert in installing and attending to leaks reported by an electronic machine designed especially to pick up on the acoustics made by sounds outside of pipes or leaks. An electronic leak detection machine finds leaks in water systems, toilets, drains, industrial pipes, steam pipes, oil pipes and other pipes transporting liquids. The principle of sound is what is used to detect leaks in pipes using an electronic leak detector.
FINDING LEAKS IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD PLUMBING – ELECTRONIC LEAK DETECTION
Finding the leak
Sewer and drain line leaks are best located with sewer cameras. To begin with it should be determined that there is a leak under a concrete floor, before initiating electronic leak detection. Signals are a hot spot on the floor, the sound of water running when all plumbing fixtures are not in use and water coming from someplace on the floor (ground floor), or at a low point on a wall (1st story). Hot water coming from a cold tap and a water heater that does not shut off, or re-ignites quickly, are other signs. At that point one should check the water meter. If the needle is moving and no plumbing fixtures, or bibs, are in use, then there is definitely a leak somewhere. If the main shut-off valve is closed and the meter’s needle stops, it indicates that the leak is in the house (building). Otherwise it is occurring between the meter and the dwelling.
Location of leak
Once it is determined that the leak is in the Maui home, the house shut-off valve can be reopened (causing the meter needle to resume movement) and the hot water shut-off valve, located on the cold water inlet to the water heater, can be closed. If the needle again stops moving, it means the leak is on the hot water line.
Once it has been determined where the leak is, the loss of water can be controlled by closing either the hot water heater shut-off valve, which will still leave you with the permanent use of cold water, or by closing the house shut-off valve, if it is a cold water leak, which will leave you with no water. If there is not substantial water coming into the dwelling, these valves can be re-opened for short term use and then re-closed during times of non-use. This allows the occupants to flush toilets, take showers, wash dishes and laundry, etc., while the diagnoses and repair process is being implemented.
To perform the leak detection, the pipes are disconnected, usually at the water heater, and pressurized with nitrogen. This particular gas is excellent for making a “high-pitched” sound that is easily detected through a set of high-quality head phones using a sophisticated listening device. Once the highest decibel of sound is located, the leak is pin-pointed. Occasionally the sound will transfer through a channel of some kind, usually plastic pipe wrapping and the point of discovery may be a few inches or feet away, but we have experienced better than 95% accuracy with our electronic leak detection equipment.
How to find the source of a bathtub drain leaking:
- If you have a shower door, splash water all around the door and frame. Leaks around the frame may take five minutes or longer to show up.
- If the door has rubber gaskets or a rubber door sweep, check them for gaps.
- Also check for any gaps in the caulk where the shower or tub meets the flooring.
How to fix a leaking tub drain:
- Be sure to overlap sliding doors correctly when you close them. The inner door should be closest to the faucet.
- If you have a shower curtain rather than a door, make sure you close it completely when you shower, or add a splash guard.
- Seal a leaking frame by running a small bead of tub and caulk around the inside of the frame. Force the caulk into any gaps between the frame and the shower surround. Quickly wipe away all the excess caulk. When the caulk dries, test for leaks again.
- Replace any worn gaskets or door sweeps. Bring the old one to a home center or plumbing supply store and look for a matching replacement (be sure to get the correct size to fit).
- If the old caulk along the floor shows gaps, scrape it out and run a new bead.
HOW DO YOU FIND WATER PIPE LEAKS UNDER CONCRETE?
There are many signs of a slab leak. When the faucet is turned off and you hear the sound of water, it’s one of the most common signs of a water pipe leak under concrete.
If you find hot spots on the floor, it may indicate a hot water line leak. Another sign of a slab leak is mould or excessive moisture under your carpets.
A damp carpet with signs of mildew or mould indicates a water pipe leak under concrete. This may also produce a peculiar odour at times.
Wet baseboards is another sign of a slab leak in your home.
This provides information on water pipe leak detection under concrete. We will take a look at the following:
- Locate the pipes in your house
- Check the water meter
- Perform the initial pressure test of your home
- Perform a complete electronic leak detection service
The Best Water Leak Detection Tool
After ruling out surface and fixture leaks, your plumber will need to look for underground leaks or leaks hidden in the walls. The most effective tool to detect these types of water leaks is professional sound detection equipment. Using headphones and a microphone, a highly skilled technician will be able to listen for the sound of running water underground as it travels through the pipes. Additionally, they may also use pipe locator clamps on the visible portions of a pipe to transmit a radar signal over the pipes. This process is known as “charging the pipes.” Once the location of the leak is identified, an experienced plumber will explain the best method(s) to repair it and prevent any water damage to your home.