There are various forms of leak detection. In manufacturing, specialized equipment can identify leaks in plastic bottles, O-rings, and soldered joints. Everything from beverage cans and aerosol containers to pressure vessels and refrigeration systems may undergo leak testing. But when it comes to your home plumbing, the source of water leaks can be hard to find, unless specialized leak detection equipment is used. These tools can expedite repairs and, in some cases, help minimize water damage.
How Technology Can Save the Day
A pipe leak can waste thousands of gallons of water before you even realize it’s there. If you have low water pressure, peeling wallpaper, or mold and mildew; notice stains on the ceiling, walls, or floors; or hear running water in the walls, contact Sky and our trained technicians can employ some advanced tools for finding hidden leaks. If you have high water bills, it may be time to schedule a leak test.
Leak detectors are useful tools for finding leaks in water pipes. You can try a simple leak test on your own, by turning off all faucets and water-using appliances, and checking the water meter over time. If it continues to move, there’s a serious leak. You can also check the meter at intervals several hours apart to check for slower leakage.
Types of Leak Detection
Our plumbing technicians use an array of tools to detect leaks, which include:
- Video Inspection Cameras: A camera, attached to a flexible line, is inserted into your plumbing and drawn through pipes. The video feed is relayed to a monitor where you and your plumber can view it together for visual confirmation of leaks/pipe damage.
- Acoustic Detection: If a wall or slab leak is suspected, a ground microphone is used to listen for the telltale sounds of a leak. A plumber can then perform repairs at the source. Acoustic amplification can be used when plumbing leaks are too quiet to hear with standard equipment.
- Infrared Detection: A sensitive optical sensor is used to find IR radiation. Leaking water is a different temperature than its surrounding environment, so an infrared leak detector can accurately find a leak, which makes it a popular leak detection
Mass spectrometers, lasers, and hydrostatic testing methods can also be used to find leaks. Smoke testing is sometimes used with residential plumbing systems. Using artificial smoke, a plumber can identify leak points such as cracks or loose pipe joints.
How the Professionals Approach It
Leak detection is a common process. It’s often employed during foundation repair. Water can build up in parts of the soil and cause it to expand and contract under the foundation, causing it to shift. Depending on the device, it may just show that there is a leak. Other testing equipment may be needed to find exactly where it is.
Detecting leaks in sewers requires locating the clean out, inserting a balloon, and inflating it, using a pump, within the sewer line. The sewer is then filled with water. If the water level falls after the pipe is blocked off, a leak is present.
A plumber can also screw a pressure gauge onto a tap in your house. To do this, they’ll check for dripping/leaking fixtures; if all seems okay, they’ll turn off the water meter and check the gauge. If the pressure holds steady, there’s no leak, but if it falls then there is a problem. Once the presence of a leak is known, a plumber will then work to find the source.
What Does Leak Detection Cost?
According to Angi, detecting a slab leak can cost from $150 to $400 (actual slab leak repair can cost well over $2,000). Plumbers often include the cost of detecting a leak in the total price. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to find a leak, adding to the expenses. When you consult with a plumbing company, they should promptly use leak detecting equipment to help avoid more damage and higher costs.
Contact Us Today
Sky Heating, AC, Plumbing, and Electrical offers leak detection in Portland as well as fast pipe repair. Licensed, bonded, and insured, we’re equipped with the latest tools and techniques to achieve fast, high-quality results. If a leak is suspected in your kitchen, bathroom, or elsewhere in your home, schedule leak detection near you online or call 888-627-1257 today!