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Thread: Water Leak Detection

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Talking Water Leak Detection

    Looking for a water leak detector.

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    Senior Member locator_smbk's Avatar
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    A soft spot in the ground works pretty good, especially if they are like the "water leaks" in my area. I located one last week, and the homeowner that was about to get his front yard destroyed by the water department came out and told me that main had been leaking there for 8 years.

    He even had pictures to prove it. He took 1 picture every month for 8 years....then he went to the county complaining about the rising costs of water and water service...
    "No, installing your fence is NOT an emergency"...

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    "It's call BEFORE you dig, not AFTER you've hit something."


    Yes, my avatar does describe my attitude towards many others...

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    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UULC View Post
    Looking for a water leak detector.


    Hey there UULC:

    Yet something else on this forum I have never heard of. Man this place has proven to be a learning experience for me!

    So,

    1) how does this device work. Without surface indication of wetness,
    how does it tell you where the leak is?


    2) Any chance you could post a picture or web link so I can get a visual
    sense of what you are looking for?

    After posting this message I Googled "water leak detection" which lead me to the Cdn gov't research council site and found some info and a slide presentation about water leak detection at the following URL:
    http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/ui/bu/LFrt1_viewlet_swf.html


    Man, as I get older I find there is always lots of stuff I do not know. How did I get so dumb in my senior years. Creeping senility I guess...creeping senility I guess (did I say that already).
    Last edited by underground quester; May 31st, 2008 at 07:16 AM.

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by underground quester View Post
    Hey there UULC:

    Yet something else on this forum I have never heard of. Man this place has proven to be a learning experience for me!

    So,

    1) how does this device work. Without surface indication of wetness,
    how does it tell you where the leak is?


    2) Any chance you could post a picture or web link so I can get a visual
    sense of what you are looking for?

    After posting this message I Googled "water leak detection" which lead me to the Cdn gov't research council site and found some info and a slide presentation about water leak detection at the following URL:
    http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/ui/bu/LFrt1_viewlet_swf.html


    Man, as I get older I find there is always lots of stuff I do not know. How did I get so dumb in my senior years. Creeping senility I guess...creeping senility I guess (did I say that already).
    Having worked for a county goverment for 17 years in the utilities department, I can tell you that a leak can show up on the ground 20-30 feet away from the the line actually has a hole in it. Her in Florida, The ground is so hard and has a lot of shell the leak will travel a great distance until it finds a easy way to the surface.

    A leak detector uses acoustic sound and you pick up the sound with a set of headphones. It is basically a stephiscope on streiods with some electronics. You would walk and keep putting the cup to ground until the sound is strong and then you know where to dig. I have found many time the utilities will whit line where the leak is only to find out the actual leak is 20' away.

    A good detector is between $1,000-$2,000/ I'am hoping to find a newused one.

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    Moderator Goldenboy's Avatar
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    You could use a semi truck to find the leak. That's what they used at a call out a had last year.


    Seriously though here's one you might want to keep an eye on. Otherwise just do a search with water leak detector on ebay. There's actually quite a few on there.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/HEATH-AQUA-SCOPE...QQcmdZViewItem

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    ug quester ....i'am like you i didn't even know that existed.....

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    Default Re: Water Leak Detection

    Quote Originally Posted by locator_smbk View Post
    A soft spot in the ground works pretty good, especially if they are like the "water leaks" in my area. I located one last week, and the homeowner that was about to get his front yard destroyed by the water department came out and told me that main had been leaking there for 8 years.

    He even had pictures to prove it. He took 1 picture every month for 8 years....then he went to the county complaining about the rising costs of water and water service...

    That is awesome...I bet he kept calling and they blew him off....I hope he gets something out of it.

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    Wag
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    Default Re: Water Leak Detection

    Had 2 emergencies called in last week: 1st one on Monday morn. for address X. Water main break in street at rear-easement ditch crossing. No water on N. side, lots of water coming out S. side. So water main must be broken under street at ditch, right? On Tues. morning I get another emergency for water main break 3 BLOCKS away. Apparently they were just about to dig on Mon. when they found out (I guess by using this kind of sound locating equip.) the leak was not there, but 3 blocks away, and before it could get to the surface there, it got into an old clay-tile field drain and didn't surface for about 600ft.

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    Default Re: Water Leak Detection

    The LD12 Subsurface Water Leak Detector is the best I've used.

    www.subsurfaceleak.com

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    Default Re: Water Leak Detection

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy View Post
    You could use a semi truck to find the leak. That's what they used at a call out a had last year.
    LOL! Saw a town truck that did that sanding an ice patch from the leak last year, Town truck, WITH plow, WITH a full load of sand!!

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    Senior Member Dave72's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Leak Detection

    I saw a demo setup with the city water guys a few yrs back, and im pretty sure they were telling me that they only needed 2 access points to the water, at some distance apart. Two listening devices get clamped to the water pipes, and communicate with a base unit via radio link. You put in a basic schematic of the pipes and the unit syncronizes the sound of the 2 distances to leak (from the sensors), and determines how far the leak is from each sensor.
    (May you live in interesting times)

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    Default Re: Water Leak Detection

    This is a leak correlator. The instrument measures the time of transit difference between two leaks signals with a common origin point (the leak). I have been doing this type of testing for nearly 20 years. Most acoustical instruments have limited value. Correlation is the best available technique for most pressurized systems. Plastic pipes can be a limitation, depending on the instrument capabilities and nature of the system.

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    Default Re: Water Leak Detection

    G'Day,

    We use a "Sewerin Aquaphone A100" with pretty good success. Probably nail about 90% of leaks with this system.

    Sewerin have representation in the US at : http://www.sewerin.com

    Method is not an exacting science and the more experience you can get the better you will become. Unfortunately, here you may go weeks between leak detection jobs.

    Good luck with it.

    Cheers
    Jeff

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    Default Re: Water Leak Detection

    Quote Originally Posted by Gas Man View Post
    G'Day,

    We use a "Sewerin Aquaphone A100" with pretty good success. Probably nail about 90% of leaks with this system.

    Sewerin have representation in the US at : http://www.sewerin.com

    Method is not an exacting science and the more experience you can get the better you will become. Unfortunately, here you may go weeks between leak detection jobs.

    Good luck with it.

    Cheers
    Jeff
    What kind of leaks are you finding with the A100. My experience with ground mics is generally dismal. Occasional success, but generally useless. I do all sorts of hot, domestic and closed loop system leaks. We use vibration sensors to determine where to conduct correlation, but it is very seldom that we can detect a leak in the ground directly with a ground mic. Presently, for a ground mic, I am using a metrotech HL5000-4. I also use seismic accelerometers through a spectrum analyzer with a bypass for extracting the sound. My system produces far superior sound quality and performs better on direct connect to pipes. The HL5000-4 has greater amplification than my system and the ground mic offers better rejection of wind and other ambient sound sources. Nevertheless, I rarely hear anything useful through the ground.

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    Junior Member Gas Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Leak Detection

    G’Day Testtech,

    Sorry to hear that you have difficulties with ground mic’s. Not sure of some of the terminology that you are using, but we find a variety of water leaks including:
    • Domestic property leaks – between the water meter on the boundary and the house.
    • Commercial properties – within factory units – the last one through a 12” concrete slab.
    • Many around shopping centers.
    • As well as fire hydrant services around commercial premises – these have to date been new installations that have failed the fire service testing prior to operation.

    Most of the time we would be on-site with a plumber who is familiar with the installation, however if this is not the case then prior to “listening” for the leak we need to locate the service. Unfortunately many of our water services are PVC in construction and they need to be “rodded” to locate – do you rod PVC over there to locate???

    Once you have the location of the service it is usually matter of “walking the line” a number of times listening and taking measurement every meter or so (yard). You can usually find the noisiest point along the line.

    Another method that we use is to pump the line up with compressed air and listen for the air escaping. This I have found successful with small leaks in larger diameter pipes.

    As you mention – wind noise and other ambient noise is often difficult to eliminate, but the “Aquaphone” has many frequency setting and usually with a little adjusting most of the wind noise can be eliminated. As for ambient noise, we usually do any commercial leak detection at night (2 to 3am) thus trying to find the quietest time possible.

    I still feel that this is not an exacting art and practice is the key to achieving a reasonable result. We fully brief the customer of this prior to commencing the job, and offer a free return service if we do not find the problem.

    Good luck
    Jeff
    Underground Service Locating
    www.provac.net.au

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