How Do Plumbers Detect Water Leaks?

A Leaking Pipe

How do plumbers detect water leaks?

Leaks are a common problem plumbers repair. You want to get leaks repaired as soon as possible. When left unchecked, leaks can cause hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of damage. The problem is many leaks remain hidden and leak detection is made difficult because most plumbing pipes are behind walls, under floors, or underground. Plumbers have several techniques and methods to find leaks so they can repair them. 

Among the most reliable methods that plumbers use to detect leaks is with sound equipment. Leaks make distinct noises and can be detected using ground microphones, listening discs, or acoustic listening devices. Plumbers also use video equipment such as specially designed cameras that can be sent down pipes to find the exact location of a leak. Video also allows the plumber to make decisions about repair options. Thermal imaging cameras, which detect variations of heat in a selected area, are especially useful for detecting moisture and leaks behind walls.

All of these methods prevent plumbers from having to dig up yards or break through walls to search out leaks. Fortunately, many repair methods like trenchless repair also require little damage to yards or structures. When you need professional leak detection and repair in San Pedro, CA, look to the trusted team at DRAIN FORCE PLUMBING. We offer a wide range of detection and repair solutions. Book an appointment today by calling (310) 901-2120.

How does leak detection work?

Plumbers often use sound technology for leak detection because leaks make distinctive sounds when water goes through your pipes. A small leak will emit a higher frequency sound than a larger leak, which produces lower-frequency noises. Acoustic listening devices pick up these different frequencies and allow the plumber to mark the location of the leak so repairs can be made. Some of these devices are so sensitive, they can give the plumber an idea of the condition your pipes are in.

How accurate is leak detection?

Before technologies like sound and video equipment became readily available, leak detection often required a lot of guesswork and sometimes extensive excavation. The leak detection equipment and methods that DRAIN FORCE PLUMBING uses is at least 90% accurate when it comes to pinpointing a leak’s location. 

In addition to audio equipment, plumbers use video cameras and thermal imaging devices for leak detection. When it comes to leak detection with camera, video cameras are typically used in sewer lines. Looking for leaks with video equipment can be difficult, especially in sewer lines because other materials can obscure the view. Video cameras, however, are excellent when it comes to finding blockages like tree roots that can cause leaks. Thermal imaging, however, works similarly to audio equipment, and can accurately pinpoint leaks because of differing shades of infrared heat apparent in the pipes.

What is the best water leak detection system?

Several devices have been developed that you can attach to your home plumbing system to help you detect leaks. These devices send alerts to your smartphone to let you know that a leak has been detected. Some of these devices are sophisticated enough that not only do they send you alerts, but they also shut off your water so no further damage can be done by the leak. These devices will require professional installation. 

Leak detectors generally run between $30 to $400. Most consumers prefer the iHome Dual Leak sensor if you just want an inexpensive system to alert you that a leak is present. Moen’s Flo is considered top-of-the-line for devices that will actually shut off your water. 

Can you rent leak detection equipment?

Leak detection equipment can be rented. Usually, however, rental companies only rent the devices business to business. Rarely do they rent out equipment to individuals. 

How do I find a water leak in my wall?

Whether water gets behind walls because of a pipe leak, roof leak, or even a foundation leak, finding the source of a leak can be difficult. Some things to look for or be alert to include:

  • Puddles or wet carpeting near the wall
  • Outer surface of wall is discolored or looks washed out
  • Bubbles forming in paint or wallpaper or other change in wall’s texture
  • Mold or mildew growth along the wall 
  • Musty odors
  • Sounds of dripping after shower or sink are turned off or after toilet is flushed
  • An increase in your water bill

Leak detection for pools

Detecting a leak in your pool can be difficult because water levels can be affected by the environment. But, if your pool is consistently losing more than a quarter of an inch daily, you might have a leak. Stay alert to these signs as well for pool leak detection:

  • Cracks around the deck
  • The need to add water more than once weekly 
  • Soggy grass around the pool
  • Deck shows signs of lifting or sinking
A Leak Under a Toilet

Leak detection near me

If you are concerned you might have a leak and want an expert team for leak detection in San Pedro, CA, you can always rely on the team at DRAIN FORCE PLUMBING. We provide several solutions to help find and repair leaks. Find out more or book an appointment by calling (310) 901-2120.