A plumbing leak is disruptive and destructive to your home—and many last a long time before they’re detected. The longer leaks go undetected, the more likely they are to damage your property, become costlier to repair, and even affect your household’s health. Leaks don’t go away on their own. If you think you have a leak at your home, you must quickly determine where it’s coming from. Since no two leaks are alike, it’s important to hire a plumber who uses more than one leak detection method.
Below, you’ll learn more about some of the leak detection methods licensed plumbers use and which are best for your situation.
Method #1: Video Inspection Leak Detection
You want plumbers to use the most precise leak detection method possible. No leak detection method is more exact than a video camera inspection. You might think video inspections only work for leaks in underground pipes like sewer pipes or main water lines. While this leak detection method works well in identifying these types of leaks, they are also highly effective in locating leaks in faucets.
With this leak detection method, the plumber uses a small camera affixed to flexible fiber optic cables. They determine an insertion point and thread the camera through the pipe. As the camera moves through the pipe, it relays real-time images to a monitor you and the plumber view together. With this method, the plumber can determine the following:
- Condition of the pipe
- Location of the leak
- Severity of the leak
The camera helps the plumber see leaks that aren’t visible to the naked eye outside the pipe. It also helps them formulate a repair plan to stop the leak once and for all.
Method #2: Ground Microphones
One of the most basic leak detection tools plumbers use are ground microphones, often called listening discs. Sound technology allows plumbers to pinpoint the exact location of water leaks in pipes behind cabinets, drywall, and even concrete slabs. You’ll know a plumber is using ground microphones or listening discs if they’re wearing headphones and have the disc or microphone pressed against a surface.
What is the technician listening for? They’re listening for the sound of running water. A skilled technician should be able to detect even the slightest leak while using this technology. If the technician attempts to locate a leak through hard surfaces, such as brick, concrete, or stone, they will likely use deck plates for more accurate detection. Plumbers use sound technology because it gives them more information about the leak’s location and reduces the need for removing unnecessary amounts of concrete, drywall, or other solid surfaces to find the leak.
Method #3: Thermal Imaging Cameras
It’s easier for plumbers to locate leaky hot water pipes behind walls, under floorboards, and beneath concrete slabs using thermal image cameras. Your plumber might also refer to this method as heat scanning. Leaks in hot water pipes often go undetected for long periods because they’re not visible to the naked eye. In some cases, you might notice hot spots under your feet while walking over flooring or concrete surfaces. If you notice hot spots, the thermal imaging method is an excellent way for plumbers to identify the exact location of the leak.
Thermal imaging leak detection uses infrared imaging and measurement cameras to detect and measure any thermal energy an object emits. Many plumbers use this technology to find leaks in floors, as previously mentioned, but also in ceilings and flat roofs where moisture meters can’t reach. This leak detection method is ideal for identifying leaks over large areas and doesn’t damage your home.
Method #4: Soil Probing
Sewer leaks are some of the most problematic leaks that affect households. They occur in exterior pipes buried under lawns and exterior concrete surfaces. While video camera inspection equipment is effective at locating leaks in sewer pipes, soil probing is another method plumbers use. This leak detection method requires plumbers to use sound technology to identify pressured leaks through rocks and grass. When the equipment gets closer to the sewer leak, the listening equipment makes a louder noise.
Soil probing requires great listening skills and is a method not all plumbers are effective at using. You want to hire a plumber who is highly experienced using this method and can expertly do the following:
- Identify the type of leak
- Locate the leak’s depth
- Determine the best access method
- Select the best repair method
Why Effective Water Leak Detection Is Important
You want to detect leaks quickly and accurately to protect your property and preserve its value. Here are some reasons why contacting a skilled, experienced plumber for leak detection is important.
Ensure Water Safety
Leaky water pipes make it more likely that your drinking water could become contaminated. Most contaminated water isn’t visible to the naked eye, meaning that your water could look fine coming out of your faucets but actually be unhealthy for your household. Additionally, if your sewer pipe leaks, the entire property could be affected.
Prevent Damage to Your Home and Protect Your Health
The longer leaks go undetected, the more likely it is for significant damage to occur to your home’s dry-walled surfaces, the flooring, and even the foundation. Not only do you face the possibility of high costs in repairing the damage, but there are also health issues to consider. When there’s excess moisture in your home, mold quickly forms and can make the air you breathe in your home unhealthy. Getting reliable and effective leak detection is the best way to protect your home from unnecessary water damage and to ensure better health for your family.
Reliable Water Supply
You rely on your home’s plumbing for bathing, cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry. If you have a leak, you might experience water pressure issues that make it difficult to achieve a reliable water supply. That’s why, at the first sign of inconsistent water pressure, you should hire a plumber to perform one of the leak detection methods mentioned in this article.
Stop Wasting Water
Leaky pipes cost homeowners hundreds of extra dollars each year on their water bills. You want to make sure you’re using the water you’re paying for, not wasting it. If you suspect you have a leak, do yourself and your bank account a favor and schedule leak detection services.
Contact the Leak Detection Professionals
To minimize damage to your home, ensure your household’s safety, and enjoy a reliable supply of water, hire leak detection professionals in Cypress if you have a leaky faucet or a leaky water or sewer pipe. The trained professionals at Beach Plumbing are here to help you keep your home’s plumbing intact to prevent unnecessary water damage. We offer a variety of leak detection methods and other plumbing services including drain cleaning, water line repair and replacement, and trenchless sewer repair. For answers to your most-pressing plumbing questions, call us today!