Leak Detection Frequently Asked Questions
What causes leaks?
There are many contributing factors that may cause leaks to occur. A few of the more prevalent issues are:
- Water pressure
- Poor workmanship / Poor installation
- Soil conditions
- Accidental breaks during excavation/drilling
How much water can you lose?
Water loss varies based on the size of the pipe, pressure and the size of the hole/break. For example, a 1/8” hole in a 4” pipe at 60psi can lose 296,000 gallons of water over a 3 month period.
How do I know I have a leak and what are some indications to watch for?
Some indications to look for when you suspect a leak are:
- Water pooling on the ground surface
- Areas of landscape/lawns that are abnormally lush and green
- Heaving, cracking, sinking or potholes
- Unusual coloration / damp soil
- A drop in water pressure or flow volume
- A sudden problem with rusty water, dirt or air in the water supply
- Unexplained increase in water use
- Water use that has been steadily climbing
- A moving leak indicator on the water meter when all water use is off
How does Atlantic Leak Detection locate leaks?
There are several methods we use to locate leaks. Our common techniques include sounding (ground mics), noise correlators, pressure testing and helium detection.
How much does it cost to locate a leak?
The rates may vary based on whether it is commercial or residential, location and length of time to locate. Call today for a free estimate.
What information do I need in order to successfully locate a leak?
The more information we have, the higher the rate of success when performing a leak detection. Before we arrive we ask for some important information to be gathered. Some of the more important information is:
- Location of the pipe(s).
- What is the pipe made of?
- What is the diameter of the pipe?
- What are the locations of the valves?
- Are the valve boxes cleaned out and the valves visible?
- What kind of drawings or utility maps are available to us?
What factors can interfere with leak detection?
Conditions that interfere with the normal flow of water can produce noise and vibrations similar to those caused by actual water leaks. Therefore any extraneous noise may affect the outcome of a leak survey/detection. Examples of noises which may have an affect are:
- Water usage at the time of the leak detection
- Environmental noise (wind, rain, etc.)
- Traffic noise
- Other nearby utilities
Does Atlantic Leak Detection repair leaks?
We do not repair water mains, transmission lines, services lines or any other plumbing related issues. Please contact your local licensed plumbing contractor or simply ask us for a referral in your area. We work with many licensed and reputable plumbing contractors and would be happy to recommend one to you.
How does Atlantic Leak Detection locate the pipe if there are no drawings/surveys?
Here at Atlantic we are also Private Utility Locators. We can locate and markout all subsurface utilities including Iron, copper, AC pipe and plastic waterlines using technology such as GPR, EM and Ferromagnetic locators.
What is sounding?
Sounding is the term used when listening through a ground mic system. The process of “sounding” is listening for leak noise(s) via direct contact to any appurtenances of the water system and through the ground immediately above the buried components. The mics are designed to amplify the noise generated by water escaping from buried supply pipes under pressure.
What is leak/noise correlation?
Sound sensors are placed in contact with the pipe, at two or more points, to record the sound emitted by a leak somewhere between the points. The sound data is processed through a mathematical algorithm which compares or correlates the two recordings to determine the difference in the times it takes noise to travel from the site of the leak to each of the sensors. If the distance between the sensors is known in advance, this timing information can be used to determine the location of the leak. Leak correlators require accurate information about the materials through which the leak sound is traveling in order to perform an accurate time calculation. Most leak correlators serve two major purposes. First is to detect the presence of a leak, second to pinpoint the location of the leak for repair when detected.
What is logging?
Loggers are sensors that are strategically placed on access points along a water distribution system similar to the way a correlation is performed as described above. Prior to the deployment of the loggers, they are programmed to record noise levels at a specified time during each 24 hour period of the deployment. The loggers will “listen” for 5 minutes at the specified time and if a noise falls in the range of a “leak noise”, the logger will then reactivate after 1 hour to verify that noise. Most loggers will store up to the latest 28 days of data. Upon retrieval of the loggers they will transmit their findings as “Leak” or “No Leak” to a receiver. Once the data is collected a determination can be made if further analysis is necessary.