The construction of any Commercial facility implies the laying of engineering systems. However, sometimes water leaks happen. If water leak is found in an open area, then the problem can be quickly solved. A completely different case is a hidden water leaks that happened on the track outside the building, in walls or in commercial building foundation. And in this case, you need to know how to find a leak in the water pipe, because water leaks to serious problems – higher water consumption, lower pressure in the system and cost. Calling professionals is the first option that can and should be considered by the commercial building owners. This will significantly reduce the loss of time and money. Moreover, it is important not only to find, but also to remove the consequences of water leak. Water in the wall insulation or foundation is a time bomb, the effects in the form of mold can appear in some cases after more than half a year.
The danger of water leaks
Since new pipes are devoid of many of the disadvantages of the previous, metal pipes, plumbing systems are considered to be quite reliable. However, even they are not perfect: leaks can occur, since too many factors affect the durability and the service life of any product sooner or later comes to an end.
How to find water pipe leak underground: 1 solution options
This is one of the most unpleasant pipeline breakdowns. In some cases, a defect that appears is detected quickly: an accident is indicated by water running from the ground with a fountain. But sometimes the pipeline does not give such a clue, so the search is seriously complicated. Without detecting water leak, it naturally cannot be eliminated.
In the old days, a simple but very laborious method was used. At the site of the alleged accident, the entire pipeline was dug, but the result was not always achieved. Such events turned out to be very expencive, moreover, it was necessary to turn off the water supply for a long time, block commercial facility, etc.
The question of how to find a leak in a water pipe underground on commercial property is still relevant. Small water leaks are especially insidious, making it impossible to quickly determine that there is a problem with the system. To understand the reason, to find and eliminate such a defect, it takes a lot of time and effort.
Therefore, at the first warning sign – a drop in pressure in the water supply system, even a slight one, one can begin to suspect a hidden water leak. If you do not pay attention to the possible problem, then over time, a small hole will enlarge, and a small leak will turn into a big source of trouble.
How to find water pipe leak underground: 2 solution options
Detection an underground water leak on commercial property, especially a small one, is quite problematic. But the consequences will not be long in coming. First, the soil of the emergency section will be oversaturated with moisture, then the complete destruction of the pipeline will occur.
How can you find a water pipe underground
Sometimes the question of how to find a breakthrough in a water pipe underground is not the main one. The reason is the owners’ ignorance about where exactly this communication runs on the site. And in this case, first they need to find out the exact location of the water supply system, and only then look for a defect in the route.
How to find water pipe leak underground: 3 solution options
1) Contacting the administrative body – the department of architecture and construction. All received certificates, drawings will give all the necessary information: information about all communications, about the depth of their occurrence, about accurate routing with all distances and anchor points.
2) Invitation of representatives of specialized organizations. This solution is the most logical way out, as professionals with all the necessary equipment will do the water leak detection quickly and flawlessly. Other advantages are the chance to find communications located at great depth, the guarantee that the contractor gives, and drawing up an accurate plan for a specialist.
3) The last option is to do it yourself.
However, in this case, the method directly depends on the pipe material. The simplest task is faced by those owners whose pipeline is built of metal or metal-plastic products.
Of course, the easiest way out of the situation is to hire professional water leak detector that provides such services..
Finding a traditional, metal pipeline
The first option is a metal detector. However, success will be guaranteed only if the water supply is not too deep: if the distance from the surface is more than 1.5 m, then most likely it will not be possible to find it.
Other types of equipment are designed to locate the hot water pipeline. This is a thermal imager or non-contact thermometer. The first device allows you to find the pipeline with an accuracy of 10-20 mm. A thermometer is an alternative that will find hot water pipes at a depth of several meters.
The problem of plastic water pipes and its solutions
Metal water pipes have a big advantage over plastic products. They can be found relatively easily underground. For plastic competitors, things are a little different.
Difficulty of water leak detection
Polyethylene or polypropylene pipes are distinguished by their minimum weight, ease of installation, no threat of corrosion, and a long service life. But it is rather difficult to detect such hidden connections. Even a shallow bookmark will not allow finding them with a metal detector or locator.
To ensure the safety of plastic pipelines when searching for water leaks, it is recommended to use markings indicating the location of the route. Otherwise, damage to unmarked pipes will become one of the possible scenarios. The consequence may be the replacement of the old highway with new communication networks, and such repairs will be expensive.
What is a leak stream detector?
The principle of operation of the device is the analysis of sound vibrations of soil, water and track walls. It converts these vibrations into acoustic or electrical signals, which are fed to the computer via cable or wireless channels. The operator is responsible for tracking them.
Simple equipment can only find the location of the water leak. The advantage of expensive models of leak detectors is the ability not only to detect a damaged area, but also to determine the severity of the accident. This preliminary assessment gives a chance to quickly eliminate the leak, but at the same time minimize losses.
Acoustic water leak detectors
Any breakthrough of the underground part of the water supply system is accompanied by a leakage of liquid, which, leaving the pipes, creates soil vibrations. An acoustic leak detector equipped with a microphone picks up these vibrations. The device then converts them into electrical signals and determines the exact location of the breakdown.
Some devices provide the ability to electronically filter the signal. It allows you to cut off extraneous noise, to accurately determine the one that creates the flowing water. The higher the degree of filtering, the better the interference suppression. The type of sensors depends on the conditions in which the installation was made. There are devices designed to recognize noise in clay, turf, concrete, ice.
Acoustic water leak detectors without filters are less effective, especially in urban environments where excess noise greatly interferes with accurate diagnostics. Only very experienced operators can work with such devices. There is another type of acoustic device: this is equipment that uses the pseudo-correlation method. They determine the distance to the defect by determining the difference in vibration values.
Any devices, in addition to pluses, have minuses. The disadvantages of such equipment are the relatively low overall sensitivity due to the large amount of acoustic interference.
The best solution is to contact a specialist. This method is not the only one, however, an independent search for water leak on the route of an external pipeline often ends with the same – a call to a company that detects such hidden water leaks.