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  • tracing pipes in slab

    Hi,
    Would you pros please point me to some tools and technique to trace pipes that are in slab.

    I am renovating the main floor bathroom and I can see many pipes coming out of the slab. I would like to find which one goes where so in case there is a leak in the future, I can easily terminate that line.

    I heard of using "transmitter" to energize ...something and I do not know the nature of the tool. Please help.
    Thanks....

  • #2
    Re: tracing pipes in slab

    Hello Mr X ,I rely on my flir thermal imager for all those jobs really a great tool. Tony

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: tracing pipes in slab

      Originally posted by tony's plumbing View Post
      Hello Mr X ,I rely on my flir thermal imager for all those jobs really a great tool. Tony
      Tony,


      I had a FLIR imager at one point when I was offering thermographic surveys of electrical switchgear and building envelope surveys. (I am also a certified thermographer besides being a plumber) With my gear I could tell people where the nails were under the paint in the siding because their thermal conductivity varied from surrounding materials. But I was never able to normally see underground waste lines.

      So I'm curious how you could get your infrared imager to show waste lines buried under a slab in a home. Do you run lots and lots of hot water in the lines to try and raise the temperature of the pipe, then the soil above it, then the slab? When I've tried the water heater ran cold before I saw results. (my imager had .1 degree temp resolution) My imager picked up subsoil piping buried four feet deep but they were constantly hot steam lines running from one building to another. I've never seen it work on plumbing waste lines.

      So pleeeeease, what's the secret?
      Time flies like an arrow.

      Fruit flies like a banana.

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      • #4
        Re: tracing pipes in slab

        Hello Mr X ,sorry for the late response but i have a fliir i -7 completly reliable plumbing tool,you did not mention sub tile,but even so i just use a heat accelerator in the 2' -4' drain with great results ie soda castic solution or drain opener. Tony

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: tracing pipes in slab

          Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
          Tony,


          I had a FLIR imager at one point when I was offering thermographic surveys of electrical switchgear and building envelope surveys. (I am also a certified thermographer besides being a plumber) With my gear I could tell people where the nails were under the paint in the siding because their thermal conductivity varied from surrounding materials. But I was never able to normally see underground waste lines.

          So I'm curious how you could get your infrared imager to show waste lines buried under a slab in a home. Do you run lots and lots of hot water in the lines to try and raise the temperature of the pipe, then the soil above it, then the slab? When I've tried the water heater ran cold before I saw results. (my imager had .1 degree temp resolution) My imager picked up subsoil piping buried four feet deep but they were constantly hot steam lines running from one building to another. I've never seen it work on plumbing waste lines.

          So pleeeeease, what's the secret?
          I had a slab leak once. There where a dozen other plumbers doing all sorts of things to trace it down opening the slab and missing the mark. Now I noticed it was a hot water leak, and a big one. So what I did was shut down the boiler for the night so the 50ยบ water flowed below the slab. I then took thermo readings of the tile floor in the area where the floor was super heated when the heater was running. It was the same temp as the cold water supply. Then I fired up the boiler and kept taking temps and noticed where the temp started to rise the fastest.

          We opened up the floor and I was off by a whole 6" from the actual leak. But I do know what you mean about the waste lines. It is very hard to get a reading on it.
          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: tracing pipes in slab

            i use my infrared thermometer to locate overhead waste lines from the ground.

            i will run hot water down the waste riser i want to locate. then go into the lower level and aim my ir thermometer with laser at the overhead piping. pretty simple to spot the hotter pipe.

            this allows me to verify the line is clear and running free, or also allows me to spot the riser i'm looking for. no ladders needed as i can point and aim from the ground. i get readings on both the hot waste and normal waste lines and compare.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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