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  • Leak detection

    In the last week I had two leak detection jobs. They both have HDPE pipe. What I did was I cut the water line and fed an electricians fish tape down the pipe. Then I energized that so I could locate the pipe with my Ridgid Scout. I marked on the ground where the pipe ran with depth markings, and then hooked it back up.

    On the first job the pipe was outside the home, running under asphalt and concrete the entire way. There were no signs of water anywhere, the line was run between 3' and 5' deep, and the meter showed the leak was well over a gallon a minute. I walked on top of the line with my Goldak leak detector and couldn't hear anything. Getting frustrated, I started drilling 5/8" x 18" deep holes every few feet to see if anything came back wet, but nothing did. Then I started to push all thread into the holes to see which ones went down deeper then I drilled.

    I was able to push the all thread down 5' in one hole, and the dirt looked like it could have been wet. I drilled a few more holes in that area, shoved the all thread back down, and listened to it with the Goldak. I finally was able to hear water flowing. Ended up tearing up the asphalt and digging down 5 feet, and was pretty close to the leak. Got it fixed and all was well.

    I did the second one today. A new development that has the lines from the meter to the home run with HDPE. Traced this line out and find that it doesn't run straight from the meter to the main shut off and PRV in the garage, instead it is run in the same trench as the sewer. So what should have been a roughly 60' straight run is instead a 110' run under most of the house. I didn't have the Goldak on the truck today, so I am going back to the job on Thursday to locate where the leak actually is.

    My question is how would you tackle these leaks? My way works, it just seems to take a really long time. I'm wondering if there isn't a better way that I'm missing.

  • #2
    Re: Leak detection

    what size pipe?

    have you hooked up air to make it loud and bubble?

    ridgid has a new camera called the nano. it will easily slide into the pipe and look for defects and has a sonde.

    almost got 1. but i don't see too many small bore pipes to warrant it.

    in your case, it's a perfect fit and keep it for potable water.

    see if irguy or josh can chime in.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Leak detection

      On the first one I did try using an air compressor along with the water. I think the depth was making it hard for me to find. The second one is only around two feet down, I think it will be easy to find.

      Both are one inch pipes. The first one was iron pipe sized, so that camera might have worked. The second one is copper tube sized. I think that might be too small for that camera.

      Usually when I find the leaks in this HDPE, it's installer error. They nick the pipe, or put large stones on it, and it takes years to develop a leak.

      I should probably go and invest in a nitrogen bottle. This development is around five years old, and a lot of leaks are popping up in these main lines.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Leak detection

        the nano cam will work great for you.

        lets see if josh or guy will chime in.

        if not i have the bat line to call.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Leak detection

          I agree with TM on the nitrogen. You did a great job with the Goldak as 5' is pretty deep for their microphones. Drilling was a good idea but rather than all-thread I use a SS tile probe.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Leak detection

            you should have an answer by morning on the camera.

            i know if it's long enough, it will work like a charm.

            it's all soft poly with no 90's correct?

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Leak detection

              Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
              I agree with TM on the nitrogen. You did a great job with the Goldak as 5' is pretty deep for their microphones. Drilling was a good idea but rather than all-thread I use a SS tile probe.

              Mark
              It was around 110 degrees out when I was doing this last week, and I was getting very pissed off that I could not find this leak. I only ended up hearing the leak when I listened to the all thread after it was five feet down in the ground. I just grabbed the first thing I had on the truck that would let me go deep enough to listen.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Leak detection

                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                you should have an answer by morning on the camera.

                i know if it's long enough, it will work like a charm.

                it's all soft poly with no 90's correct?

                rick.
                I looked at the specs on that camera, and it looks like it will work. So far it's all been soft poly with no fittings except at the start and end.

                I think in the morning I will make some calls and see what they go for. I might wait a little while though, I kinked my microReel cable, and it finally stopped working the other day. Need to see how much that will cost to get the end re-terminated. Fortunately, I will only lose about four feet of cable.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Leak detection

                  nano would work for runs up to 85' as long as its small diameter line. 1" to 1.5" would work best. You could find the leak then locate the camera head. The sonde isn't as powerful as some of our cameras but we can still locate it around 5 ft deep depending on soil conditions.

                  josh

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Leak detection

                    several years ago i had to locate a leak in a 1'' copper line under concrete on a new dog pound. i was able to run my camera inside and spot what looked like the issue. the pipe section was cut off beyond the caged kennel and was pulled out while the new copper was pulled in.

                    the copper defect was so microscopic that you couldn't see it once it was pulled out. once the new pipe was put in the leak stopped.

                    copper was shipped back to the manufacturer who at first denied a claim prior to receiving the copper. once they received it they paid the claim knowing it was not caused by an installation issue/ kink.

                    what's amazing was the pipe held pressure during the ruff for over a month.

                    so although the defect was microscopic from the outside. the inside was a give away with the camera.

                    there will be signs of a leak from the inside as the bore is smooth and at the leak will be a score line. there might even be inflow on a decent split that the camera will pick up on. i think food coloring could be put into the line then washed out. a slight split would get highlighted with the trapped dye.

                    definitely worth a try as it will still give a good location to the pipe.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Leak detection

                      Well I didn't get a chance to locate the second leak. I told the homeowner that the builder should be the one paying for the work because of how new the home is. So they leaned on the builder, and the builder sent out a crew to replace the entire water line. They had to tear out the entrance to the driveway to do it also.

                      The builder is also taking care of my bill for locating the line, and the high water bill due to the leak. Overall, a good outcome for the homeowner.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Leak detection

                        Originally posted by TheMaster
                        I was suprised to see copper in this Hotel.....I thought coppa didn't do well here? I suppose they are treating the water? Good that you atleast made somthing off the job.
                        Copper in the slab and yellow brass does not do well there.

                        Mark
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Leak detection

                          This is what I've been using for the past 5 years. It has worked like a champ for me.

                          Leak-Pro Water Leak Detection Equipment and Training for Leak Probe, leak-pro.com

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