Compared to fires and break-ins, water leaks cause twice as much damage to homes in the United States. Not only that, but leaks frequently occur inside walls, ceilings, or other inaccessible locations, and you may not even be aware of it until a catastrophe occurs. However, professional leak detection can help you identify a problem before it becomes a major issue for you and your home.
Methods of leak detection
There are many modern methods available for finding hidden leaks in your plumbing and/or sewer system. These are noninvasive and nondestructive, so you do not need to worry about your property getting dug up in the process. The equipment is highly sensitive and finely calibrated to determine the location of the leak with pinpoint accuracy.
Some methods, such as electronic listening devices, locate the leak by sound. This is effective at finding the leak’s general area, at which point a line tracer system determines the exact location by introducing a small electric charge into the water.
Another method of utilizing sound to locate leaks is digital water leak detection. The device used is equipped with a filter to eliminate speech, footsteps, passing vehicles, and other ambient noises. It identifies the sound of a leak quickly with the use of an amplifier.
It is also possible to detect a leak by measuring the pressure in the pipes. One way of accomplishing this is with a hydrostatic pressure test. It involves obstructing the main sewer line with an inflatable ball and then filling the entire plumbing system up to the slab level with water. If this cannot be attained, it is a sign of a leak, as is receding of the water over a period of 20 minutes.
A video camera pipe inspection allows the person performing the test to see directly into the pipes with the use of an infrared camera. There are multiple points in the system at which the camera can be fed into a line, and it allows direct visualization of any obstructions, breaks, or deteriorated pipes.
Some leak detection methods involve more than one approach. For example, slab leak detection involves camera pipe inspection, line tracing, and hydrostatic pressure testing.
Signs of potential water leaks
The signs of a water leak in your home can be subtle, at least at first. You may notice staining, sagging, or other types of damage on ceilings, walls, and floors. You may also receive a water bill that is higher than normal. If so, check it against the reading on your water meter.
Growth of mold and/or mildew can also be a sign of a water leak. However, it is important to observe where the growth occurs. If it is on the wall of a shower or bathroom, that may be a different type of moisture issue. However, if you notice the growth in an area outside the shower, that could indicate a leak.
Don’t wait to address potential leaks
If you see signs like this in your home, some damage has likely already occurred. However, you may be able to prevent the problem from becoming worse by having professional leak detection performed as a first step. Contact us at Southern Air Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to find out more about the services we offer.