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Thread: O/T: How to find an Underground Water Leak

  1. #71
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    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ligito
    And when the balloon falls off inside the pipe?

    I think it would be safe to assume that the balloon would be deflated at that point, thus no greater impediment than the rest of the material flowing through the pipe......and easily retrievable.
    Wayne

  2. #72
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    Jan 2003
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    At the risk of reviving this thread, I want to thank all who took the time to offer assistance with their ideas. I did try many of the suggestions, but to no avail. I also had the old line 'witched' by a self anointed 'expert'. His accuracy increased markedly once I showed him where the line was approximately buried .

    Sooooooo, I did take one suggestion to heart. I'm now installing a new line and using the "opportunity" to make other needed improvements.

    Again, thanks to all,

    Fred

  3. #73
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    May 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pherdie View Post
    At the risk of reviving this thread, I want to thank all who took the time to offer assistance with their ideas. I did try many of the suggestions, but to no avail. I also had the old line 'witched' by a self anointed 'expert'. His accuracy increased markedly once I showed him where the line was approximately buried .

    Sooooooo, I did take one suggestion to heart. I'm now installing a new line and using the "opportunity" to make other needed improvements.

    Again, thanks to all,

    Fred
    It is too bad that no one thought of the simplest & least expensive solution: Use electricity to find the leak
    1) PVC pipe is an insulator
    2) Water conducts AC electricity
    3) Wet soil conducts electricity

    Simply install a 24 Volt transformer at the well pump, between the metal water faucet and a ground probe (such as rebar) pounded 4 feet into the earth. If your well pump is inside a metal casing, use that for your transformer ground connection.
    Run a long wire from the above ground connection to 1 wire on your multi-meter.
    Connect the 2nd wire on the multimeter to a metal ground probe.

    Now just walk around probing the earth for the maximum AC voltage. When you find the peak voltage, that is where to dig for the water leak. You can zero into the best spot to dig by placing a resistor across the wires of the meter. Use a 1,000 ohm potentiometer. This provides an adjustable load to the current coming through the wet soil, where the wettest soil carries the highest current (and voltage).

    Grizz71

  4. #74
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    Mar 2005
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    you will not be able to listen for the leak because its a PVC pipe the leak from that is very quiet unlike a cast iron or steel pipe

    there was a bit on the news here in the UK about a water company that had invested in some new gear to solve that very problem

    Stuart

  5. #75
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    May 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackadder View Post
    you will not be able to listen for the leak because its a PVC pipe the leak from that is very quiet unlike a cast iron or steel pipe

    there was a bit on the news here in the UK about a water company that had invested in some new gear to solve that very problem

    Stuart
    Stuart,
    You don't have to listen to the pipe. That is silly. Simply measure for voltage at the leak site if it is a PVC Pipe:
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...312#post920312

    Grizz71

  6. #76
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    WE had a leak two years ago. It was in the line from our well to the house. 1000 meters of plastic pipe with one shutoff at the lowest point in the middle of the run. I hired a man to come find the leak. He had a bunch of very sophisticated equipment and found the leak pretty quickly. He did the helium thing. Also he had some machine with a stethoscope and he let me listen. It was quite clear to hear. Was very interesting to watch him work. He found the leak within two meters of the hole in the pipe. When I dug with my excavator as I got near the place where he said the leak was the water started shooting 30 feet in the air. I was impressed. The town manager recommended him to me. The bill came to a little over 500 Euros if I remember correctly. I am a little foggy on the details but I remember I was very impressed and happy to pay him.
    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

  7. #77
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    Mar 2005
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    Oroville, WA
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    Everyone stopped thinking about the problem in April of 2011 when this thread went quiet.

  8. #78
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    Sep 2006
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    Big Prairie Mi.
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    Actually, I'll give a thank you to whoever resurrected the thread, I need to find a leak in my main line from the pump, so this gave me a few ideas to use!
    Last edited by kendall; 05-20-2014 at 12:50 PM.

  9. #79
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    Jun 2009
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    san jose, ca. usa
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    it's not the rods that make the dowser, it's the dowser that makes the rods work.

  10. #80
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    Apr 2014
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    Grizz71,

    I'd like to read more on your suggestion. Is there a name (or a search term), or a website that describes the process?

    I frequent a backyard ice rink builder's group (and build one myself), and leaks are unfortunately common. The closer we get to finding the source, the less ice needs to be broken up to fix it.

    Puckdropper

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