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Thread: OT how to find an underground water leak?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Toronto
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    Default OT how to find an underground water leak?

    This is on an industrial property. Our water consumption has gone up 5x....somewhere there is a leak. Zero visible signs, no bubbling etc and we more or less know from old drawings where the pipes run. Any brilliant ideals on how to locate the leak? We're looking at trenching and running a new line, but it'll 10's of thousands
    .

  2. #2

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    Find a plumber who has this contraption --------------------

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvTwPi0mX4s

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    15,379

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    Now I do know this one is in the search engine somewhere but that was long ago...

    if you can find it I think there's lots of great suggestions --- I would first try my mechanics stethoscope - it's amazing what that thing pics up and it's got the perfect probe for it...

  4. #4
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    Nov 2007
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    Surrey, UK
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    I’ve hired one of these in the past

    http://www.sewerin.co.uk/products/wa.../aquatest-t10/

    The one thing is that you need to work during a “quiet” time; vans and lorries will mask the sound.

    I was out “listening” for my leak about 9 in the evening...

    Cheers
    Batt

  5. #5
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    Huntsville Ala
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    Yes, there are companies that specialize in injecting gas into the system to locate leaks. I had a leak, called a plumber, who in turn connected me with a leak detection outfit, who located the leak, and then the plumber came to fix it. Two separate operations; two separate bills.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    What sort of material is the piping under? Gravel/dirt or a slab? Looking for wet spots/increase plant growth would be tough this year. How much water are we talking? Did you check the flappers on the toilets?

  7. #7
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    Sep 2008
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    Mid-Michigan USA
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    I have a outbuilding about 300 feet away underground line about 4 foot deep feeds it.
    Now I know pretty much how it was routed....took a steel bar maybe 1/2 in diameter
    and added a T handle to it. Walked along poking into the lawn. Found a real soft spot pretty
    quickly. I was within about a foot of the leak when I dug the hole.
    Dave

  8. #8
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    Oct 2015
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    Wyoming
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    There are two ways I've seen it done:

    - acoustic, where the sound of the leak is sought out with a amplified audio transducer that samples the noise through the ground, and you go hunting for the loudest sound.

    - Using an inflatable bung, sometimes called a "ferret" to block off the pipe in question. You then take a pressure reading, then allow the ferret to advance down the pipe, re-pressurize the pipe and take another pressure reading. When the ferret moves past the leak, you'll see that the pipe cannot maintain pressure. You can locate how far along the pipe the leak is, but you have to then correlate that to get a surface location to start digging.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Winchman was the guy with water leak problemo's he used air injection to figure out where his leak was as he kept track of the volume or something like that - I stated i would have just got my stethoscope lol so - at least im consistent with my suggestions as this was many moons ago, and - at least I have not forgotten what I already learned long ago so that makes me feel better...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Mcgyver, how long is the run, and what pipe size? In the not TOO distant past, municipalities developed very effective methods of replacing old lead services with new copper one using a technique of jacking, (hydraulic or air.) They dug up the corporation stop either at the main or service , and at the building, sometimes in the basement. I THINK that they blew a line down the pipe, pulled through a cable and hauled away with the new service. The old one was chopped up as it exited the hole. I think that you can see where they saved big time, both in installation time, service interruption, and remediation.
    I know that the City of Victoria used this method on several hundred services in the seventies. This will not find the leak, but it WILL eliminate it!
    Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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