Water leaks are bad for your home and for your water bill. A high water bill may be your first clue to a leak somewhere in your home. Water might be leaking behind a wall, above the ceiling, under the floor, under your foundation slab, or under the ground outdoors. It may be impossible for you to locate the leak, and you don't want to start digging holes and opening walls. Instead, you can call a leak detection plumber. Here are some ways leak detection can be done.
Use A Thermal Camera
A thermal, or infrared, camera is helpful for finding leaks since the water that's leaking is either cooler or hotter than the building materials and air around it. The plumber can scan the walls, floor, and ceiling in your home to look for hot and cold spots. Since water spreads a long way when it's leaking from a pipe, the plumber might notice streaks of contrasting color all along a wall or over the ceiling above. The camera not only helps find the source of the leak, but it also detects where water has spread and where water damage might be present.
Check With A Moisture Meter
Moisture meters aren't very expensive, so you might want to buy one for your own use and to hunt down leaks when you think your home has one. A moisture meter may not pick up all leaks or find the source of leaks, but it identifies areas where moisture is excessive. That gives you a starting place to look for the leak.
Visualize With A Camera
Tiny cameras are useful for leak detection. Your plumber can send a camera down a pipe to look for signs of a water leak. This is helpful when a pipe is hidden and the plumber doesn't want to dig it up just to see if there might be a leak present. Small cameras can even be placed through small holes in the wall to see what's going on behind walls or under flooring.
Listen With A Sound Detector
One of the best ways to pinpoint the area of a leaky pipe is with sound equipment. The plumber can walk over the length of the pipe with a listening device and find a leak under a floor or under the ground that's out of sight. That's because the area where water is rushing out has a different sound. However, finding and following a buried pipe can be tricky, so the plumber needs to use pipe locating equipment so they know where to listen for the leak.
Run Leak Tests
If easier methods don't work, your plumber can run more sophisticated tests to find a pipe leak. One test involves running helium in a pipe and then using a helium detector to find where the helium is leaking out. Another test involves looking for leaks in pipes one at a time by filling a pipe with water and sealing it off while monitoring for a drop in the water level. When the water level drops, the plumber has found the bad pipe.