So you think you have a leak?

Leak DetectionFirst things first –  you need to see if you actually have a leak -> See this checklist

Once you know you have a leak you then need to classify that leak into one of the following 3 categories:

Category 1:  visible leak in a pipe.  Or spray from a possible burst pipe is audible in a specific location

Category 2: leak is not visible and no spray sound can be heard, however it is obvious that there is a leak in a specific area.  This is noticeable by physical damp areas in the ground (if in garden) when there has been no rain/irrigation on the area for at least 2 days.  Or wall surrounding a pipe in bathroom/kitchen is clearly damp or wet.

Category 3: Leak is not visible at all, with the only indicating factors being an increased water bill and/or rising damp over a fairly large area.

So the question arises, Do you need a leak detection specialist to come out?

For Category 1 leaks:

  • No detection is required.  However it is advised to call a plumber to isolate the leak and make a repair.  A leak that is clearly visible is usually a severe leak, and it is advised to call a plumber in your area as soon as possible.  Remember, leak detections are expensive and for a level 1 leak, you do not need a specialist to perform detection.  Only a plumber for repairs.

For Category 2 leaks:

  • A leak detection may be required in the following circumstances:
    • You have no idea where the water reticulation pipes are running in your walls
    • The pipes are leaking in an area where there may be other pipes serving a different purpose (In the case of a unit in a security complex – the pipes in a unit are sometimes shared with adjacent units in the same block)
    • The area of damp or water retention is large and may be considered a result of a rising water table

For Category 3 leaks:

  • A Specialist is definitely required to come out and perform a leak detection.  It is however extremely important to first establish whether the specialist has the correct equipment and experience for the Job. See below for a list of important questions to ask your leak detection specialist before accepting his quote

To Summarise:

  • You don’t always need a specialist leak detector when you have a leak.
  • When you definitely need a leak detection specialist there are a few key questions to ask before giving the go ahead.  These include
    • What equipment do you use?
    • How many years’ experience do you have – 5 years would be a minimum standard to ensure quick detections to save time and money  – on hourly rates used.
    • Will you be making use of a ground microphone?  (known as a Stetaphon)
    • How do you bill? – It is essential to know if and when the specialist is charging per hour and at what point he will be charging for gas usage (If using tracing gas)
    • Do you have the ability to use tracing gas in the detection process (this involves the pumping of a hydrogen based Formin gas into the water reticulation system and using a “sniffer” to detect the gas – and hence the leak)
    • Do you make use of thermal imaging equipment? This is not generally used in the industry and relates more to the finding of leaks on and industrial scale (factories and the like)
    • Do you also facilitate for the repairs? It is a good idea to use the same company for the repairs.  This ensures:
      • Responsibility linked to 1 company
      • Guarantee of workmanship
      • Less back and forth communication between client and 2 companies

Leak detection Services:

  • For a complete analysis of our leak detection services please click here



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