The process is powered by the water pressure
in the leaking pipe, so running costs are low.
It’s not reliant on leak noise or prior knowledge
of the pipe route to deliver extremely accurate leak locations.
to locate leaks.
A robust balloon called the Ferret is put inside the leaking water pipe. It is attached to the main system by a 50m long umbilical cord
and then deflated so the water in the pipe can get past it to the leak.
The Ferret is then inflated with water. When the pressure
in the Ferret is higher than in the leaking pipe, it blocks
the pipe. No water can get past it to the leak.
The pressure inside the Ferret is reduced. When the
right balance is reached between the pressures in
the Ferret and the leaking pipe, the water in the pipe
pushes the Ferret towards the leak.
The Ferret has line tracing and a 33kHz sonde for end tracing built in. In addition, there are distance marks at
1m intervals on the umbilical cord.
The line of plastic pipes can be mapped. There is a
simple way to calculate the dig depth to the sonde;
no depth measurement facility is required on the pipe tracing equipment to do this.
The Ferret locates leaks to within a few millimetres.
4. Automatic Leak Location
When the Ferret passes a leak, some of the water
in the pipe escapes through the hole. The pressure
force pushing the Ferret drops so that the Ferret
automatically stops moving.
The Ferret can be inserted into the leaking pipe through certain types of meter
box without the need for an excavation.
A range of fittings are available for quickly connecting the Ferret Leak Locator to the leaking pipe.