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How to detect an underground leak in a water pipe

pipe leak

Detecting an underground leak can prove difficult with concrete and buildings above the water pipe, creating an immediate obstruction to leak detection. Many commercial methods have been tried and tested to find the most effective way to leak finding, with many utilities companies using labour intensive ways such as cutting and capping or relaying the whole pipe.

However, these are not always accurate and can cost plumbing companies large sums of money for inaccurately dug holes, not to mention waste both company and customer time.

Locating leaks with hydraulics

Hydraulic processes are much more effective at detecting leaks in underground water pipes that are difficult to access. Water pressure in the leaking pipe can power the hydraulics, meaning low running costs for the equipment, as well as less customer disruption. No knowledge of the pipe route is necessary, nor do you need to listen out for leak noise to pinpoint the leak location.

Hydraulic Ferret

The Ferret Leak Locator device uses hydraulics to trace a leak within millimetres. The Ferret Head is placed inside the pipe, which is effectively a deflated balloon attached to a long cord, allowing for water to get past it. Once the Ferret Head is inflated with water, the pressure is higher than in the water pipe so no water can pass. This creates a water tight space for the Ferret Head to then move through the pipe and towards the leak.

Leak detection

You’ll know when the Ferret has found the leak as the pressure powering it through the water pipe will drop suddenly and stop the device in its tracks. The electronic control system (ECU) will show when the pressure has dropped so you can be sure you’ll be digging in exactly the right place.

The Ferret Leak Detector makes detecting underground leaks much simpler, providing your customers with a better service. If you’d like to find out more about our effective hydraulic system, please get in touch by giving us a call on 0800 292 2835 or you can fill in our contact form and we will get back to you.

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