How to avoid relaying the whole pipe when locating a hidden water leak
January 23, 2017
In addition to the cost of the wasted water a leaking pipe can cause two big problems – the first is the damage caused by the leak and the second is the disruption involved with finding the leak and relaying the pipe work to fix it. But now, new technology has meant that the second part of the process is far less dramatic than in the past.
Old versus new
Previously, when there was a leak, entire sections had to be lifted to be investigated and then to have the pipe relayed. This meant lifting concrete or tarmac to access the pipe then replacing it once the source of the leak was found and repaired. This could make for a costly and time consuming project.
Now, new technology is available that takes the randomness away from the job and can find the leak without the need to relay the whole pipe or to engage in any kind of cutting or capping, saving money and time. It means the work is more accurate and takes much less time, reducing costs associated with it.
How it works
Ferret Technology is the leading creator of hydraulic leak locating equipment in the UK and their Ferret leak locator is ideal for the task of quick and efficient leak detection. The system uses a simple hydraulic process to find the leak, powered by the water pressure in the pipe, so there are no complicated and expensive systems required.
A robust balloon, called a Ferret Head, is placed in the leaking pipe, attached to the main system through an umbilical cord. It is deflated so that water in the pipe can move around it. The balloon is then inflated in order that the pressure in it is higher than in the leaking pipe, effectively blocking the pipe so no water can pass.
The pressure in the head is then adjusted so it moves along the pipe slowly and when it reaches the leak, some of the water escapes with force. The drop in pressure stops the head moving so that operators can easily see where the leak is.
The system also has several built-in features to further eliminate the need for guess work on the part of the tradesmen involved. These include an electronic control system that makes the Ferret simple to use and continuously monitors both flow and pressure sensors to demonstrate when a leak is found. This allows it to find even tiny leaks. It also has a built-in tracer on the device to easily allow its location to be checked.