Household Water Leaks

Understanding The Different Methods Of Leak Detection

A leak is a serious matter. If you have a leaking incoming water pipe then you will be spending more on your water bill than you need to. You may be surprised at how much extra something as simple as a dripping faucet can cost you.

But, that isn’t the only cost. A water leak in your pipework means the wood and other materials in your house are getting wet and damaged. This can lead to a need to redecorate, it can also mean that your wood has become rotten and needs to be replaced. This can be a decorative or structural issue.

Leaks in sewer pipes are just as bad. In the first instance, you are leaking hazardous waste into the ground. Sewage carries an array of harmful bacteria that you don’t want to be coming into direct contact with.

Alongside this, a leak increases the chance of waste getting caught and creating a clog, this can ultimately backflow into your home. That’s not a pleasant scenario.

Leak Confirmation

The simplest way to confirm you have a leak in your water pipes is to take a water meter reading. Then, avoid using any water for a couple of hours and read the meter again. If the reading has changed you have a leak and are going to need to find it.

Equally, if the sewer line is leaking you are likely to have greener grass in one area of your garden and you will notice the distinct aroma of rotten eggs.

Pipe Inspection

You can invest in your own pipe inspection camera to do this. The camera is inserted into the pipes and gently pushed forward. It constantly feeds an image back to the screen so that you can see what the pipes look like.

This should help you to identify any issues, including a leak.

Inert Gas

Another way that professionals check pipes for leaks is to use inert gas, nitrogen is usually the preferred choice. The gas is pushed into the pipes, it will then escape through the leak. To locate it a probe is pushed into the ground along the pipe route. Using an amplifier and headphones the technician will listen until they hear the distinctive hissing sound. That tells them they have found where the gas is escaping and the water will be too.


Infra-Red is effectively the use of a thermal imaging camera. It can be used to map out the pipes in the ground or even in the walls of your house. By identifying the pipe and the temperature of the water in them you can identify items around the pipe of the same colour. If they originate from the pipe then you have found the source of your leak.

Now all you have to do is fix it which can be easier said than done. In most cases, this involves digging up the ground to access the pipe, remove the leaking section, and replace it.

Most professionals prefer to do this than attempt to repair the leak.

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