Most of us often ignore a leaky faucet or a shower, thinking that only drops of water are falling from them. We forget the quote that ‘Small drops make a mighty ocean’. Residential premises have sewer pipes, pipelines and plumbing fixtures that tend to loosen over time, and develop leaks holes. Leaks from faucets and water pipes are significant areas where water gets wasted. Leaks are not always visible to the eyes. Leaks are often invisible to the eye, and are visible only when they magnify themselves causing a crevice or a crack in a pipeline. Did you know that you can save gallons of water by detecting a small leak and rectifying it? As the quote goes, ‘Prevention is better than Cure’, it is always better to detect flaws in pipelines and rectifying them rather than repairing them after they have manifested themselves as large leaks.
It is wise to regularly check for leaks in your household and rectify them, to save water. The method of detecting leaks and rectifying them is called – Leak Detection. Leak Detection is the process of checking potential sources of water leaks, using sensors and sophisticated detectors, and fixing them instantaneously. Leak Detection Systems are of four types, based on the mode of detection used. These include Infrared radiometric leak detection systems, acoustic leak detection systems, vapor-sensing leak detectors, and fiber-optic leak detection systems. Infrared radiometric leak detection systems use high-end infrared signals to detect subsurface leaks in pipelines, and eroded surfaces of pipelines, and voids caused by them. An Acoustic leak detection system uses sound signals and the principle of ‘Acoustics’, ‘Echoes’ and ‘Reverberation’ to detect and rectify leaks. Vapor-sensing leak detectors use vapors to detect leaks, and the principal of Diffusion, to rectify leaks. Fiber-optic leak detectors use fiber-optic cables to sense leaks. Fiber-optic leak detectors are capable of finding leaks over the entire length of pipelines. All the leak detectors discussed above are called External Leak Detection Systems.
In addition to external leak detectors, there are also internal leak detection systems. Internal leak detection systems involve the use of field instrumentation devices to analyze fluid characteristics like the nature of flow (laminar or turbulent), velocity, pressure, and so on. Thus, internal leak detectors monitor water’s characteristics, and also the various characteristics of the pipeline. Various line balancing algorithms and statistical methods are used to detect a leak. The advantage of internal leak detectors is that, they detect internal leaks that are not apparent and not visible.
There are several professional firms offering residential leak detection services. There are several things to be considered before choosing a leak detection firm. They are mentioned below:
1. A leak detection service that you avail should be experienced enough in not damaging your residential premises in any way. Walls, floor, windows, and roofs should be free from damage during and after the water leak detection is done. Before choosing a firm, it would be wise to talk to friends and relatives about their experiences.
2. A leak detection operation should not damage water resources like pipelines and water tanks
3. A leak detection operation should not disturb neighbors or damage their property in any way.
4. Always ensure that leak detection does not damage Government property.
5. The personnel involved in leak detection should be wearing adequate safety equipment.