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What is Acoustic Leak Detection?

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Underground water leaks are nasty intruders that sneak into your property, causing mayhem. Since it is under the ground, you may not realize you have an underground leak. Today, our Atlanta plumber team will help you identify potential underground leaks, and explain how you can solve the problem with as little hassle as possible.

Signs & Sounds of Underground Leaks

The pipes in your yard and under the driveway, are under constant pressure, waiting to deliver water to your home when you open the faucet. Different pipes have different levels of pressure and it is possible to hear the leaks before they become visible. Master plumbers use surveying as a method for detecting pipe leaks when they are not readily visible. These sounds can be heard at every valve, service line, and hydrant. It is easier to hear leaks from the sound that travels on the pipe walls, as it travels better that way, than through soil.

Electronic Plumbing Leak Detection

When you call Ridgeway Mechanical, our plumber will use a special device with a ground microphone to measure sounds at the meter, the hydrant and other important parts of your plumbing system. This device can pinpoint the exact location of the leak, based on the spot on the water line where the sound is the loudest. Finding the second loudest location, we will determine the section of the line that we need to mark.

  • Certain factors affect the loudness of the sound, including:
  • The material of the ground cover (concrete, asphalt, soil)
  • The soil type, compaction, and depth of the soil over the pipe
  • The pipe diameter and material
  • The water pressure inside the pipe
  • and the size of the leak.

Dry, hard materials such as rock, concrete, asphalt or compacted soil will sound louder than loose soil, sand or wet clay. Also, poly or PVC pipes don’t transmit sounds as well as steel or iron pipes. A pipe (of any material) with a large diameter will transmit less sound than pipes of a smaller diameter, and the sounds will also transmit at a lower frequency than it would in smaller diameter pipes.

The Sounds That Underground Water Leaks Make

  • Water causes a range of sounds inside the underground pipes, and City of Atlanta licensed plumbers use acoustic leak detection as a means to identify where leaks in pressurized, underground pipes. The sounds are usually static and constant and could sound as follows:
  • Gentle clicking sounds made by small pebbles and stones bouncing off the pipes.
  • Rapid thumping or beating sounds made by the spray striking the walls of the soil cavity around the pipe.
  • Babbling brook or splashing sounds made by the water that flows around the pipe.
  • Whooshing or hissing sounds caused by the reduction of pressure in the orifice and vibration of the pipe.

Before You Call Your Atlanta Plumber

If you suspect that you have an underground leak, first ensure that all the fixtures, faucets and water-using fixtures are turned off. Look at the water meter to see if it is still running, as that would be a sign that you have an underground leak. Locate your shut-off valve and call us right away on 770-354-4594, explaining that you have an underground leak. We will come to your home as soon as possible and diagnose the problem. We also will use acoustic leak detection equipment to find the problem and repair it.

2018-03-08T01:50:01+00:00 Plumbing Leaks|