Leak Detectors Aren't Just for Slab Foundations - Plumbing Zone - Professional Plumbers Forum

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Old 08-09-2017, 02:10 PM   #1
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Default Leak Detectors Aren't Just for Slab Foundations

As a plumber, you’re used to dealing with problems. Clogs, broken pipes and leaks are all in a day’s work and you use a variety of different tools to take care of them. In the case of leaks, you may even find yourself simply bypassing the leaking pipe to make the fix easier and to prevent more problems down the line.

One common tool used by many plumbers is a leak detector. While not everyone uses one, they can save time and hassle when trying to locate a leak – especially if you’re working on a building with a slab foundation. But this doesn’t mean a slab foundation is the only type of jobsite where a leak detector is useful.

What Are Leak Detectors?

Leak detectors are electronic devices that amplify the sound of a leak so you can find it through flooring or other materials. Picture a leak detector as kind of a big electronic stethoscope; you use it to listen to the pipes and by doing so you locate the leak. This is especially useful if the leak occurs in a spot that you can’t easily access, such as in a wall or under a floor with little or no crawl space for easy access.

Using a Leak Detector

Leak detectors are generally easy to use. Combining a high-powered microphone and headphones, they allow you to move the mic around to locate the source of the leak. Through the microphone you can hear the flow of water through pipes that are under pressured due to a leak somewhere along the line. You can also hear the dripping, pouring or spraying that occurs at the site of the leak itself.

Because a leak has to create noise for the detector to work, some plumbers charge the pipe with air to increase pressure and make the leak spray or drip more intense. In some cases, the escaping air itself will emit enough of a sound for the leak to be found even if the pipe doesn’t have water running through it at the time.

Leak Detectors and Slab Foundations

Using a leak detector in buildings with a slab foundation is a great way to save time and effort. Because the detector’s microphone can pick up sounds through the flooring and the slab, it’s not necessary to spend an excessive amount of time trying to find the leak before excavation.

Some plumbers argue that they can isolate the leaking pipe and bypass it without having to use a leak detector, but not everyone has the experience to pull this off. If you’re not careful, you might miss the leak and end up doing unnecessary repairs that don’t actually fix the problem.

Other Uses for Leak Detectors

A leak detector with a high-quality mic can make locating leaks in walls a breeze, especially in larger structures. You can also use a leak detector to pinpoint leaks in homes without a slab; instead of spending a long time looking around the crawlspace, you can determine exactly where you should go before you get under the house. If you’re creative in your use, you can even use a leak detector for less common purposes such as locating leaks in above-ground pools that have a deck or other structure around them that will have to be removed for access.

Even for those used to working without a leak detector, you still might consider learning to use one. Adding one to your equipment list can make confirming and locating leaks much easier. Faster repairs equal happy customers and every plumbing contractor knows that happy customers are more likely to call for repeat business.

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Old 08-09-2017, 11:34 PM   #2
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What is a leak?
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:36 AM   #3
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But this photo looks like another photo made by a manufacturer trying to sell his goods via the Zone -- free advertising. Sorry but I blew this photo up to 300% there is a definite texture to the blue pipe. My take on this is that it is a piece of vinyl lay flat hose that was cut or nicked.
Again it looks like a manufacturer made up photo.

Yes electronic leak detectors are wonderful in some instances. But not this one. Is it me? How about some other comments? I'm tired of seeing this drivel every time the Zone Opens.
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A little of this and a little of that
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:49 AM   #4
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That leak aint so bad....
its nothing that a roll of Gorilla tape cant fix.
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:21 PM   #5
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The leak detection equipment is very sensitive. It can pick up a conversation through a closed door. I tried it out one day. Without the equipment, I only was able to hear muffled voices in the next room. But with the equipment on, I could hear the conversation clearly. I felt like an FBI agent.
Hire a licensed master plumber.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:18 PM   #6
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Yeah, love it when you click on the goldak and start picking up radio waves- that's screwed with me on a few jobs
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