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Been slammed with slab leaks lately, actually did 15 in the month of June, my current setup is a sr20 a brick a fisher xlt30 leak detector, and I'm still not 100% sure of myself sometimes, almost all are inside slab, sometimes I can't get right on top of then due to cabinets or some on carpet, anyone know of a better tracing setup? I know amer leak has the rd4000 setups and their own brand detectors that look exactly like goldak, I stopped using them because if I wasn't there they would try and sell the job, I'm getting more and more slammed with them and need a quicker way then I'm currently doing now, I'm doing re-routes 99% of the time not spot repairs, is the metrotech units that much better?
 

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you are talking way over my head because we dont have the time to do the leak dectection ourselves but I would love to learn it..

we use a couple of companies that only do leak detection and nothing else....for about 300 bucks.

what are you chargeing for a slab leak repair in california??
My best guess would be 1900...

I would rather re-pipe a place overhead vs tearing the place up to repair one leak... the last house we did the guy was on his 6th slab repair and we could not talk him into doing the re-pipe... claimed he was selling the home in the spring.....:blink:



I have heard in California now that the water levels are dropping so low that the water is much much more aggressive to the copper pipes now more than ever.. that might be the reason you are so slammed with them.
 

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ADL uses the Goldak locators which is what I learned on. My favorite locator of all time was my Metrotech (Vivax-Metrotech) HL4000. My understanding is the HL5000 is even better. The key to a good locate is the mics.You can spend over a grand on a municipal ground mic.

Mark
 

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So i too am SLAMMED with slab leaks myself, im also re routing the line(s) 99% of the time. I actually consider myself a subject matter expert on slab leaks. My last shpp and my current shop have me exclusively doing all slab leaks that come in so i have a ton of experience with this subject. And as far as the equipment goes , i was brought up using the goldak model 777 leak detector and a brick and scout to energize the lines to help find manifolds, as well as my fish tape. And on difficult leaks or weird situations id also use my air bottle and charge the line to help. But a far as the energizing of the lines go, i dont think theres a better setup then the brick and a scout (this is for slab leaks, not line tracing outside or anything). And then as far a the actual leak detector goes, i USED to think the goldak was the ****....until my new shop got a sewerin stethphon 04 on my recommendation and let me tell you...... it BLOWS THE GOLDAK AND METROTECH equipment out of the water, the mic IS AMAZING compared to any other equipment ive ever used, it also has some really neat functions that help you identify and pin point the leak, ive gotten really good with it. And that serup isnt to bad price wise for the quality of what you get, hands down i think it's the best slab leak detection you can get on the market, and thats for slab leaks only im not talking outdoor leaks or ground leaks or asphalt leaks, cuz once you get into that stuff theres corrrlators and some other sewerin products that are amazing for that stuff like the sewerin aquaphon and what not. But like i said i think hands down the sewerin equipment if the best on the market. **** even the goldak techs use the sewerin products now......i couldn't be happier with it. And also im gonma be going out on my own in abiut 6 months and im currently saving up for a stetephon 04 kit for myself.
 

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Plus one for Sewerin. I have and use the XLT 30 but the aqua phone 100 kit is bad azz. I will check out the model LA bragged about. sewerin is top notch. I use a Navitrack II for locate with a brick, I want a 10w transmitter.
 

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I have a lot of slab leak equipment and locate and repair a bunch of leaks in big houses where you don't really want to miss. I have geophones, fishers, gen-ears, Metrotech hl5000, Sewerin a100, SewerinStethophon 04 and some others to. All the newer locators use some form of DSA dual segment analysis. If you are serious about leak detection I would spend the money on good equipment. The reason I have all this equipment is I have done leak locating for a lot of years. The other thing that will help you is to get with guys that do this alot and get training where you can. The new equipment does have a different learning curve than the older equipment. I would not spend money on fisher, gen ear, or goldak I would go with the newer equipment it is far superior. On a side note I am looking for a goldak 777 for my collection or museum of locators mine disappeared somewhere. I have stuff for the 40's and 50's to present and have used it all years back. If you have questions give me a call.
 

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Slab Leak detection

Here is a Detectron 505 from the 50's check out the tubes it has a B cell battery for power at 67.5 volts and yes they made B cell batteries years ago.
 

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All the old stuff works just not as good as the newer stuff. On the 505 you have to take a bunch of 9 volt batteries and put them together to get the voltage you need to run it. The best locating tool is still a plumber that knows what he is doing with his tools and what to look for. I am glad we have better tooling when you are in a 5000 sqr ft house or bigger listening through a wood floor on slab. The old stuff just could not cut it through wood very well.
 

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I use the Fisher XLT30 leak detector along with the Rigid ST33Q line locator and SR20 locator. I always recommend rerouting vs digging up and repairing.

Once you find the manifold how do you determine which run is the one thats leaking? i used to chop all the pipes and see which one didn't hold water. I recently came up with the idea of heating up the lines while the water is off with my torch. I then turn on the water very slowly and use my infrared temp gun to check the pipes temp. The supply line and the line thats leaking will cool down more then the lines holding water. Then its a 50/50 choice. If you can turn on the water slow enough you can trace the temp drop.
Then cut cap and reroute!

I normally reroute with copper, but the last job I did I used propex. So easy to pipe, just like an electrician!
 

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Whoa! That's alot of unneeded work! Lol but everyone is different, and i use the leak detector!! A good operator can determine which line it is usually, matter of a fact on tuesday i did a reroute on a cold line and had a cold manifold with 1-one inch feed line, 1-three quarter line and 1- half inch line and without cutting anything i just used my sewerin stepothone 04 to determine which line it was, then went to the other fixtures in the house and listened at the angle stops and determined it was loudest at the kitchen and went back to the original manifold and llistened once more ajd determined it was the half inch line, then cut ajd capped the line turned the water bavk on and listened once more for leaks, and there was no more leak, i then put my fishtape in the open half inch line and slammed it up and down to make noise to determine/confirm where its running and then bang started my reroute to the kitchen, i also used pex uponor to do the reroute, which is usually the material i reroute in, if not that its always type l copper.
 

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I use the Fisher XLT30 leak detector along with the Rigid ST33Q line locator and SR20 locator. I always recommend rerouting vs digging up and repairing.

Once you find the manifold how do you determine which run is the one thats leaking? i used to chop all the pipes and see which one didn't hold water. I recently came up with the idea of heating up the lines while the water is off with my torch. I then turn on the water very slowly and use my infrared temp gun to check the pipes temp. The supply line and the line thats leaking will cool down more then the lines holding water. Then its a 50/50 choice. If you can turn on the water slow enough you can trace the temp drop.
Then cut cap and reroute!

I normally reroute with copper, but the last job I did I used propex. So easy to pipe, just like an electrician!









Another plumber told me that he turns off the water, goes to the copper manifold and starts to heat up the solder joints. Whichever joint that has the solder turning to liquid, he then knows which pipe is leaking under the slab.
 

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Whoa! That's alot of unneeded work! Lol but everyone is different, and i use the leak detector!! A good operator can determine which line it is usually, matter of a fact on tuesday i did a reroute on a cold line and had a cold manifold with 1-one inch feed line, 1-three quarter line and 1- half inch line and without cutting anything i just used my sewerin stepothone 04 to determine which line it was, then went to the other fixtures in the house and listened at the angle stops and determined it was loudest at the kitchen and went back to the original manifold and llistened once more ajd determined it was the half inch line, then cut ajd capped the line turned the water bavk on and listened once more for leaks, and there was no more leak, i then put my fishtape in the open half inch line and slammed it up and down to make noise to determine/confirm where its running and then bang started my reroute to the kitchen, i also used pex uponor to do the reroute, which is usually the material i reroute in, if not that its always type l copper.
I use the torch method when there are multiple lines of the same size. I can't tell with the Fisher which leg is leaking. I your case of 3 different sizes you know already that the 1" is the feed, the 3/4" is for the bathroom and odd man out must be for the kitchen. I also listen at he angle valves to locate the line thats leaking.

I had no one to teach me so I appreciate different ideas, tips and tricks from everyone.
 

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This was in a quadplex...with 2 bathrooms upstairs and 2 laundrys each on a different location with 3 hosebibs, and i could hear the leak at one of the hosebib and one of the laundrys substantially so actually the half inch line coulda been for a number of things. But anyhow....... i used to use the goldak model 777 and could usually tell which line in the manifold it was leakking as well, but with my newer sewerin equipment you can really tell which line it is pretty easy, that equipment is that good IMO. And ive also used the torch method in the past of heating the line with torch and using my flir gun to see the temp change, my old master showed me the torch method where he would heat it up and whatever line has solder start to flow is usually the line leaking, but i havent done that in years and it only works on smaller manifolds cause the 'excess 'water sometimes prevents it from working at all from what ive seen. But all are good ideas and all work in different situations and i also appreciate different tips and tricks....that's why im on this forum to begin with. Anyone else have any?


Im not familiar with your exact fisher model, does it have a meter or digital readout that is a direct correlation between noise and some sort of either a numerical readout or meter ? Cause with me sewerin it has a digital readout, so it makes identifying which line real easy, and on the goldak it had a meter, and id go back and forth seeing which line has the highest reading in the manifold. And then cut cap and test.


Hillside you look into the sewerin stuff yet??
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was bidding on one on eBay and blew it and missed it.... Sold for a grand, I talked to a pool leak detection guy and he also said it was the $hi7
Nowhere that I know of sells them around here do they?? I'd like to check one out, I think I saw them at the long beach show and got a card, gotta check, other plumbers keep asking if I'll do there leak detection but I'm just not confident enough that I can be spot on and charge them for it and leave without a call back or be wrong, I'm willing to spend the money if it's that bomb
 

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LAsercut;782066 [B said:
i also appreciate different tips and tricks....that's why im on this forum to begin with. Anyone else have any?
[/B]




QUOTE]









Sometimes I've found a slab leak by process of elimination. Having done new construction plumbing which includes of course looping water lines, helps in figuring out which line is leaking.

On this job, there were just {2} fixtures without hot water; a lav faucet and a shower in the master bath. So to make the repair, I ran a 1/2" hot line from the lav on the right side of the tub, and connected it to the lav on the left and then fed the shower. That was a nice little job.
 

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