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How Leak Detection Works

If you’re currently having leak problems in your home, you would need to hire a trusted plumbing company to inspect and detect the source of the leak. Only then will they be able to provide you with a solution and how much it would cost. If you don’t want to stay in the dark and just let them do all the work, it’s best to have a background on how leak detection works. Here are some of the methods for leak detection.

Table of Contents

Visual Inspection

A professional plumber is keen on visual signs that indicate leakage. These visual signs include cracking on wall and floor surfaces, mildew, and moisture in some areas. They will start turning your carpet, move around a few furniture pieces to see if there’s a visual sign.

Acoustic Devices

Leak detection is still possible even though the pipes are embedded in the ground of in the walls. Tools like listening plates and pipe microphones are used to detect any abnormality in the flow of water in the pipes through sound. Listening plates are like stethoscopes that are placed at the wall or floor surface, while pipe microphones are inserted inside the pipes. More advanced acoustic devices can identify the sound of escaping water as what would happen if there’s a leakage.


In this method, helium gas is injected into the pipe. If there is a hole or leak, it’s natural that the gas will come through. The behavior of the helium is tracked by some kind of monitoring equipment, which easily allows the plumber to see where the leak is coming from. However, this method is only applicable to exposed pipe that is accessible.


Infrared cameras can see beyond the walls, slab and soil and can see the pipes behind them and if there’s a leak. It can also detect unseen moisture. After conducting this method, results will be documented into a report that the plumber can use as a reference for repair.


During the building of the house, CCTV cameras are preinstalled to monitor the insides of the pipes for regular monitoring. This method allows for a quick detection without the need to demolish walls or excavate slabs. When a leak is detected, it is also easier to repair because the location of the leak is precise.
Smoke Test

Similar to helium, smoke machines can detect any cracks or holes that are causing the plumbing leaks. The smoke comes from a smoke blower that emits smoke into the pipe. It blows a dense smoke that can be easily seen if it passed through holes or cracks.


Water leak detection is a very important process before you try and go on fixing the problem on your own. If the detection method is correct and accurate, the repair work is less obtrusive and therefore, less costly. When you discover leaks at the onset, it prevents any further damage and it will also save you a lot of money.

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