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Water Main Leak Detection

 
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:39 PM   #1
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Water Main Leak Detection


what methods have any of you used to detect a small water main leak that will not expose itself?
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


If you are chasing this with listening equipment, you might try nitrogen gas introduced into the line to get the leak to bubble, gurgle and hiss a bit. This can sometimes help hearing what otherwise can't be heard.

I assume this is on a purveyor's main or is it a service line?

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Old 01-08-2008, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


Quote:
Originally Posted by dayexco View Post
what methods have any of you used to detect a small water main leak that will not expose itself?
Day how long a run you talking ? Size pipe ? Come on man you should know the routine by now. Where's Nick when you need him ?
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:31 PM   #4
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


3300 l.f. of 6" class 200 IPS sized pvc and in a granular soil. we're losing about 4 gpm, won't expose itself
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:43 PM   #5
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


Hate to be a PITA but how deep are we talking ? Don't even know if this is feasible but what if you pumped steam from a steam cleaner into it and then shot the area with some sort of inforead camera.
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:47 PM   #6
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


By me on that one. I have no experience chasing leaks on that large a line.
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:52 PM   #7
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


7' of cover on the pipe, was just googling and found out there are methods of injecting either helium, or hydrogen into the main, and using a "sniffer" to find it. we've tried the audio "earphone" type, but way too much side traffic to hear anything.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:11 AM   #8
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


Can't you narrow it down in between valves on the 3300 lf
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:30 AM   #9
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


there are 2 valves...where we start, where we end.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:51 AM   #10
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


Back in my inspection days I've seen a contractor install a valve in the middle and go at it from there until they can isolate it more closely. But that was a 50 plus mile long job with five crews and probably a drop in the bucket to them. Probably a job specefic decision. I guess it depends on how much money it is costing you a day. Are you still mobilized?
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:59 PM   #11
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


Quote:
Originally Posted by dayexco View Post
there are methods of injecting either helium, or hydrogen into the main, and using a "sniffer" to find it.
I wouldn't go with Hydrogen, one stray spark and you might be reinstalling the whole thing.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:04 PM   #12
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


Shut down traffic for about a half hour!!!! Joking....maybe? We actually did that on a 100ft section of 24" so the guy with the earphones could find the leak. That, or have them check it at night when traffic is at it's minimum.....Sorry, I tried. Anything works cept for digging it back up one joint at a time!
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:27 PM   #13
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


I know it's 7' deep but unsure on the compactness.How about walking the line and probing for the wet spot every so often.You may hit a water pocket?!They still walk gas lines.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:34 PM   #14
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


this is in a new roadway. we had to have 95% of standard proctor density wise, with soil tech's taking tests all the time. it's HARD!!
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:19 PM   #15
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


Just keep pumping it up hopefully it will surface, try a leak detection service they are pretty good with our experience, we have pushed rods down in the ditchline the water will its way out.

If you have any fittings dig them up for the listening service to get on to listen.

pvc is hard to listen on what is the pressure you are running with.

On shorter runs we have dug up every joint
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:31 PM   #16
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


walk parallel to the main line you suspect is leaking, about 5' away on both sides with "divining rods". just us coat hangers, about 12" long with 90 degree bend for a 4" handle, hold them loosely. you are looking for the water running away. Don't believe me. walk over where you know the main line is and see if they respond. Done it many times, just as deep.

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Old 01-10-2008, 11:38 AM   #17
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Re: Water Main Leak Detection


We hired a company that specialized in leak detection. I took over a housing community construction project a few years ago that was losing water. It took the tech three nights between 1:00 am and 5:00am (quietest time, the project was between a major highway and major street), but he found two main leaks, three leaking toilets, and several leaking sprinkler valves.

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