How to find water leaks on central heating systems

How to find water leaks

How to find a leak on my central heating system without causing unnecessary damage? This is your question and our goal. The problem is generally easy to understand. If your boiler is constantly demanding water to pressurise itself or if you are constantly having to top up the pressure then there is a fair chance you have either a leak on your central heating system or a fault on the boiler. We would always recommend you get your boiler inspected first, in our experience around 40% of our calls to leaks on central heating systems are not in fact water leaks but faults on the boiler. Pressure relief valves and faulty diaphragms are two very common causes of combi boilers losing pressure and heating systems stopping working.

Find out more about our Central Heating Leak detection and repair services.


Tracer Gas can be an incredibly accurate way to pinpoint a water leak on heating pipes. This involves draining down the system and introducing a gaseous mix of Nitrogen and Hydrogen to the pipes. The molecular size of the gas is far smaller than that of water, meaning that if water can escape then the gas will also definitely escape. Using a ‘Sniffer’ device we can then survey the rooms under investigation, the device samples and analyses the air hoping to detect any of the escaping gas. When the gas is detected the device sounds an alarm indicating you are very close to the location of the leak. The accuracy of the indication will depend upon the size of the leak, the porosity of the floor coverings and depth of pipe.

We have located hundreds of water leaks using this technique and is an invaluable tool in our leak detection armoury. Like all our techniques and equipment, not everything is infallible. It takes skilled operators to interpret the results and dial out any false positive readings.



This is another very useful and accurate way to find water leaks. Highly sensitive microphones are clamped onto the pipes to listen for the tell-tale signature of escaping water. Dependant upon the type of pipe, length and diameter the equipment can calculate (Correlate) where along the pipes length the loudest noise can be heard and that will usually indicate the position of the leak.

If you need help, get in touch with the experts at The Leak Detective Ltd

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