How to find water leaks under a floor

Finding leaks underground
Water Leaks 21st Sep

How to find water leaks under a floor, if you are asking yourself this, you will need help. The last thing any homeowner will want is to start randomly lifting floor coverings and floorboards on a search and hope mission. Not least because many homes today are covered with expensive floor coverings and any miss-diagnosis can mean costly mistakes.

The first thing you need to work out is what system the leak is on? Is it on the hot & cold supply pipes to your taps in the bathroom and kitchen or is it a central heating leak? Or is it a leak on the main supply pipe to the property? Once you have the answer to that you can start thinking about your strategy.

Water leak detection companies such as us at the Leak Detective have some very clever equipment to help find water leaks under a floor. But often the use of simple logical thinking and a process of elimination can go a long way to isolating the problem to a particular system or floor level or room.

HOW TO FIND A WATER LEAK

Basic steps would include simple listening, larger leaks on pressurised pipes make a noise, sometimes you can hear this. At the Leak Detective we have incredibly sensitive microphones and correlators which can listen and calculate where the leak is along a length of pipe. 

Water leaks on hot pipes will often create hot spots on the surface of floor coverings, try feeling for these. The Leak Detective has infrared cameras which can detect changes in temperature and often detect a leak on a hot water pipe. Look for tell-tale signs of water damage such as staining or bubbling of floor coverings or on decoration. 

Water vapour creates a pressure and most domestic building materials react or respond to water by distortion or spoiling. If you can’t trace your water leak using these simple options, then it’s probably time to call in the experts.

At the Leak Detective, we have carried out thousands of water leak detection jobs. We have all the equipment and knowledge to help find the leak. We have chosen Sewerin equipment which we consider the best on the market

TRACER GAS

Tracer Gas can be put into the pipe network this will allow us to ‘sniff out’ any escaping gas from the pipes. Where the detector unit sounds an alarm indicates the position of the leak.

INFRARED CAMERA

These are particularly good at finding water leaks on hot supply pipes, central heating pipes and underfloor heating loops. Using sensitive detectors, they map out and clearly show the line of hot pipes, any leaks will show up as a plume.

ACOUSTIC LISTENING AND CORRELATORS

These are very sensitive microphones that are clamped onto the pipe and listen for the noise of escaping water. If you are trying to find a water leak under a floor this is very helpful. In certain circumstances, the correlators can be used to calculate the exact position of the leak along a given length of pipe.

Acoustic listening to find water leaks under a floor

BORESCOPE CAMERAS

We use these all the time, a very simple and effective way to look behind and under obstructions without causing too much damage. A small 20mm hole can be cut in an unobtrusive place and a small camera inserted on a flexible swan neck extension. These are ideal for quick inspections under floors, behind vanity units and under shower trays etc.

If you need help call the experts at the Leak Detective

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