Many potable water supply lines are made of non-metallic material because it doesn’t pass lead into the water supply and doesn’t carry the risk of corrosion.
And while these pipes might be good for the health of local residents, they make it more challenging to find water line leaks.
That’s because the most common method for finding leaks is acoustic. Using acoustic leak detection, professionals use microphones and listening devices to listen for changes in the water’s flow through the pipes.
Metallic pipes produce greater sound when the water goes through them than non-metallic pipes. So while it’s not impossible to use acoustic methods to detect water leaks in non-metallic pipes, it’s certainly more challenging.
We’ll review common commercial and residential water supply line materials and methods for detecting even the smallest leak in these non-metallic pipes.
What Are Common Non-metallic Water Line Materials?
Construction crews and utility companies use a variety of water line materials. Each has its pros and cons, but the main goal is to keep residents safe by protecting the drinkability of the water. Here are some common non-metallic water line materials.
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
- Polyethylene high-density (PEHD)
- PCV lines
These materials are generally lighter and simpler for construction teams to install and maintain.
Using Gas Testing to Find Leaks in Non-metallic Water Lines
When you can’t see or hear leaks in your water lines, how can you remedy the situation? The answer is to use tracer gas testing to sniff out the leak location to solve the issue with as little destruction and cost as possible.
Sometimes a leak is so small that it makes no noise even with metallic water pipes. In these cases, tracer gas can detect extremely small leaks to prevent them from growing into a larger problem. The pipes do not have to be empty for this method to work.
Using gaseous leak detection methods, we can inject a tracer gas into the water line under pressure to sniff out the leak. The gas will leak out of even the smallest openings in the waterline. Gas will escape faster than water does.
As the gas leaks out of the pipe, it will rise to the surface of the ground where we can then use sensors that sniff out the gas to tell us where the leak is located.
Now you have a clear understanding of where to dig to fix the water leak so that you don’t tear up large sections of your backyard, roadway, new development or business landscaping. The tracer gas sensors can get us within a few inches of the water leak.
For 24/7 service, contact ACS Underground Solutions. We’ll schedule your leak detection service and advise on the best methods to locate and resolve your water line leaks. You can also reach us by phone at 203-544-7190. We serve Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
ACS UNDERGROUND SOLUTIONS | Detecting Leaks in Non-metallic Water Supply Lines
ACS Underground Solutions has been in business since 1997 and we continue to serve our clients during COVID 19 with the CDC safety guidance put in place. Give ACS Underground Solutions a call at 203-544-7190 to find out more about our services. Our office staff is available Monday-Friday, 8am to 5pm to answer your questions and schedule an appointment. We are a private family owned consulting company with decades of experience and deep expertise in Water Line Leak Detection, Underground Utility Locating with GPR, Underground Storage Tank Locating, Concrete Imaging & Scanning, Drain Pipe Inspections and Infrared Thermal Imaging Services. ACS Underground Solutions serves Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.