Do You Have a Leak?

Don’t waste time and money on a leak detection if you don’t actually need one. Before scheduling an appointment, review this quick checklist.

Water Meter. If you have a water meter, the first thing to do is make sure nobody’s using the water. Shut everything off. No showers, no laundry, no dishwasher, no flushes. Next, take a look at the meter itself. You’ll see either a needle or a triangle. If it’s moving, you’ve got a leak.

Shut-off Valves. Your plumbing system should have two shut-off valves: one for the hot water and one for the cold water. The hot-water shut-off is located at the hot water heater. The cold-water shut-off is located where the water enters the building or house. Shut off these valves, one at a time, then check the meter to determine a.) if your leak is inside or outside and b.) if it’s on the hot-water or cold-water side.

Hot Spots on the Floor. You may find a very warm area on the floor, ranging in size from a few square feet to half a room. This indicates a break on the hot-water plumbing under the slab.

The Sound of Running Water. When water travels through pipes, it makes an audible noise. You’ve doubtless heard the water running when your toilet tank is filling. Often, you’ll hear a similar sound when a pipe is leaking.

Non-invasive Leak Detection

Not all leaks are obvious. Sometimes all you've got is a high water bill and a nagging suspicion. Our technicians follow a multi-step diagnostic process to determine leak sources. Sometimes, the suspected source is nowhere near the mark. That’s why we meticulously test all possibilities and methodically work our way to a sound conclusion. 

We isolate the irrigation system, the pressurized plumbing, the sewer, and the drain lines. We also test appliances, fixtures, and structural sources (i.e., windows, doors, and roofs). Our tool kit includes thermal imaging cameras, ultrasonic listening devices, moisture meters, pipe-line locators, and pressure-testing equipment. Non-invasive leak detection demands thorough detective work, and that’s where we excel.

General Leaks & Water Intrusions

With heavy rain comes water intrusion. Failed flashings at a window, door, roof, or chimney can lie dormant until the precise set of circumstances pushes water into your home. Occasionally, a combination of hidden events—unrelated to rain, snow, or pressurized plumbing--conspires to damage a wall, ceiling, or floor.

After ruling out a plumbing leak, our technicians systematically spray test, while utilizing thermal imaging and moisture detection technology, to locate the exact leak source. Intelligent detective work saves time and money, providing the answers you need to fix damage for good.

Slab Leaks & Water Pipe Leaks 

So, you’ve determined that you most likely have a plumbing leak. Why call a leak detector? Why not just call a plumber to fix the problem? Plumbers don’t have the expertise or the tools to locate leaks with precision.

If you’ve got a heart condition you go to a specialist, not the family doctor. And If you’ve got a leak, you call a leak detector. Forgoing a leak detection can lead to unnecessary damage: jackhammered floors, demolitioned walls, and removed cabinetry, to name a few costly mistakes. A simple leak detection can save you money and limit damage to your property. 

A trained leak detector diagnoses the entire system. We check all the plumbing fixtures and valves with an ultrasonic listening device, and we map out the entire plumbing system using a digital radio detection pipe-line locator. This ensures the highest level of accuracy when pinpointing your leak. 

Gas Leaks

There are two types of gas systems: propane and natural gas. We work on both. If you’ve got a leak, you’ll smell it, due to the odorizing agents added to both of these gases. Your propane or gas utility provider (say, PG&E) might also notify you of a leak. These providers typically turn off the gas and require location, repair, and permitting by the building department before they’ll resupply gas service. The first step in this process involves isolating and pressure testing the different gas lines on the property.

You may have a gas line feeding the pool or spa heater. Some homes have gas-fed barbeques and outdoor fire pits. Other gas lines supply furnaces and fixtures in the home, including hot-water heaters, dryers, fireplaces, and ranges. Our skilled technicians valve or cap off each fixture and appliance to isolate them from the leaking line.

To safely and efficiently locate the leak, we perform a pressure test, using a non-flammable, inert gas at a higher working pressure than the gas company provides. Special tracer gas and a sensitive molecule counter pinpoints the source of leakage.

To get a clear picture of the underground and in-wall piping, we use specialty radio detection equipment. Our repair team can make all necessary repairs on gas systems--and pull all necessary permits and schedule final inspections.

Call 916.760.8944