Water Leak

  1. reb78 Member

    Messages:
    769
    Herts UK
    Our main supply comes off of the mains (and meter) about 1 1/2 miles up the hill from us. As this is our side of the meter it is our responsibility, not the water board. The pipe travels across two farmers fields and someones garden on its route.. Our neighbour (one of the farmers) was hedge cutting the other day and his tractor sank in to a soggy patch roughly where he thought the pipe runs. A quick look at the meter with the house isolated and it was still turning, so a big hole later in the soggy patch, we located a split in the black pipe and have fixed that.

    Thinking 'phew, that was easier than it could have been' I checked the meter again. Again with the house isolated, it is still turning albeit a lot slower than before though.... My feeling is that there is another leak somewhere on the line. Its the top half of the line as there are a couple of stop cocks along it so we can isolate it in half.

    Apart from looking for soggy patches where we think the pipe runs, are there any reliable fancy ways of finding this leak??

    Suggestions very welcome as I dont relish the idea of digging up 1.5 miles of waterpipe!!!
     
  2. Shox Dr

    Shox Dr Chief Engineer to Carlos Fandango

    Messages:
    14,216
    Location:
    East Yorkshire
    Gas and water board use, a hollow pole as a stethoscope. Obviously you need to know where the pipe is. Surprising how well you can hear the leak

    I’d be installing a meter in the house, unless you read the meters every week, you could be unaware of a leak for months
     
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  3. johnser

    johnser Member

    Messages:
    1,834
    Location:
    North Cornwall
    There are some older types of black pipe that are junk. We chased our tail with leaks on a length years ago and in the end mole ploughed in a new, blue, mdpe line. No more problems.

    If you're is a poor quality type, replacement might be inevitable but in the mean time, if you've lots of pressure, a pressure reducing valve may help.
     
    johnik likes this.
  4. 8ob

    8ob Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,651
    Location:
    moscow on thames
    The most painless way would be to sound out the route with a Cat and Genny, then expose the watermain in a few places.Squeeze it off to eliminate sections.

    Bob

    One of these gadgets
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    [​IMG]
     
  5. WorkshopChris

    WorkshopChris Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,639
    Location:
    South East Essex
    I have used them on blue MDPE but never on the black stuff the bits we have around hear seam less pliable, any ideas what any of the black pipes are made up of?
     
  6. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

  7. Farside

    Farside Badly Welded Man

    Messages:
    3,459
    Location:
    Ireland
    Trade name Alkathene, which is just a MDPE polyethylene, which varied a lot in quality.
    Much beloved of farmers everywhere under various brand names it's not uncommon find long runs made in the thin-wall version, when for mains use it should really be the thick wall, but that's twice the prices and .... farmers.
     
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  8. reb78 Member

    Messages:
    769
    Herts UK
    Thanks. Thats useful stuff.

    I have a mate who owns a firm that does a lot of foundation works and ground prep - he used his Cat and Genny when he helped me do a driveway - he is the sort of person who will have a spare (probably pile of spares!). I will ask him. (We were using fence wire to do some water divining yesterday - it was surprisingly accurate!!)

    I do worry about squishing the black pipe - the damage we revealed yesterday was from a stone that had caused a split in the pipe - very clear to see once we exposed it.
     
  9. Welderpaul

    Welderpaul Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,802
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    CAT and gennies don't detect plastic pipe unless theres a tracer in the warning tape....
     
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  10. brightspark

    brightspark Member

    Messages:
    27,632
    Location:
    yarm
    a couple of bent welding rods works well for finding pipe wire and drain runs .it don't work for everyone but it works for me :laughing:was watching the builder dig a trench over someone's garden 6 foot deep to see if he could locate the drains :)went over with the rods and no drain there :(hejust laughed and carry on digging .8 meters further on no drains :laughing:I don't want to rub it in but no drains mate told you so . that wiped the grin of his face. its got something to do with change of magnetic fields in the earth . it looks a bit embarrassing mind if someone's passing and sees you do it :confused:
     
  11. 8ob

    8ob Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,651
    Location:
    moscow on thames
    Chris that black Alkathene will squeeze off ok if its not gone brittle, if it has its not long for this world anyway.

    You can get a signal off a plastic watermain if its got water in it. A Genny pulse signal will work on that ok. There are a few other tricks for finding MDPE services with a Cat and Genny.

    Bob
     
  12. Parm

    Parm I have fun doing stuff

    Messages:
    10,168
    Location:
    Towcester
    This is the best trick, at by last place they had a huge water leakage detection division. They used some fancy microphones essentially on the end of some tube
     
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  13. waddycall

    waddycall Member

    Messages:
    914
    United Kingdom
    Once spent a week looking for a leak on underground heating pipework in a care home. We had a cat and genny and listening sticks. We weren’t allowed to dig holes so had to wait while the builders dug numerous holes and filled them in again. Got pretty boring so we decided to grab some welding rods and try divining for a laugh. Found the leak in 5 mins! I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t done it.
     
  14. sg66 Member

    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    northeast
    Tracer gas and a sniffer if you can't locate it but for that length your looking at alot of gas unless you can tie it down to a small ish area.
     
  15. johnik

    johnik Member

    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    sunny Somerset
    i have used the welding rod trick and it worked for me, much to the supprise of the others who were laughing when i sugested it :whistle:
     
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  16. WorkshopChris

    WorkshopChris Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,639
    Location:
    South East Essex
    If you were closer I have a 360 digger driver I could recommend, he will always find the water pipe in an area. To the point whenever we are working in the same area I put repair tools in a bucket ready to go.
     
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  17. Parm

    Parm I have fun doing stuff

    Messages:
    10,168
    Location:
    Towcester

    Tracer has is usually SF6, analytical machinery is a ball ache

    Whole lot is stupid expensive
     
  18. Anguz

    Anguz Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    474
    bedfordshire
    where are you? i have a ground mic that msy help, but it isnt really postable
     
  19. eLuSiVeMiTe

    eLuSiVeMiTe Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    9,938
    Location:
    Bedfordshire England
    Knew a operator like that. Unluckiest man I know.
     
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  20. reb78 Member

    Messages:
    769
    Herts UK
    Thanks - the pipe in question is in Cornwall, but I work in South Hertfordshire in the week. Where abouts in Beds are you as this sounds handy!
     
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