How Does Leak Detection Work?

Plumber repairing pipes with wrench

Statistically plumbing leaks are more likely to cause damage to your home than lightning, fire or burglary. Therefore, an annual inspection of your water and sewage system by professionals is a good idea. 

Discolouration and oxidation at the connections of washing machines, water heaters, pumps etc. are typical signs of a water leak. 

There are a number of modern methods to detect leaks that are non-invasive and non-destructive. 

Due to technological advancements, it has become easy to detect the exact location of the leak, fix it and leave the property undamaged.

A leak detection system is usually installed at the water’s entry point into a home and monitors the flow of the water through the pipelines. 

Any problem and the system can cut off water flow to the entire household by closing a valve. 

Leak detection systems are accurate to the tune of more than 90%! With such a high accuracy rate, you can be confident that your system is on its game.

If you don’t want to cut the water off to your entire house, there are more precise ways of detecting water leaks around the home.

Leak detection systems

Thermal Imaging Camera

Video pipe inspection equipment uses an infrared camera to detect in-line drain and sewer problems. 

It produces a thermogram which is an image of what lies beneath the surface based on the amount of radiation it can detect. 

Regions around water leaks tend to emit lower levels of infrared energy and thus the exact point of leak can be identified.

Acoustic Listening Devices

This system can detect the subtle differences in sounds produced by flowing water within pipes. 

The microphone end of the device is held close to the surface of the wall and technicians can identify the general area of the leak by tracing the sound differences. 

Thereafter a line tracer system is used which introduces a small electric charge into the water line to detect the exact location of the leak.

Hydrostatic Pressure Test

This system can detect any leak in an underground plumbing system by using an inflatable test ball.

Static Leak Isolation

This process combines hydrostatic pressure testing with video pipe inspection. 

Damaged pipe with leaking water

The latter provides a video of the slab sewer system and inflatable balls are then used to locate the exact spot of the leak.

Digital Water Leak Detection

This system uses an amplifier to identify the sound of a leak. 

The detection is done by reading the bar graph and the numeric display of the volume to detect the location of the water leak.

Leak Correlators

This system is used in large scale projects like farms and industries which have a complex network of underground piping. 

Electronic signals are introduced into the pipeline and the leak is detected by measuring the delay in the sending and receiving of those signals.

Reverse Osmosis

This is fitted under a sink and it shuts off the water flow as soon as it detects a leak.

Identifying signs of a water leak in your home

If you notice any of the following, then you may have a water leak problem.

  • Unusually high water bills
  • Readings of the water meter more than normal
  • Mould and mildew on the walls and floors
  • Damp and damaged walls, floors and ceilings


Water leaks may seem like a small issue, but left untreated they can do massive amounts of damage to your property.

Don’t hesitate to contact the best plumbers Gold Coast for help with your leaks and we’ll get it sorted the first time!


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