Twin Home Experts has been performing leak detection in Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ for more the 16 years. We have found over 6,000 leaks using the best leak detection equipment.
Type of leaks
We have pinpointed just about every type of leak you can think of, and they all require different methods. Our past jobs range from landscape leaks, high water bill leaks, roof leaks, waterproofing leaks and rain leaks causing water into the home. We’ve also solved sewer odor leaks, gas leaks and challenging methane gas leaks.
Twin Home Experts uses different leak detection equipment for different leaks. We have even developed some of our own homemade leak detection tools/equipment that pinpoint leaks that others have tried to find and can’t.
Leak detection equipment is so important to help facilitate pinpointing a leak, but it’s worthless if the talent behind it does not follow a disciplinary process.
Let’s go ahead and break down each type of leak, and give you our top choice of leak detection equipment for each task.
Slab leak detection equipment
Slab leak detection equipment comes in all sorts of sizes and technology. When performing slab leak detections, you better have the best or it’s just going to be a waste of time.
Most equipment on the market that is being sold really cheap is not worth the money or the headaches. That’s because it won’t have the sharp acoustic sound that you need to pinpoint the exact spot. It will be too vague, and if you’re off you just lost time, money and destruction to your home.
The best leak detection equipment for slab leaks that we love is made by GOLDAK, the model that we highly recommend is the 4360 Pipe & Leak Detector.
It comes with a pipe tracing locator. You attach a low voltage charger to the metallic pipe and then the locator follows that signal underground, allowing you to precisely trace out your entire underground water system. This is SUPER important to do as the first step. We typically take light sticky tape and apply small pieces on the floor indicating where the line runs.
Once you marked out and traced out the underground metallic water pipes, you then can precisely follow the pipes using your acoustic equipment to pinpoint the burst underground. This equipment is awesome, because you can hear the water screaming out of the pipe. The loudest spot is where the leak is.
Now imagine if you didn’t have the right leak detection equipment, it would be impossible to find the leak.
In the event you have a slow leak, these leaks don’t always make loud noises, so you have to have a nitrogen tank. You pump it into the water pipe system (hot or cold), causing a mix of air and water which will create a nice loud bubbling sound, like gargling. This helps pinpoint exactly.
The cost of the GOLDAK leak detector is around $2,800. Then you have to buy other components such as hoses, tanks, etc. The total investment will set you back around $3,800.
We just completed a slab leak detection in Simi Valley for our customer, Mrs. Stern. She had her handy man try to find a leak using a stethoscope, he then rolled carpet back and dug up where he thought the leak was – it wasn’t there.
She Found us by going to Google and putting in ‘Simi Valley leak detection near me’ – Twin Home Experts popped up, and she called us explaining her situation.
We went out and pulled out our GOLDAK leak detection equipment. First, we verified that there was a leak, then narrowed it down to an issue on the hot side. Then we traced out the hot underground system first by marking it out with blue tape.
After that we used our acoustic listening equipment and followed the hot water pipe underground, pumped nitrogen in the hot water system to create a louder sound, and pinpointed the leak under the water heater. It ended up being four feet away from the handyman’s excavation.
We performed a reroute instead of digging up the slab. This was easier, and a 100% guarantee that there will never be a leak there again, instead of just repairing the leak underground.
Infrared camera for leak detection
Infrared cameras are a bit overrated when it comes to leak detection. People think that buying an infrared camera will pinpoint the leak, and that’s just not true.
Infrared is only great to actually see and determine water migration. It’s also good to verify if it’s hot or cold because it reads temperature differences. This is a great tool – it is more for the water damages restoration industry, but can be a useful tool to help facilitate the GOLDAK leak detection equipment.
Infrared cameras are a great tool to locate water migration and temperature differences. This tool will also help with detection of hot or cold, but infrared will not pinpoint a leak for you.
Gas leak detection equipment
The best detection equipment for gas leaks depends on what type of gas leak you have. If your gas pipe is now exposed and/or runs underground, then the GOLDAK system we recommended for slab leak detection is perfect!
You would trace out the underground gas line with the GOLDAK leak detector system, then fill it up with nitrogen. At that point, a gas leak sniffer will be needed to pinpoint the sulfur smell.
The gas sniffer we like is around $125. If your gas pipe is exposed, you can just use the gas sniffer. Follow the pipe to each threaded joint and this will pinpoint the gas leak for you.
When gas pipes are exposed and your gas is not shut off, using soap suds on each joint is still a great way to find leaks in your gas system.
Patio, deck and roof leaks
This is where we had to make our own leak detection instruments.
We were struggling with just a water hose and a typical nozzle you buy at a box store. The most challenging leaks to find are roof, structure, patio and deck leaks.
You have to be able to isolate the different substrates in order to pinpoint the leaks. This means isolation of the weep screed, flashing, waterproofing membrane, drain, threshold, etc.
We love using homemade Plumber’s Putty. As you can see in the picture below, this is great to apply to seal off and isolate areas. We use tape sometimes, but putty is water proof and it holds up well.
Start at the lowest point with 30 minute increments. You must isolate the the different areas, then work your way up. It’s much better if you can open up walls or ceilings below the deck, patio or roof. This will help you see where the water is migrating through the substrates.
Twin Home Experts hydro tips
We hand make these hydro tips out of copper or PVC, depending on the issue and materials we are dealing with – we create the one that will do the job. The design and purpose behind this is to control how much water volume we are pushing into a specific area. For example, if there is a hairline crack, we want to use a very strong small stream blasting out. Using a large tip putting out volume of water wouldn’t work with isolation and finding the leak quickly.
These homemade tips and wands are very effective in directing the water to the isolated areas, where as a water hose will splash everywhere.
Smoke testing leak detection equipment
This is a great way to locate sewer odor leaks, water leaks that are very hard to find or in the case that you don’t want to take a chance of causing water damage to your investment.
We have YouTube videos showing how this works and how it has helped people all over the country. We completed recently completed a job using a shop vacuum and smoke candles to successfully locate the leak.
You can buy three minute smoke candles, drop them in a fire proof metal shop vacuum, then take the vacuum hose and insert it into a drain pipe or any other concealed compartment.
Smoke testing is a great way to pinpoint those very hard to find, slow leaks or drips. You must make sure you seal off the area you are testing to ensure smoke will travel through the breach.
Well folks, we hope this helped give you some insight on the best leak detection equipment for different types of leak challenges.
Check out some of our leak detection YouTube videos to see all the leak detection equipment in action.