Rainbow utilises three different processes for identifying the source of a leak, which often occurs in pipe work concealed within the building structure.
Leak Detection at a glance
Rainbow's systems and processes cover every eventuality and can provide evidence of the source of the leak, and consequently recommend and implement the correct remedial action required.
A variety of specialist equipment is required for locating leaks from pipes hidden in structural materials. Perhaps the most commonly used is a thermal imaging camera which works by looking for differentials in surface temperatures, and will show leaking water at a different temperature to the other mass of building material (eg. a wall or floor slab).
The initial survey would be undertaken using a Thermal Imaging Camera. These cameras are able to identify very small differences in temperature on the surface of different materials. This allows us to identify pipe runs that are buried in sub-floors and other areas hidden within the building structure. One of the main advantages of these cameras is that they are non-invasive and the survey can be undertaken causing minimum disruption very quickly, often avoiding major excavation work.
Thermal imaging is not always appropriate for the conditions within the building structure. On occasions pipes can be very well insulated or buried deep in structural materials so that a change in temperature can not be identified at the surface. If this process is unsuccessful we switch to using specialist acoustic listening devices. When a pressurised water pipe is damaged the water leaks out into the surrounding ground which causes the pipe and surrounding material to vibrate at the exit point. By using sophisticated ground microphones we can trace and pinpoint the location of the leak.
Leak detection using tracer gas
This is a slightly more involved process. Water is drained from the suspected system and a tracer gas is introduced under pressure to the system. The gas is made up of 95% nitrogen and 5% hydrogen. Hydrogen being the smallest and lightest molecule will escape from the pipe at the point of the leak and make its way to the surface where it can be detected by a sensitive gas detector. The advantages of this particular mixture of gas are that it is non flammable, non toxic, non corrosive and does not damage the environment in any way.