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Do you have a water leak in a plastic pipe? Plastic Water Pipe Leak Detection for HDPE, C900, or PVC may be the answer!

Updated on January 14, 2016

Do You Have an HDPE, C900 or Schedule 40 or 80 PVC Pipe Leak?

Plastic water mains can be used in many commercial and industrial applications. There are a number of different types of plastic pipe. High density polyethylene (HDPE), Schedule 40 or 80 PVC, C900 and others make up thousands of miles of pipeline. From the water service from the meter to the fire suppression systems, to water mains, plastic is a cost effective pipe material. Most of the time, everything goes great. Every once in a while, a small leak can occur. Finding leaks on plastic pipe can be very challenging. Ultrasound and acoustic leak detection work in some circumstances. Digital correlation works sometimes as well. Helium leak detection can provide an additional solution where the first two are not possible. Helium leak testing is a cost effective procedure that finds leaks in pipes of any length with pinpoint accuracy.

Can you spot the leak? C900 Pipe

C900 pipe has a leak that was uncovered using helium leak detection.
C900 pipe has a leak that was uncovered using helium leak detection. | Source

C900 Fire Suppression Line Leaks Can Be Found and Repaired Quickly

This C900 pipe is a fire suppression line that was pressured with air, and seemed to hold pressure. It leaked an estimated 8 gallons an hour along a 1200 foot run. Helium leak detection found the leak quickly and precisely.

Leaks can be at the bell connection, or can even be in the middle of the pipe. This leak was found under a pavement parking lot, and only this hole was needed to access the leak and get it repaired.

From settling to freezing, pipes can leak for any number of reasons. Why do they leak? Who cares? They need to be repaired quickly. Utilizing leak detection you can get your plastic pipe leaks found quickly!


HDPE Water Main Wrapped, Under Pavement

Leak in wrapped HDPE under pavement parking lot.
Leak in wrapped HDPE under pavement parking lot. | Source

Ultrasound and Correlation Can Help!

Digital correlation and ultrasound can help find leaks in a variety of substrates and at a variety of depths under concrete, pavement or soil. The right company can tailor solutions to your situation to get you the fast, accurate results you want.

Digital Correlation work great on metal pipes to locate leaks in pressured pipelines. If you are unsure of the pipe length or material, it can be a challenge.

Ultrasound works great under pavement, or concrete, but can be challenged by very deep pipes or loud environments that cannot be made quiet. Every technique has benefits, but finding a company that can put them all together can be hard. A good leak detection company can help you put together a plan to get leaks found quickly even in the most difficult of circumstances. Talk to a real person today and start getting leaks under control.


Schedule 80 Pipes Can Be a Mess!

Sometimes a mess of pipes leaks, and those leaks can be found also!  The leak is in the middle still covered up. Even though it was 80,000 gallons a day, there was no evidence above ground.
Sometimes a mess of pipes leaks, and those leaks can be found also! The leak is in the middle still covered up. Even though it was 80,000 gallons a day, there was no evidence above ground. | Source

Chilled Water Line Under 40 Inches of Concrete

This chilled water line ran under 40 inches of concrete.  While we did not know exactly where the pipe ran, the marked leak location was off about 6 inches.
This chilled water line ran under 40 inches of concrete. While we did not know exactly where the pipe ran, the marked leak location was off about 6 inches. | Source

Helium Leak Detection For Pipeline Leaks

Helium is a noble gas, and as such is completely inert under normal circumstances. It will not react with air. It is not flammable and is non-toxic. We can detect helium levels as low as several parts per million with our equipment and are confident that with our trained technicians, we will be able to find your leaks quickly and accurately. The small size of a helium gas molecule allows it to quickly find its way through soil, concrete and even asphalt. Due to its stable form, helium is the best choice for any industrial process from bio-chemical to petro-chemical to food processes trace gas detection with helium leak detection may be the answer! As a dry gas, helium does not need to be removed from the line prior to introducing the process materials, or petro-products. It will not react or interact with any added materials!

Chilled Water Lines Can Mean Costly Leaks

Chilled water lines like this one can present expensive leaks with relatively small amounts of water. The lines are often run through difficult environments like this power plant. The concrete above the pipe was over 40 inches deep in some places, and never less than 36 inches! The leak was found and repaired in a day! Helium leak detection does not need to be voided from the water system prior to the line being recharged. From pharmaceutical production to power plants, chilled water pipelines can be managed efficiently by making sure any leaks are repaired quickly. Call today to talk to a real person and find out how to start getting your water utilities under control, and a real person will talk to you about the issues you are having and you can get started developing a plan to save water and money

Check your master meter and any sub-meters and bypasses

If your fire suppression lines have a bypasses, you need to check those as well to verify that you are leaking water
If your fire suppression lines have a bypasses, you need to check those as well to verify that you are leaking water | Source

Leaks on fire suppression lines can be costly

Fire suppression lines are often run in plastic pipe due to the cost savings at installation. Often they are not run with tracer wire. Finding fire suppression line can be as simple as following the PIV, or much more difficult. Water leaks on fire suppression lines can not only be expensive monetarily, they can open you up to liability if the leaky line has been isolated or the booster pumps cannot keep up with the leak when you need them most. Booster pumps almost never need to kick on if the pipe is holding pressure. If your pump is turning on and off frequently, check the water meters, and find out if you are using water when the pump turns on. Monitoring water meters ad booster pumps can help you know if water is being wasted due to a hidden leak. A leak detection company can help you find a hidden water leak on the fire suppression lines, on any kind of pipe quickly and efficiently.

CPVC Leak on a Commercial Water Park

Black Polyethylene Pipe (Poly Pipe) can Leak also

Polyethylene pipe is a little different than other types of pipe. The fittings are not welded, but rather are barbs and compression fittings. This pipe is commonly used for services lines to residences or irrigation but can have many other uses. The pipe can crack in the middle of the line, and cause leaking, or an issue with a barb coming free can cause the line to leak freely. When the barb comes undone, the resulting leak can cause a 3/4" water service to leak as much as a crack in a 8 inch main line! Poly pipe is rarely run with a tracer wire, and tacking it down can be a challenge as the pipe does not need to be run in a straight line. Often people are told that the only solution when you have a leaking poly pipe is to replace the entire line. That is NOT the case, No matter the length, a good leak detection cpmpany can find a leak in your poly pipe and you can dig down to make a "spot" repair.

Different pipe materials can be hard to keep in good working order.

Which pipe material has been the hardest to keep in good shape?

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