Before looking for an Orange County water leak detection specialist, you’ll likely have some questions about how you ended up with a leak in the first place—but did you know that leak detection specialists address both water and gas leaks?
If you’ve ever had a gas leak in your home or even a water leak, you know how important it is to find and fix the problem as soon as possible. In this article, we will discuss what a leak detection specialist does, how to know if you’ve got a leak, and what causes water or gas leaks.
What Is a Leak Detection Specialist?
You guessed it—a Leak Detection Specialist is an individual who specializes in locating and repairing leaks in gas or liquid plumbing. The primary role of a Leak Detection Specialist is to find hidden leaks and to repair them efficiently and with minimal invasiveness. Leak Detection Specialists also have special tools unique to their trade including listening discs, video analysis equipment, thermal imaging cameras, and soil probes to help them detect the presence of a leak.
What's the Difference Between a Leak Detection Specialist and a Plumber?
Leak Detection Specialists are considered specialists within the general genre of plumbing, while your average residential plumber is going to have a more holistic knowledge of common plumbing problems. If you have a backed-up shower drain, for example, you’ll likely want to call your local plumber for their experience in this area; if you suspect you may have a leak, you will call a leak detection specialist to either confirm or deny this truth.
How Do I Know If I've Got a Leak?
Sometimes it’s immediately obvious when you’ve sprung a leak—like if you’re trying to hang a towel rack and your drill bit strikes the emergency sprinkler plumbing system. This would present a very clear problem, and therefore would likely be addressed quite quickly. Other times, it’s less obvious that you’ve sprung a leak—such as in the case of old, worn-out pipes that have a fissure. Over time, these “sneaky” leaks can cause extensive water damage to your home or office—so the sooner you can catch them, the better! Here are some warning sounds that you might have a leak:
· Dripping water noises
· Stains on your walls or ceiling
· Damaged flooring or walls
· Unusually low water pressure
· Surprisingly high utility bill
Even the smallest of leaks can add up to incredibly large bills down the road—not just with wasted water or gas, but also with the safety hazards they pose as well. If you suspect you may have a leak, it’s important to call a Leak Detection Specialist right away; the sooner you are able to repair the leak, the less damage you will incur from it.
What Causes a Water Leak?
Not every leak has an obvious beginning, but they all have to start somewhere. Some leaks are simply the result of old piping and everyday use. There are certain red flags that you should be aware of, however, that can sometimes indicate you’ll experience a leak. The most common causes of water leaks are:
1. Extreme fluctuations in temperature or weather. Temperature extremes are hard on most construction projects, let alone plumbing full of water. Water is volatile in the sense that it changes state at different temperatures—which is especially important for your pipes in the winter, as a frozen pipe is a busted pipe.
2. Tree roots. The primary job of a root is to seek water; this makes pipes an appealing target for the average tree, especially if there is already a small leak in the pipe. Tree roots cause untold damage to plumbing each year, as they are extremely attracted to nutrient-dense pipe water.
3. Faucet leaks. A leaky faucet can waste anywhere from 1-11 gallons of water in a day, or over 300 gallons a month. Leaky faucets and other fixtures are fortunately a relatively simple fix, however, and tend to be a significantly cheaper endeavor than repairing tree root damage.
4. Running toilets. Typically the result of a faulty floater or flapper, running toilets can waste two gallons of water in just a single minute. This is the most common source of a water leak, but is also relatively easily fixed.
What Causes a Gas Leak?
Perhaps the most dangerous of all the types of leaks is a gas leak. Especially in enclosed spaces, a gas leak can lead to illness or even death, and could even lead to an explosion—so addressing a gas leak is critically time-sensitive. With natural gas, you will likely be able to detect a sulfuric smell (described as smelling like rotten eggs) which should alert you to the leak—but what about in cases where the gas is odorless? In some circumstances, you will be able to hear a hissing sound emanating from your furnace as gas shoots out of the pipe.
Gas leaks can be sparked by any number of factors, but here are two of their primary causes:
1. Worn out piping. If your gas piping is old, it is possible that it will wear out over time and lose its seal or even break apart. If your house is old or it’s been a while since you’ve had your pipes checked out by a Leak Detection Specialist, it may be in your interest to reassess the current standing of your gas pipes.
2. Furnace problems. While it is possible for gas leaks to appear in the gas supply line to your furnace, it is more likely that they will crop up due to a cracked heat exchanger. The role of the heat exchanger in your furnace is to contain a combustion chamber over which air is blown to pick up and circulate heat. If your heat exchanger has sprung a leak, this means some gas will escape before combustion occurs, creating a safety hazard and a big utility bill. A heat exchanger will crack when it is allowed to overheat, typically the result of small or blocked ductways and clogged filters.
Orange County Water Leak Detection Specialist
The nature of pipes is that, depending on what they are made from, they will likely wear out with time. This likelihood is increased by certain factors like the weather or your proximity to trees or other vegetation. Unfortunately, not all leaks are as obvious as a running toilet. If you have a higher-than-usual utility bill or you suspect there is water damage in your home, it may be time to call a Leak Detection Specialist.