Pipeline leak detection is often used to identify if and how a leak has leaked into an underground system that contains gas and liquids. Many leak-detection methods include infrared, hydrostatic pressure testing, and high-pressure laser technology following pipeline installation and leak detection upon routine inspection and maintenance. The following are examples of common leak detection techniques used today.
An example of a common leak detection method is acoustic detection. Acoustic sensors (sometimes referred to as carter gauges or acoustic probes) are used frequently in petroleum pipelines and other underground sources of gas and liquids. These instruments can detect any leak through the use of reflected sound waves. A carter gauge measures both the ground pressure and the soil pressure at various depths. The reflected sound waves are converted into electrical signals, which can be detected by an instrument connected to a monitoring system.
Another example of leak detection using sound is water detection. Water is removed by high-pressure pumping. In the absence of leaks, this pumping action may not be effective. For instance, pipes may be completely buried beneath the surface. If a pump or other mechanical device is not installed properly, it could remove water from the pipes without harming them or the system itself. Using leak sensors for leak detection can help prevent this situation from developing.
Another type of leak detection method uses passive infrared technology for detecting leaks. High-frequency sound waves, usually emitted from transmitters or receivers, can detect the presence of radiation levels in underground pipes. Passive infrared sensing uses the natural frequencies generated by objects in the environment, such as radars, lasers, or moving air molecules, to detect radiation concentrations. Usually, passive-infrared sensors are combined with level sensors for determining the height of an individual source.
Leak detection professionals need to remember several different types of leak detection equipment and sensors on the market. Some of these include wire and cable detectors, thermistors, and leak counters. A cable detector is simply a wire that runs through the piping; when it comes into contact with a conductive material, it emits a high-frequency sound wave. These can be bought from many different retailers, although wire detectors tend to be more expensive. The main benefit of wire detectors is that they can be installed anywhere in your home or business.
Thermometers are another common tool for leak detection. These devices measure the temperature of a particular area by reading its resistance to heat flow. They can come in the form of a hand-held device or a built-in system that monitors temperature and can be controlled by an electric motor. Hand-held models have the advantage of being more portable, but thermometers built into large distribution systems are often more accurate due to their ability to continuously measure. These machines are also more difficult to tamper with than some other types of detectors.
Several other types of leak detection sensors on the market, including the acoustic type, measure the frequency of noise created by water leaks. Acoustic sensors are used mainly in residential homes because they tend only to pick up loud noises. Some homeowners use these because they are concerned about noise pollution and do not wish to buy a device that could cause more noise. This particular type of leak detection device is also quite sensitive, so it does not pick up some of the less noisy sounds produced by machinery such as washing machines.
Some people are concerned that leaks might be a sign of more serious issues, such as water damage or structural issues in the building. It should be noted that leaks can contribute to greater structural moisture if they are located near a floor drain or sump pump. In this case, it is possible to have leaking pipes without knowing about it, so it is necessary to leak detection systems to find out whether any damage is actually occurring. It is also important to note that leaks can only become a problem after a certain period of time has passed. For example, if a pipe becomes plugged, it will continue to leak until it is completely blocked.