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Acoustic Leak Detection – Useful Guide

Acoustic Leak Detection Equipment

We’ve mentioned previously that we use a wide range of professional leak detection equipment to help maximise the chances of finding water leaks, including hidden water leaks that would otherwise not be visible with the naked eye or human ear. One of the water leak detectors (or methods) that we use Is acoustic leak detection.

Acoustic leak detection also helps to compliment some of our other methods of leak detection including thermal imaging leak detection, moisture meter mapping, tracer gas leak detection, pipe detectors, water meter reading analysis and much more. all these things combined with the skill of our trained leak detection engineers greatly increase the chances of finding a water leak.

Acoustic Leak Detector - Hidden Leaks
Acoustic Leak Detector – Hidden Leaks in Floor

What is Acoustic Leak Detection?

Acoustic leak detection is a form of non-destructive leak detection, in other words a method to help locate leaks accurately without having to cause damage to the property. Wherever possible we use non destructive methods of leak detection including acoustic leak detection and only access the leak (where the access part of trace and access comes from) when we are confident but there are signs of a water leak.

Because of their extensive training and experience, our leak detection specialists have a trained ear that understands the sound a water leak can make, even understanding what type of leak it may be depending on the sounds it is making.

We discuss further this in our guide when you have a water leak between meter and houses.

Water Leak Detection Service
Water Leak Detection Service

Acoustic leak detection affectively listens out for the sounds of drips and sprays from a water leak. these can be distinctive sounds which when amplified by a acoustic water leak detection device can either be listened to by our advanced leak detection engineers or displayed on an accompanying device which gives information about the leak.

This data and information can be very useful as not only can it help to find a water leak but it can tell you the difference in sound. for example a dripping sound, even underground, sounds very different to a spray and this he’s also evident when looked on a sound spectrum analyser.

The image below helps to show this:

Acoustic Leak Detection
Acoustic Leak Detection – Sound Spectrum

As you can see on the left hand side of the image, over a 10 second. There are 10 distinct sounds over water leak that the acoustic leak detection equipment has picked up. In this particular instance, it would suggest a leaking pipe that is dripping underground, under floorboards or under concrete floors (for concrete slab leaks).

Such sounds would most likely not be able to be heard without the help of professional and sensitive acoustic leak detection devices.

You can also see above how even a relatively small, dripping water leak can add up over time. You can see more information about this by looking at our water leak calculator. In this particular instance, the leak is estimated to be losing 29 litres per day which can cause a lot of water damage to a property.

Acoustic Leak Detection – Underground

as we mentioned above acoustic leak detection devices can be used to find water leaks underground in places that are not visible, such as for central heating leaks, perhaps in a situation where somebody’s boiler is losing pressure and water from the system but they cannot see where from, like when you get an F1 Boiler Error or F75 Boiler Error. Another common boiler error is Vaillant F22 error or Baxi E119 Fault.

People sometimes ask us which piece of leak detection equipment we use first, is it thermal imaging the detection is it acoustically detection is it moisture metres or is it something else? Well the answer is genuinely, it depends!

Acoustic Leak Detection - Underground
Acoustic Leak Detection – Underground Water Leak

Taking acoustic leak detection, with acoustic listening devices as a good example sometimes it may be a primary source of discovering water leaks which, like in the example we mentioned above for a central heating leak, then leads us onto further investigations using other methods – in this particular case thermal imaging being a good example.

That said on other occasions, it may be used as a secondary source. So going back to the example previously a thermal imaging camera may indicate an unexpected heat source, which might indicate a water leak. This might then lead to further investigation with acoustic early water leak detection devices as well as other non-destructive moisture meter devices.

Further Information on Acoustic Leak Detection

We have written a number of useful guides and articles on subjects related to water leaks, many of which can benefit from acoustic leak section.

Acoustic leak detection can help to find leaks in walls, leaks in floors, underground water leaks, basement water leaks, leaks in ceilings with water damage and many other forms of water leaks.

here are a few other articles giving more information on some of these subjects:

You can find much more on our Water Leak Blog page too and our Water Leak Detection Tips Page.

For more videos like this, please see our Water Leak YouTube Channel.

If you have need help finding a water leak at your home with our trace and access service, get in touch with our friendly team today. We offer these services to both domestic and commercial customers, including commercial leak detection.

As experts in both water damage restoration and leak detection, we have you covered. logo logo

How does acoustic leak detection work?

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Acoustic leak detection equipment has a highly sensitive microphone / sensor which picks up the sound of a water leak in your home or business. The devices then amplify the sound so that the leak detection engineer can hear it better. Their trained ear and experience will recognise the tell-tale sounds of a water leak and, often, what the type of leak is. A drip sounds different to a spray or even gushing water. Other leak detection equipment is uses alongside it.

Can you hear a water leak in the wall?

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In some instances, especially if you have a large or fast flowing water leak, you may be able to hear water leaks in walls. However, in the vast majority of water leaks in walls, especially those that are smaller or well hidden or covered, you will likely need acoustic leak detection methods to pinpoint water leaks. It is likely that a leak detection specialist will use this alongside other leak detectors to maximise the chances of finding any leaks in your home or business.