Helium Tracer Gas Leak Detection Services
Until recently, there were three basic methods of finding leakage on water mains that failed the hydrostatic test. The first technique is a visual examination of the ground surface for wet spots or surfacing water. The next procedure is usually excavating and exposing every joint and fitting. The last procedure is leak detection by electro-acoustic listening. The first two methods are self-explanatory. The third option makes use of traditional leak detection methods using standard listening equipment, based on the theory that a fluid leaking from a conduit generates a sound and therefore can be detected acoustically. All acoustic equipment, from the most primitive (listening on a valve with ones ear on the key) to the most sophisticated (the leak noise correlator), depend on this theory.
However, the small leaks that normally occur causing a hydrostatic test failures, or normal leak found on PVC pipe, sometimes do not generate sufficient leak noise, which therefore can not be detected using traditional means.
Watermark Solutions Ltd. uses a more “cost” effective method for detecting these small leaks, called the Tracer Gas Injection Method. No excavation is required for the Tracer Gas testing, since the same feed and blow-off points as the original hydrostatic test can generally be used. In some cases, the Tracer Gas Injection Method becomes the only alternative effective approach and solution to locate leaks from a hydrostatic test failure.
This generally involves a Hydrostatic test in order to determine that the water main, joint connections and fittings have been installed properly, and will not leak under normal or adverse conditions. If the main does not pass the test, the contractor must find and repair any leaks on the system until the test is passed. Until recently, there were three basic methods of finding leakage on water mains that failed the hydrostatic test.