Finding an undergound water leak

Has anyone has any success at using IR to find an underground water leak from a plumbing supply line?

Had a company contact me about locating same buried about 3 feet deep…under concrete at that…(commercial complex).

Jeff

Jeff you might see a difference , because of temperature but you have to run the water. another way is ultra sonic. I doubt if it is under 3 in concrete that anything would be readable

Yeah,…it being a supply line would make it more difficult to pick up the Delta T especially in the winter (Charlotte, NC)…just wondering how much truly does the sensitivity of say a BCAM come into play versus the more expensive units…I know much of it is relative to the unknown tangibles.

thanks

We have plumbing companies that look for leaks in radiant driveways, among other things. Their lines are not generally 3" deep, but if you run steam through the line it will help produce a Delta T.

Jason Kaylor – JJ
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You need to call one of those thermal imaging guys that claim to be able to do x-ray vision and MRI scans of your house! There is one guy that says he can find leaking dams[FONT=Tahoma][size=2]![/size][/FONT]
[FONT=Tahoma][size=2]
[/size][/FONT]3 feet down and under concrete[FONT=Tahoma][size=2], I don’t think so.[/size][/FONT]
[FONT=Tahoma][size=2]
[/size][/FONT]Even if you can force extremely hot water through the pipe in a closed loop, by the time it gets to the surface you are not going to have very much temperature differential.

[FONT=Tahoma][size=2]Your BCAM is not likely going to cut it either. If you can raise the water temperature leaking out of the pipe (or wait until summertime) and get back on top a building and scan the parking area with a camera that has high sensitivity and capable of long distance imaging, you may find the general location where water is reaching the surface below the concrete (if in fact it is coming up and not going down to the aquifer).

[/size][/FONT]I’m sure they know where the pipe is located[FONT=Tahoma][size=2]. They need to core the concrete slab along the pipe and use a Geoprobe and take soil samples for moisture content.
[/size][/FONT]

I think your right David, I was hoping that since condition has been going on for at least 3 months that enough water has collected toward the surface under the concrete to bring a noticeable temperature difference that could pick it up.

So far they are willing to pay me at least 250 just for showing up and making an attempt however I don’t want to knowingly show up just to take their money leaving them the impression that thermography is a waste of time. I did explicitly disclose to them that the chances are great that I may not be able to tell however they still want to schedule a plumber at the same time in case we were to find something…my luck would be an underground spring is there…lol.

Hey, which company is it that is using Superman as part of their marketing campaign…lol.

I wonder if this would be a better option?

Jeff

David Valley, but that is a spoof!

If they will pay $250 for you to go educate yourself, do it! :wink:
Don’t worry about it until your charging $1k to “show up”.

I have a plumbing company that called me back in January to find a water leak in a parking lot concrete covered I went by the restaurant out of curiosity was there less than 15 minutes and found a leak in the soil adjacent to the parking lot where the sprinklers were leaking. The plumber uses ultrasonic to find leaks under slabs but even that is sometimes hard to pin point exact location. The next slab leak that this company gets a call on they are going to call me to bring the camera. I told the plumber that the carpet would have to be pulled from any floor area or be hard covered before IR would have any chance of locating anything. I am doing this strictly as a learning situation at no charge to anyone. I have always had my curiosity up about water leaks and slab floors ever since I got into IR but have never had the opportunity to be on a job site with a active leak.

Sonic is the level that the link you gave is using Jeff. Ultrasonic is above 20k and the that is using 1 to 3k. There is an ultrasonic gun that can also be used for this but its price is around $3k too. If you want to know more let me know. Likely tough you would want to do more than an occasional underground leak. Air leak detection for commercial buildings is pretty profitable too.
I have also had someone tell me they have found a water leak under 4 inches of concrete and 12 inhces of fill. They were using a T360 though. The biggest concern that you have with this Jeff is the resolution more than the sensitivity.
But also like you said there are many variables that go into play like temperature of the water and temperature of the ground.
Let everyone know what you find out though.

OJ Utter
Level 3 itc Thermographer

Would necular testing do this, OJ? I am only familiar with the fact that necular testing equipment exists and is used often for flat roof scans on an plane/helicopter platform, generally. Other than that I know little to nothing about it.

Jason Kaylor – JJ
VP of Sales
877/207-1244
AC Tool Supply](http://www.aikencolon.com/)
Fluke Thermal Imagers
FLIR Thermal Imagers
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FLIR B60 Resources](http://www.flir-b60.com/)
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We found a hydronic heat line leak under similar materials and it showed nicely viewed through my B400. We ran the boiler for about 1 hour but it was presenting itself after 30-45 minutes or sooner (wanted to make sure)…happy plumber…happy me…got paid went home. :smiley:

I’ve done a few jobs finding water/heat lines under concrete/soil, brick/soil, etc. I’m pleased I went with the higher resolution imager.

One job I found the roof leak location (2 roofers couldn’t find) and marked his in floor heat lines so he could drill into the floor to attach a slide. One hour with travel time, no report, $450 and a very happy client.

Letting people know what can be accomplished (educating) is the biggest job for me.

Necular? That is a new one. Think I will stick with Sonic, Ultrasound, and infrared.

That is totally awesome Larry. Higher resolution kicks it doesn’t it. Have you ever looked at the P620 or P640 (640x480). They are a little bit over kill for building but the images are AWESOME. Beware these are 673MB pics
http://www.utterprecision.com/images/IR_0098.jpg
http://www.utterprecision.com/images/IR_0026.jpg
http://www.utterprecision.com/images/IR_0024.jpg

The last one is my favorite. Who can figure out what it is?

And yes any NDT technology is all about educating but if a picture is worth a 1,000 words; infrared has to be worth at least 100,000. :shock::smiley:

I Think therefore IR :wink:
OJ Utter

SWAG last image looks like a flame pattern on a boiler with a HI temp camera:cool: On second look it looks like a arm and hand.

Looks like someone blowing into their hands.

Yes, higher resolution is well worth it.

http://www.aeandc.com/Content/Site/prods/Nuclear.asp

I know a roofing inspection company down here in AZ that uses both nuclear and infrared. On high reflective surfaces the nuclear is extremely more accurate.

I just was not sure how deep it would go.

Jason Kaylor – JJ
VP of Sales
877/207-1244
AC Tool Supply](http://www.aikencolon.com/)
Fluke Thermal Imagers
FLIR Thermal Imagers
Fluke TiR1 Resources
FLIR B60 Resources](http://www.flir-b60.com/)
Retrotec Duct & Blower Door](http://www.aikencolon.com/Retrotec-Air-Blower-Door-Duct-Systems_c_1074.html)

Oh Nuclear. Web page says how deep down it tests. For a commercial item, I would guess it can’t have power for much more. Ever been in a Nuke plant. Security very tight. Safety even tighter.

OJ

What is the picture of, OJ?

That one is the veins in my wifes arm & hand. She is resting her face in her hand. You can trace the veins up to her knuckles which are colder. I tried to do it with my T400 but the images weren’t as good.
OJ

Got this one with a BCAM.

Controlling the test conditions is critical.

Hey now…whys my name being thrown out here? What did I do now?