Helium is something that most people think of as being used for kid’s balloons, but it actually has some other more serious and important uses.
However, helium can be used to detect water leaks, for example.
Using helium for water leak detection is efficient, non-invasive and effective at detecting even the smallest leaks.
How Helium Helps With Water Leak Detection
Helium is a simple and non-intrusive option for detecting leaks in water pipes. It has several benefits compared to other solutions:
- It can be injected into the supply without requiring any invasive works
- Leak detection can be performed without interruption to the water supply
- The detection process is fast and accurate
- Even small leaks can be detected
- There is no need to dig up piping to test for leaks.
The process works by injecting helium into the supply and tracking it as it goes through the length of pipe to be tested.
Helium is less dense than air, so will rise up through the floor if it escapes.
There are only trace amounts of helium in the air so typically, technicians using helium can detect water leaks using test equipment at ground level with a good degree of accuracy.
Helium testing can be performed on long, large areas of pipe with a good level of success.
Unlike other forms of leak detection, it should not interfere with users of the water supply. However, there are some minor “side effects”.
Helium testing may lead to some users of the water supply that are near the test point experiencing “air bubbles” in their supply.
Small amounts of helium are not dangerous. The helium will rise and dissipate quite quickly. The helium is not harmful to plumbing either.
However, it is natural for consumers to become concerned at noticing air in the supply, so it is a good idea to notify users so that they do not call in for support after finding air in their water supply.
Simply running the tap for a little while should be sufficient to clear the air and restore normal supply.
How Accurate is Helium Water Leak Detection?
If the technicians find no helium at ground level, this means that there have been no leaks detected.
Helium can detect even fairly small leaks so this can be treated as a good sign.
If there is helium found at ground level, then this gives the technicians an indication of where they can look for the leak.
Helium water detection can pinpoint leaks over large areas of piping down to an accuracy of a minimum just over 3km, but usually a much shorter distance.
A team of technicians can survey 1 to 1.5km of pipework each day.
Helium is useful for finding leaks and can be used as a routine test to audit an existing network of pipes.
All that is required is a small tapping valve to allow for the insertion of the helium into the water supply.
This survey method is suitable for use in both cities and rural areas. Since it is non-invasive it can even be used to cross fields.
While technicians will need to be able to access fields to do ground-level testing there is no need to dig the fields up.
Overall, for large scale water leak detection, helium testing is a very good technique.
It can be combined with other techniques for inspecting smaller areas of pipework once the leak has been narrowed down to a specific section of the pipe network.
This helps to reduce water waste and keep your water supply running at optimal pressure and efficiency year after year.
If you are looking for a trustworthy and reliable plumbing service in Melbourne, then look no further than Austest Pipeline Solutions.
We have more than 20 years’ experience in domestic, commercial, and industrial plumbing with water leak detection our speciality.
Please call us today for all your plumbing needs on 0410 609 961 or contact us here.