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Leak Detection and Management

Tips and tricks

Domestic step testing

Do you suspect that you have a leak in your property ?
Do the following
1. Check your water meter, does it turn yes / no
if NO then you do not have a leak.
if Yes go to step 2.
2. Any taps or toilets that is leaking, Yes / No
if Yes Fix the problem. Go to step 1.
if Yes follow point 3 if No problem solved.
3. Close the inlet valve to the house. This is normally near your kitchen door.
Check the meter if it is still turning Yes / No
if Yes the leak is between the meter and the inlet.
if No the leak is in the house or hot water system.
Still can't see where the leak is Call Us..
NB: SOME LEAKS ARE ONLY PREVELANT UNDER HIGH PRESSURE, THUS DURING THE NIGHT SO IF NO MOVEMENT IS VISIBLE ON THE METER, TAKE READING's BEFORE YOU GO TO BED AND FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.TO ENSURE NO WATER WAS USED DURING THE NIGHT.
If there was a movement during the night that can't be explaint as use of toilets ect the test will have to be done at night to find the leak.


Leak Sizes: HOW MUCH WATER CAN YOU LOOSE ?
Size hole
0.5mm 0.33 lpm 20l ph .048 m³per day 14.4 m³ per month
1.0mm 0.97 lpm 58l ph 1.39 m³ per day 41.6 m³ per month
1.5mm 1.82 lpm 110l ph 2.64 m³ per day 79 m³ per month
2.0mm 3.16 lpm 190l ph 4.56 m³ per day 136 m³ per month
2.5mm 5.09 lpm 305l ph 7.30 m³ per day 218 m³ per month
This is at 5 Kpa pressure as per SABS Code Of Practice 0306-1:1998
a 1.0mm leak is possible with one strong leaking toilet. up to 41 600L water PM



What is step testing?
Step testing is a method of elimination
Start at a point the furthers away from the meter and close valves one by one whilst checking the meter after each valve is closed once the meter stop your leak is in that section of pipe that was closed off last.

How much does a leak cost?

Leaks can cost you more than just the water that is going to waste but also the cost on your sewer as you pay a percentage of what you pay for water that passes through your meter for sewer. A factor always left out is electricity if the leak is on the hot water network. If you receive free water remember that the leak is not the free water you get but rather the water you pay for that could have been saved.


Where is the leak?

Don’t be fooled the sound in the bathroom or kitchen does not always point to a leak in the bathroom or kitchen or just outside it can be meters away as these areas are acoustic right for the sound to be amplified. Sound travel in pipes to this points. In most cases leaks are next to the sewer line and the water find a way along the pipe and therfore stay under ground and undetected by sight. Tree roots and flowers force the water down and cause it not to become visible


What should I do if I buy a house?

1. Check the meter to insure there is no leaks.

2. Insist on a report that the water network is sound and leak free, we can do a pressure test to prove that no leaks are present.

3. Check the geyser/s or let them be check if the installation comprises with the SABS 0254 safety code

4. Ask for a sewer inspection to be sure that the sewer net work is intact clean and has no broken pipes or tree roots in it.

5 Ask for a layout of where the fresh water and sewer networks are located on the property draw it on a copy of the building plans. Or make a raw drawing of it with estimates for later if you have problems with the networks




IF IN DOUBT CALL US IF IN DOUBT CALL US IF IN DOUBT CALL US

PRV’S Pressure reducing Valves.
This piece of equipment can be installed at complexes, office blocks etc, to reduce the supply pressure in order to prevent burst pipes and damage to your network when the supplier increases pressure for what ever reason.
The delivery pressure can be set to a level that is acceptable for the client. By doing this you will not only save on maintenance but will also save on water consumption.

Geyser installations: ( DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AS A DIY)

http://www.iopsa.org.za/iopsa-regulations.htm

http://www.geyserco.co.za/Installation.html

 

 

Illistrations from IOPSA Site


All installation must comply with SABS 0254 safety code as per illustrations above.

All installations after 2001 must be according to these specifications, if not and worked on, the homeowner must be informed in writing by the plumber that the installation is not according to this standard. Home owners insurance companies may refuse coverage if the installation is not according to standard.


What size geyser can I fit against a wall?

No geyser bigger than 150ℓ shall be wall mounted.
The wall must be inspected to see if it will hold the geyser or need additional support.
Fastening bolts may not be smaller than 10mm and at least four of them must be used.
Enough space must be left for maintenance afterwards without distress.

Ceiling mounted geysers

Ceiling mounted geysers must be fitted with a tray and support must be as follows

114mm x 38mm or 50mm x 75mm part two-stress grade structural timber must be used for support between the roof truss beams and must also spread over one load bearing wall..
Reinforced truss beams, the geyser must spread over three beams and a load bearing wall.

What common mistakes are made when installing a geyser?


Common mistakes to look out for, no pipes should run over the trap door, a shut off valve should be in reach from the trap door and so the electrical switch. The 50mm tray drainpipe should protrude at least 150mm outside the wall and must be installed at a slope this will eliminate back dripping and moisture being absorbed into the walls.

The pipe fitted to the safety valve should be metal and lead to the outside of the house.

The use of Poly propylene pipe (Polycob) in a roof is strongly discourage

The use of the same pipe for hot water or installation in a wall is not of standard and should not be done.

Do not fit Polycob pipes close to a geyser at all. ( it expand and shrik with the heat and cooling down the start to leak at the joints) Polycob is for cold water underground.


METER READINGS:

How do I read my meter?


For the purpose of charges only the white on black readings should be taken

To determine if you have a leak look at the dials or the white on red readings


1000 Kℓ 100 Kℓ 10 Kℓ 1Kℓ 100 ℓ 10 ℓ liters Mℓx100
Black on white ( BUlk) White on red or dails
White on Black (Bypass)

On the bulk side the dails replace the white on red numbers with the smallest water use on the left side

  

 

 


Is my meter faulty?


The chances is very slim, how older a meter how worst is the accuracy but always then in favor of the client. Faults on meters do occur but in very few cases.

In cases of bulk meters, it’s advised that strainers be installed before the meter to prevent damage by stones and debris in the water.

Bypass meters / Bulk meters

Here you have two readings to content with, One for high volume flow and one for low volume flow.
These are normally at factories, housing complexes, flats and office blocks.

Meter installation

Meter should be installed as per instruction from the manufacturer thus the most common mistakes made.
Meter can only be installed vertical or horizontal mostly the later make sure the meters are installed in the correct manner.
There should be at least three times the diameter of the meter straight pipe in front of the meter and no obstruction behind the meter specially in cases of bulk meters.


If it is a 100mm meter, there should be 300mm straight pipe before the meter without obstruction and behind the meter. This might not be the case with some newer meters now on the market always refer to the meter specifications.

TWO COMON METHODS OF LEAK DETECTION:

Sound: a correlator will be used that will record the sound in the pipes with the size, lenght and make of pipe keyd into the computer the sound velocity will be calculated and the leak will be pinpointed

Gas: Forming gas is pumped into the pipe network and the gas is traced. This method tend to be more expensive as the gas is a consumable that can't be recovered. The Gas is harmless in the quanteties used.

COMMEN CAUSES OF LEAKS:

1. Coper pipes not soldered properly / pitting

2. Galvinised pipes age , Tree roots

3. Polycob brase fittings coration due to electricity ( lightning earth problems) no O rings, roots , rocks on the pipe.

4. HDPE pipe no o rings , cracked , tree roots, rocks on the pipe

5. Pressure to high for the pipe

6. Trees that are planted on top of the pipe line and the roots damage the pipes