Advice how to locate leak from under floor pipework.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by The Dark Horse, Aug 7, 2018.

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  1. The Dark Horse

    The Dark Horse
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    Has anyone had to do this? It's looking like my central heating system has a small leak and there is no obvious signs of a leak above ground. The pipework runs under a raised floor so if its leaking from there the flooring will need to come up (aaaargh). I have heard of companies that use thermal imaging to locate leaks, anyone used these? I'm not sure my insurance company would deal with small leaks, burst pipes yes but not little ones that aren't causing any obvious damage, unless anyone can advise otherwise.
     
  2. MrFraggle

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    A thermal imaging company to see if they can find it is a little hit and miss and miss and miss from what I have heard

    See if your house insurance will cover seek and uncover.
     
  3. leo79

    leo79
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    A mate of mine used a thermal imaging camera to find a leak in his concrete floor. After taking most of the floor up he realised that brass fittings were showing up as water on the camera. Not sure if that was user error or not but something to bear in mind.
     
  4. Wahreo

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    Might be worth trying to get the floor up in a human size hole and crawl under the void if it’s deep enough.
    Use a really good torch. You might get lucky and spot something.

    This is the disadvantage of suspended floors, you rarely see a leak
     
  5. Chadford

    Chadford
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    Why do you suspect it's a leak? Is it that you are having to re-pressurise you system regularly?
     
  6. Thug

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    I had a leak on the first floor of my house a few years back. Absolutely ruined the kitchen ceiling.
    Directly above the leak was the landing area next to the bathroom.
    I took the fooorboards up on the bathroom only to find it dry, so then took them up on the landing and could then see the water pooling but couldn’t see any pipes at all.
    To cut a long story I used an inspection camera that I bought for around £40 and located it from a central heating pipe in the bedroom. Unfortunately it was under a wardrobe so I had to empty that before I could move it, to lift the floor boards up in order to repair it.
    It has been caused by a nail in the floorboards rubbing against it when people walked on them.

    You could try an inspection camera and may only need to lift a floorboard or 2.
    I think you can now get them that connect to your mobile phone, but not tried one yet.
     
  7. The Dark Horse

    The Dark Horse
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    Yes dropping pressure, boilers been fully checked and no sign of the boiler being faulty.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  8. The Dark Horse

    The Dark Horse
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    did your insurance cover any of this?
     
  9. ruffage

    ruffage
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    Might sound a bit hippy trippy but my sister found where a leak was occurring under her patio using water divining. :eek:
     
  10. Wahreo

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    I’ve seen a customer do that. Found every last pipe run under her concrete floor using two bent wires.

    It didn’t help to find the leak though, only where the pipework was running.
     
  11. Doug the D

    Doug the D
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    Isn’t it funny how we look upon what we view as rudimentary or simple methods used for probably thousands of years as being ‘hippy trippy’? I’m not having a dig, just pointing it out :)
     
  12. Thug

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    I just repaired it myself and didn't even look at the insurance.
    I'm sure they paid for the ceiling to be sorted though.
     
  13. IL Cattivo

    IL Cattivo
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    Horrible business having pipe leaks..

    2 years back to the day we discovered a burst pipe under our Kitchen floor. Whole lot (Terracotta) had to come up and be relayed from new. The other problem was that the ground floor in our house is split level with the Kitchen being at the highest point, so the water also destroyed the oak floor boards in the dining room and lounge, so they had to come up too.. :(

    All claimed on the house insurance, but we were lucky! If the pipe that leaked was the mains run coming into the house then we wouldn't have been covered. Luckily it was the CH hot pipe going to the hot tap in the Kitchen, so part of the internal system.

    Caused us 6 months of hell getting everything put right from all the flooring to skirting boards and even replacing parts of the internal plasterboard walling which had been damaged when it soaked up the water.

    Concrete and copper pipe don't mix (Concrete eats away at it over time). Hence why we had it all replaced with the white plastic stuff, but still took the cautious approach of protecting it when the trench was filled in again and levelled.
     

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  14. ruffage

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    To be fair my sister's a bit of a hippy and has done a lot of drugs in her time. :rotfl:

    If anything I'm the sceptic because I've not seen water divining happen. I don't doubt it, just would like to see it occurring.
     
  15. jassco

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    They're seen as 'hippy trippy' because water divining doesn't work. Might as well ask a ghost to pop through the floorboards to have a look for the leak
     
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  16. enigma1701

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    I used fernox f4 leak sealer, worked like a charm, perhaps it's worth trying it before a more costly alternative!
     
  17. Ruperts slippers

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  18. Wahreo

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    The plastic pipe should only be laid in a conduit. A pipe in pipe system.

    Also access hatches Must be installed at all joints and branches, bends etc.

    It’s one of the regulations that everybody ignores. Myself included:D
     
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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  19. cameradrug

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    I agree with Enigma1701. C/H sealants will repair small leaks on systems. How often are you having to top up your system pressure? A 1L container costs about £15 from Screwfix. Just pour it into the system via a radiator after first removing the bleed valve. It will certainly do your system no harm and may save you a fortune and a hell of a lot of dispruption if it works.
     
  20. the whistler

    the whistler
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    I had the same problem a couple of years ago. Although there was no visible leak, I tightened all the joints on the radiators and this cured the problem. Apparently when the pressure drops, air is drawn in to the system. This air can escape through radiator joints which are not fully tightened. Although water can't escape, air can. This leads to a drop in pressure again and when repressurised, air is forced out again. It worked for me, give it a try.
     
  21. Palladio

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    We thought we had the same problem, forever re-pressurising the system on virtually a daily basis. Had various local Boiler engineers to look at it and all of them ended changing various bits and putting various makes of sealants in the system saying this brand was the best thing since sliced bread. Worked for a few weeks or months and then back to re-pressurising the system. Eventually called in the boiler manufacture to have a look and he changed the Heat Exchanger which none of the others said was the problem. Monitored the pressure for a few weeks to make sure all was OK and everything has been sweet since then.
     
  22. jeallen01

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    If you have a modern sealed boiler system (most are), then there are a couple of other ways to add leaker sealant:
    - via the filling loop, but not too easy as you have to drain some water from the system first;
    - via a "Magnatex" or similar magnetic "filter" (also a great thing - removes an awful lot of ferritic "debris", i.e. rust, in the system, and you should get one fitted if you don't already have one) - lock the valves either side of the filter and remove it, then pour the sealant into the filter bowl and refit it.
     

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