This week’s ‘Leak of the Week’ revealed some key points that we’d like to summarise for you to bear in mind when hiring a Leak Detection Engineer.
Please be careful who you’re hiring! The basic rules are as follows:
Rule Number 1: Make sure the company is capable of carrying out the repairs!
Alarm bells should ring if the company hired cannot carry out the repairs because that is not part of their service. In most cases they will point to an area that they suspect the leak to be and ask you to get a plumber in to expose and repair the pipe. Ok that’s fair enough and that’s not saying they haven’t completed the investigation correctly, but what happens if that leak is not in that location or worse still, what happens if there are multiple leaks?
Until the leak has been repaired by yet another contractor, in most cases it won’t be evident there is another leak possibly until extensive damage has yet again caused havoc!
Rule Number 2: Please make sure they are time served or registered plumbing or heating engineers!
Non Invasive leak detection, Trace and access, Water leak Detection!
However you wish to describe it is a professional service and should be booked as a professional service. Too often is the serviced looked at as just tracing a leak and fixing it!
In truth water mains, internal or external, hot, cold and heating circuit pipework can be very complex and should only be worked on by qualified professional plumbing and heating experts.
ADI being one of the first companies to develop and carry out a professional leak detection service, has always maintained that if you’re not a plumber or heating engineer, how can you understand what you’re looking for? Analogy time!
Would you trust your dentist to perform heart surgery on you?
Bit extreme, I know!
But since we started the Leak detection revolution all those years ago, we have been copied multiple times and not always by people that have any relevant experience.
Now we are not against competition, in fact quite the opposite.
We feel very proud that our humble little business helped provide a completely new service to the market place! But in short we hear our fair share of horror stories.
Any way you must get my point by now. I think the phrase I’m looking for is “Horses for Courses”.
We have created this blog to hopefully help customers through the hiring of Leak Detection Specialists, not wanting anybody to have a similar experience to our customer below.
Leak of the Week! Witham, Essex
As a homeowner there must be nothing worse than to suffer a leak that has silently been causing extensive damage to your home. You finally get it found and repaired by 2 different companies, and undergo an extensive drying programme, only to discover that less than a year later you’ve got yet another leak.
This is what happened to one of our customers recently. They approached us with caution – as many of our customers do! Having already spent vast amounts of money with several other companies in the industry but still with a problem that remained unresolved. Naturally lots of people are fearful when they approach us that more money will be spent and they’ll be left with questions unanswered.
This particular customer already had a Leak Detection carried out by one of our competitors, but they had to source a separate plumbing company to come in and carry out the repair.
As is the case with most of our competitors, the company they used for the Leak Detection wasn’t able to carry out the repairs because unlike us, they are not registered plumbers!
However the implication of this goes far beyond the fact that their customers have to source a different company to carry out the repairs…
It also means that once the repair has been carried out there is no reliable way of checking the pipework for further leaks. Unless the customer wants to pay for yet another Leak Detection, they will pretty much have to assume there are no further leaks. Or at best, use the water meter for confirmation.
And this was exactly the story that we were told by our customers, a couple from Witham, Essex. They wanted to know exactly what we could do to find out once and for all what other leaks their property was suffering, what could we do to resolve them and what advice we could give them on the likelihood of more leaks occurring in future.
We had a look at the report from their last appointment and explained to them how we carry out a non-invasive leak detection investigation step by step. We booked them in for an appointment with Matt (One of our Specialist Leak Detection Engineers and Time Served Qualified Plumbers) a couple of days later.
On arrival Matt was shown where the previous work had been carried out on the internal mains and the customer explained that the previous investigation had shown that the pipework was in poor condition and slowly deteriorating.
The new leak was identified using our trusted non-invasive leak detection methods, under the customer’s sink unit in the utility room buried in concrete screed:
Upon exposing the pipework, Matt had to then make a decision and use his judgement to assess the condition of the pipework. Would a spot repair be enough to resolve the problem? Or would a whole section of pipework need to be replaced, possibly going into a second day of work? Here is the leak exposed, and you can clearly see the poor quality of the copper pipe:
Our aim is to deliver the best results for our customers at the most reasonable prices! So Matt decided to chase back the poor quality pipework to see how far it went back and figure out if he would be able to achieve a same day repair that would still be able to stand the test of time.
He discovered that just a few inches back the condition of the pipework drastically improved, so he cut out the section of poor quality deteriorating pipework and replaced it with new:
Next the pipework was lagged to protect it from corrosion by the surrounding materials:
Finally came probably the most important aspect of the service we provide – Matt repeated the tracer gas test on the supply at 4.5bar, which is approx. 1.5 times the normal operating pressure of the pipework.
Re-testing this way is so much more effective than a simple meter test! Because it tells you that the condition of the pipework and the fittings are both strong enough to withstand a pressure which is higher than the normal operating pressure contained in the pipe. This provides much stronger evidence that the pipework is not likely to fail or to deteriorate any time soon.
As the leak area was hidden underneath the customer’s sink unit, Matt advised to leave the area exposed just in case of any future problems. At least the leak area would be easily accessible and allow for a quick fix, although we highly doubt this will be necessary!
And this is how the area was left, you would never even know we had attended!
This is what the customer had to say about using our services (Review left on our ADI Leak Detection London Business page):
“We chose ADI Leak Detection following a failed attempt to find and repair a leak. Unfortunately we previously went with a company who found a leak but didn’t repair it.
We had to arrange for another plumber to repair the leaking pipe. Following another high water bill we realised there had been more than one leak.
ADI Leak Detection were superb. I initially spoke to Monique who was very reassuring and knowledgeable. She arranged the visit within two days.
Matt was amazing, he did a full check of our pipework and located the leak in the water supply under cupboards in our utility room. This was difficult to get to but he managed to avoid any major damage and got to the source. He replaced the pipework, but moreso he ensured that we were not incurring any further water loss and was not satisfied until all was tested in full.
I wholeheartedly recommend them, they are very skilled, have all the “kit”, and moreso are very good to deal with. If we have any further leakages (hopefully not), they will be the first to call.”
We would like to sincerely thank this customer for choosing ADI and for their kind feedback! And we wish them a happy and leak free future!
And if you’re reading this blog and you are also suffering with a hidden leak… We want to help you! So give us a call now on 0800 731 3843.