Location and Leak Detection

Quickly locating the source of infiltration and inflow in sewer systems can save utilities thousands in operating costs and wasted resources. The items below, including electronic leak detectors and utility line locators, smoke locators, dyes and push TV cameras, will help you ramp up your line locating and leak detection programs safely and efficiently.
Location and Leak Detection
Portable pipe inspection camera

Interested in Inspection?

Get Inspection articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Inspection + Get Alerts

Quickly locating the source of infiltration and inflow in sewer systems can save utilities thousands in operating costs and wasted resources. The items below, including electronic leak detectors and utility line locators, smoke locators, dyes and push TV cameras, will help you ramp up your line locating and leak detection programs safely and efficiently.

Electronic Leak Detection

  Acoustic leak detector

The TriCorr Touch from Fluid Conservation Systems uses information gathered from acoustic leak noise sensors placed at intervals along a pipeline to identify and locate leaks in a water distribution system. It automatically runs 55 filter combinations on the correlation data, which allows it to check the quality of the results and optimize filter settings as required, until the clearest and most accurate result is presented. 800/531-5465; www.fluidconservation.com.

  Sensitive leak detector

The sensitive LD30 leak detector from MyTana Mfg. Company features a six-band frequency selector that helps match its listening range to the leak. Originally developed for the nuclear power industry, the unit comes complete with two sensors, various probe rods and a convenient case to keep it protected when not in use. 800/328-8170; www.mytana.com.

  Tethered leak detector

The Sahara from Pure Technologies US is a tethered leak-detection tool used to locate leaks and gas pockets in pressurized pipelines. It allows the operator close control and sensitivity during inspections, with no disruption to regular pipeline service. The sensitive acoustic sensor is able to locate pinhole-sized leaks. The platform also includes inline video to observe live pipe conditions. Surveys are completed while the pipeline remains in service by inserting the sensor through a tap. A small parachute uses the flow of water to draw the sensor through the pipeline while it remains tethered to the surface, allowing for real-time results and tight control. It can be moved back and forth using a winch system to confirm suspected leaks. It combines acoustic leak detection, inline video and tool tracking in one application. 403/266-6794; www.puretechltd.com.

Electronic Line Locators

  Utility locating system

The UtiliGuard utility locating system from Ditch Witch features ambient interference measurement (AIM), which automatically scans the surrounding area for noise, and recommends the best frequency among its 70 options. It measures distances (depth) both horizontally and vertically to the utility to help users make more accurate locates of obstructed utilities. The system has an intuitive, six-button, multi-language operator interface and a high-contrast LCD display to ensure visibility in all conditions, including direct sunlight. A dual-output feature allows users to connect the transmitter to two utilities at once, and the system is Bluetooth-enabled to simplify data transfers. Its rugged housing with IP65 rating protects against dusty, dirty and wet conditions, and its transmitter and receiver battery life is 100 and 30 hours, respectively. 800/654-6481; www.ditchwitch.com.

  Magnetic gradiometer

The Mag Pro II from Dunham & Morrow is a portable, precision single-axis gradiometer featuring an LCD panel meter on the top that displays the magnitude of the magnetic field gradient in milligauss. It has a variable-frequency audio output signal that is directly proportional to the magnitude of the external magnetic field gradient. Features include four full scale ranges (2, 20, 200 and 2,000 milligauss), ruggedized components for extended field use in harsh environments and 40 hours of operating time from four AA alkaline batteries. Shock-mounted sensors maintain proper sensor alignment even when exposed to harsh physical abuse. Sensors are waterproof from the bottom of the electronics housing to the sensor tip. 703/661-2144; www.magneticlocator.com.

  High dynamic range locator

The Easy Locator HDR from MALA GeoScience USA features a single-frequency transducer that allows the detection and imaging of targets from small near-surface service connections to deeper larger-transmission facilities. Users can zoom in for visualization of small near-surface targets or out for maximum range to view the deepest targets. The detection limits span a broader range of various-size utility targets, particularly nonmetallic, nonconductive utilities such as plastic, asphalt composite, concrete, terracotta and more. Other features include a built-in DGPS receiver and upgradeable GPS Mapper software for mapping utilities marked digitally. The screen capture function allows users to turn screen shots into JPGs to record and archive a locate on the screen. The Rough Terrain Cart (RTC) is available, as well as the portable foldable version outfitted for urban streetscapes. 843/852-5021; www.malags.com.

  Line locating device

The LineFinder LF2200 from Prototek Corporation locates frequency sondes or transmitter box between 16 Hz and 100 kHz using its “frequency sniffing” feature. It features preset support of 16 Hz (steel or ductile iron as well as cast-iron and nonmetallic), 512 Hz (cast-iron or nonmetallic) and 8 kHz (nonmetallic only) sondes, and traces underground metallic lines at four built-in industry standard frequencies using an external transmitter box (other frequencies can also be sniffed). It passively locates underground power at 50 or 60 Hz. Power frequency, as well as scaling in English or metric units, are user selectable. A series of LCD screens (with automatic backlight compensation) guides through the steps to locating sondes and lines with accurate position and precise depth. Locating is enhanced by handle vibration and LED feedback at key locating points. 800/541-9123; www.prototek.net.

  Lightweight metal locator

The ML-3 ferrous metal locator from SubSurface Instruments is a lightweight (1.8 pounds) locator featuring a sleek tubular shape, and construction of durable aircraft-grade aluminum. The 100 percent waterproof unit is SSI tested to depths of over 200 feet. It has eight gain settings controlled by two buttons, and a zero button that automatically calibrates it to ambient magnetic conditions. 855/422-6346; www.ssilocators.com.


  Level transmitter

Flowline EchoPod DL14 level transmitters, distributed by Harrington Industrial Plastics, are used to measure sodium hypochlorite generated to disinfect potable drinking water. They provide continuous level measurement data to the chlorine generation controller. As the level falls, chlorine production increases. As it rises, production decreases and stops when full. 909/597-8641; www.hipco.com.

Smoke Locators

  Steel-body smoke tester

The Power Smoker from Hurco Technologies is designed to smoke test sewer lines quickly and cost-effectively. Using laboratory tested safe LiquiSmoke and a SuperJet muffler, the system offers virtually a 100 percent burn of the LiquiSmoke. A solid cast-aluminum impeller provides durability and maximum air movement. Models are available to produce up to 8,761 cfm at 3.0 static pressure. It is made with steel for toughness, and a bright yellow ring for visibility when sitting in the street. It comes complete with full support, training materials and PSA kits. 800/888-1436; www.gethurco.com.

  Smoke fluid detector system

SuperiorSmoke Fluid Systems from Superior Signal Company are used to find faults and sources of surface water inflow in collection systems. All blowers are engineered for smoke testing, and fluid systems use a double-insulated heating chamber with stainless steel injector to maximize dry smoke output. It meets WEF and NASSCO standards, and is widely used in tests to meet EPA, ASHRAE, OSHA and NFPA standards. 800/945-8378; www.superiorsignal.com.


  Water tracing dye

Bright Dyes concentrated water tracing products disintegrate rapidly in water and give vivid, fluorescent color detectable in murky water or sewage. It can be used to identify leaks, infiltration and exfiltration in plumbing connections, validate sanitary and septic hookups and performance, identify sources of contamination in wells and more. They are safe, nontoxic, biodegradable and are certified by NSF International to ANSI/NSF Standard 60 for use in and around drinking water. They are available in tablet, liquid, powdered and wax forms and come in four colors. 800/394-0678, www.brightdyes.com.

Push TV Camera Systems

  Portable pipe inspection camera

The Viztrac Pipe Inspection Camera from Amazing Machinery has a durable 3/8-inch push cable with fiberglass rod inner core, a 20-inch cage reel and attached water-sealed case containing the controls, and a high-resolution 7-inch LCD monitor. It also has a sturdy 1-inch powder-coated lay-flat frame with upright carry handle; a 1 3/8-inch O.D. metal camera housing; nine dimmable high-output 5 mm LED lights; high-resolution color camera; scratch-resistant sapphire glass lens; high-grade 512 Hz sonde locator with an average range of 12 to 15 feet; and an integrated digital video recorder with remote control, compatible with most standard SD cards. 800/504-7435; www.amazingmachinery.com.

  Pipeline inspection camera system

The Ecam PRO 2 from Electric Eel Mfg. allows operators to quickly inspect 3- to 10-inch-diameter pipelines and locate a wide variety of pipeline problems. It features a rugged stainless steel-housed 1.68-inch self-leveling color camera with sapphire lens, 20 LED light ring and high-resolution CCD element. A flexible camera spring navigates 3-inch P-traps, and an auto iris adjusts lighting automatically. It provides 512 Hz sonde and features a 10.4-inch daylight-readable display with on-screen footage counter, 16 pages of text writing with memory saves and click touch controls with one-touch recording. It records directly to a USB flash, and has voice-over recording and audio/video output jacks. Additional features include an 8X zoom function and adjustable light controls, two-hour battery with built-in charger, 200-foot Kevlar braided 1/2-inch pushrod, powder-coated steel tube and bar construction with a secure-locking reel brake. It rolls on 8-inch wheels for easy maneuverability. 800/833-1212, www.electriceel.com.

  Compact video inspection system

The lightweight Gen-Eye POD from General Pipe Cleaners combines camera, reel and monitor in a lightweight package. It features a 5.6-inch LCD color monitor protected by a padded case, and is mounted on a rugged, flexible gooseneck that swivels to provide multiple viewing angles. It comes standard with a self-leveling camera and 200 feet of Gel-Rod for troubleshooting 3- to 10-inch drainlines. A video-out connection allows for recording to an external device. It features a picture inverter, AC and DC power cords, LED dimmer control, 3-inch trap skid and a 512 Hz transmitter. 800/245-6200; www.drainbrain.com.

  LCD-display camera system

The Smart Display camera system from Insight Vision features a 10.4-inch LCD screen. When sealed, the system is water, air and debris tight, making it ideal for use in harsh environments. The design of the case makes it mobile and lightweight to carry onto the work site. The self-leveling camera keeps images upright, and recording is easy using the external outputs and inputs. 800/488-8177; www.insightvisioncameras.com.

  Hose and nozzle guide

The Lateral Launcher from Logiball guides a 1/2- or 3/8-inch hose and nozzle into the lateral connection from the mainline sewer. Winched in tandem with the CCTV camera, the 0-90 VDC motor is used to rotate the guiding arm and nozzle into the lateral connection. With the pump turned on, the back jets propel the hose into the lateral for cleaning and cutting roots. Laterals have been cleaned up to 70 feet from the connection. It features stainless steel and aluminum construction, an industry standard three-pin male connector, optional 1/2-inch nozzle and hose, a replaceable guiding arm, and 10- and 12-inch skids. 800/246-5988; www.logiball.com.

  Pushrod/crawler combination camera

The P350 flexitrax from Pearpoint/SPX offers the simplicity and transportability of a pushrod system with the functionality and performance of a crawler system. Its modular structure allows all its main components to be fully interchangeable. Modules available include a manual or powered drum, three interchangeable cameras, a wide range of wheels and tires, and multiple cable lengths and crawler sizes. The command module is also fully compatible with the P340 flexiprobe. A built-in digital recording and reporting system is standard. It can be van- or truck-mounted. From there it can be wheeled on site using the barrow design, allowing users to reach conduits beyond the range of a vehicle. Once on site, the system is quick and easy to set up, deploy and use. 800/688-8094; www.radiodetection.com.

  Portable inspection system

The GatorCam4 inspection system from Radiodetection Corporation offers the convenience of a portable system that can be used in most weather conditions. It boasts an onboard lithium-ion battery, and the push-button fuel gauge provides a quick indication of remaining power even when switched off. It can be configured to suit most inspection requirements. A range of pushrods is available, from an extra-flexible 100-foot plumbers reel, to navigate the bends and traps found in commercial and residential plumbing, up to the 500-foot extra-stiff rod designed to push for longer distances. 877/247-3797; www.radiodetection.com.

  Web-enabled inspection camera

Pipeline inspection cameras from Ratech Electronics can record to Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads or iPods, allowing technicians to instantly upload pipe inspection video from the job site to YouTube. Using the integrated cellphone interface and camera, they can give customers immediate information about what is wrong with their sewer or pipes. Packages include quick and easy one-touch recording with no USB thumb drives, SD cards or DVDs. This low-cost interface is adaptable to any new or existing Ratech system. Also included is an on-screen display overlay system providing electronic distance counter, time and date. The camera has built-in 512 Hz sonde for locating purposes. The standard Gel-Rod cable length supplied is 200 feet, with longer lengths available. 800/461-9200; www.ratech-electronics.com.

  Digital recording monitor

The SeeSnake CS6 hand-held digital recording monitor from RIDGID is designed for fast and efficient field work, and equipped with SeeSnake HQ software to capture still images and video clips, allowing users to quickly and easily edit, archive and deliver reports directly to customers through USB thumb drives or via print, DVD and online. Features include a 5.7-inch daylight-readable LCD screen, a water-resistant keypad for direct control of camera and monitor functions, an on-screen keyboard for basic titling and text entry, and an integrated microphone and speakers for adding voice-overs to custom reports. It docks onto the SeeSnake Max rM200 camera system for transportation and storage. 800/769-7743; www.ridgid.com.

  Pipe inspection camera

The Sparvision 200 pipe inspection camera from Spartan Tool is lightweight, easily maneuverable and outfitted with iPad technology that features telestration to actively draw on the screen. It features 200 feet of ultra-slick pushrod, a color self-leveling camera head that offers instant snapshots at any time, a full on-screen QWERTY keyboard and 512 Hz locating beacon. 800/435-3866; www.spartantool.com.

  Mini-camera inspection system

The ProCam DVR Ultra from UEMSI is a compact and lightweight color mini-camera inspection system. It includes a 10.4-inch color LCD monitor and a built-in DVR that records video files and photos to an SD card. The push reel is made of powder-coated steel for durability. The nylon-jacketed push cable has a water-blocking gel inside to prevent water infiltration. The data display package includes on-screen digital footage and a full-size flexible keyboard. Options include an inline transmitter and rechargeable battery pack. 800/666-0766; www.uemsi.com.

  Interface controller

The vCam-5 Live View interface from Vivax-Metrotech Corp. allows technicians to connect to the control module by Wi-Fi or RJ45 Cross Talk Cable. When connected they can stream video, capture JPEG images and record directly to a hard drive or other storage device. In addition they can access the control module’s internal hard drive and any USB thumb drive or SD card plugged into the control module. They can see a list of the videos or pictures on the hard drive and play them in the video player or download them. An app that runs on either the iPhone or Android platform allows them to stream video to smartphones and tablets; capture, email or text still images; and record video to the device. Up to five devices can be connected to the control at a time. 800/446-3392; www.vivax-metrotech.com.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.