How Much Does Leak Detection Cost1

How Much Does Leak Detection Cost?

When you suspect that you have a plumbing leak, you know you need a plumber to find the leak and fix it. One of the common sign of a leak is when your water main meter keeps on running even when all of the faucets are shut off. If you leave it unresolved, you will be shocked by how high your water bill has suddenly become.

You might be tempted to solve the problem DIY, however plumbing companies have special methods when it comes to leak detection. There’s also a good possibility that you won’t be able to find the location of the leak yourself. If you’re worried about the cost of leak detection and repair, you only need to remember that delaying it would only increase the cost.

Leak detection costs can vacillate. They can range from $75 to more than $350 depending on the type of leak detection equipment necessary to determine where the leak is. For natural reasons, the more complicated and deep the leak, the ostensibly more technical equipment, and expertise required. It is important to find and fix leaks whenever they occur, as leaks only get worse over time. The added expense to water bills is also important to mitigate. 

The cost to find a plumbing leak can be expensive. However, plumbing leaks only get worse over time, so when one is suspected, it’s important to contact a respectable plumbing company immediately. The average cost of detecting a slab leak, for instance, varies from around $150 to $400. Your plumber may put this cost toward the overall cost of the repairs, which can be high. The cost to fix a slab leak costs around $2,000. It’s important for all plumbing repairs to contact a thorough and caring plumbing company that puts your water leak detection first. Your leak detection and the associated repairs should alleviate the burden of high water bills and foundation problems. We have a wide range of property leak detection Melbourne at Hitch Property Constructions.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of A Leak Detection Service

1: Location of the leak

Leaks located in certain “hard-to-reach” locations make the leak detection job very difficult, which raises the cost of the service.

  • The following areas are considered hard-to-reach locations:
  • Slab leaks, which are located under your home’s foundation
  • Ceiling leaks, which means a plumbing pipe in an upstairs room or attic has a leak
  • Roof leaks, which means moisture is entering your home through the roof

If you have any of the leaks above, the plumber may have to cut into walls, floors, or ceilings to pinpoint the exact location of a leak. This increases labor time because the professional will need to repair holes in the wall/ceiling/floor afterwards.

2: Equipment needed to detect the leak

Any leak detection that requires demolition equipment (like a jackhammer) will be more expensive because of the additional cost to restore your lawn, wall or ceiling.  

Demolition equipment is often used as a last-resort, when other basic leak detection tools don’t work.

  • “Basic” leak detection equipment include:
  • Hydrostatic water testing
  • Slab leak listening/acoustic devices
  • Infrared cameras
  • Smoke/tracer gas testing

3: Who you hire

The plumber you hire to perform the leak detection will affect how much you’ll pay.

Here’s why: Plumbers charge differently based on their level of experience and the quality of work they do.

Generally speaking, more experienced contractors who provide quality work charge more for their services.

Don’t let that scare you, though: You want an experienced and honest professional to accurately find your leak so you avoid MUCH more expensive problems like…

  • A misdiagnosed leak (i.e. thinking a leak is in one place, then digging/cutting through walls only to find it’s not there)
  • A plumber who causes structural damage because of sloppy work
  • A dishonest plumber who offers low-priced leak detection as bait, then a super expensive quote to fix a severe leak that doesn’t exist (or it’s not as expensive as the plumber claims)

So to avoid those problems, as you shop for a prospective contractor ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Are they licensed and insured? (Hint: If they are registered with the Better Business Bureau, they are licensed, bonded and insured.)
  • Do they have good online customer reviews? (Check sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook)
  • Do they give honest, upfront pricing? (They’ll often give you a written estimate before they start the leak detection project.)

Repair Cost

Detecting and repairing leaks is one of the main components of water conservation. Old or poorly constructed pipelines, inadequate corrosion protection, poorly maintained valves and mechanical damage contribute to leakage. Leak detection has historically assumed that all, if not most, leaks rise to the surface and are visible. Many leaks continue below the surface for long periods and remain undetected. With an aggressive leak-detection program, water systems can search for and reduce previously undetected leaks. Water lost after treatment and pressurization, but before delivery for the intended use, is water, money and energy wasted. Accurate location and repair of leaking water pipes in a supply system greatly reduces these losses. Once a leak is detected, the water utility must take corrective action to minimize water losses in the water distribution system. Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of leak detection Melbourne services.

Unaccounted-for water for industrial/commercial systems should not be more than 10 percent of the total water produced. It is preferred that more than 95% of the water delivered be accounted for. Any loss of more than 10 percent in a system requires priority attention and corrective action. Advances in technology and expertise should make it possible to reduce losses and unaccounted-for water to less than 10 percent.

Every industrial and commercial water system facility should implement cost-effective water-loss control measures to minimize distribution-system water losses. Water systems with pressurized distribution systems should promote water auditing, leak detection and leak repair to reduce operating costs and conserve water. The water audit can be used on systems with customer meters, while leak detection and repair can be used on any pressurized water system. The difference between produced water and the total of metered use and authorized non-metered use estimates indicates the severity of unauthorized use problems or system water leaks.

Benefits of Leak Detection and Repair

Minimizing leakage in water systems has many benefits for water customers (and their suppliers). These benefits include:

  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Lowered water system operational costs
  • Reduced potential for contamination
  • Extended life of facilities
  • Reduced potential property damage and water system liability
  • Reduced water outage events
  • Improved public relations.

Some added benefits of leak detection and repair that are difficult to quantify include:

  • increased knowledge about the distribution system, which can be used to respond more quickly to emergencies and set priorities for replacement or rehabilitation programs
  • more efficient use of existing supplies and delayed capacity expansion
  • increased firefighting capability

Leak detection and repair programs can lead other important water system activities, such as:

  • inspecting hydrants and valves in a distribution system
  • updating distribution system maps
  • using remote sensor and telemetry technologies for ongoing monitoring and analysis of source, transmission and distribution facilities. Remote sensors and monitoring software can alert operators to leaks, fluctuations in pressure, equipment integrity problems, and other concerns.
  • inspecting pipes, cleaning, lining and other maintenance efforts to improve the distribution system and prevent leaks and ruptures from occurring. Systems might also consider methods for minimizing water used in routine water system maintenance.

Types of Leaks

There are different types of leaks, including service line leaks and valve leaks, but in most cases, the largest portion of unaccounted-for water is lost through leaks in supply lines. There are many possible causes of leaks, and often a combination of factors leads to their occurrence. The material, composition, age and joining methods of the distribution system components can influence leak occurrence. Another related factor is the quality of the initial installation of distribution system components. Water conditions are also a factor, including temperature, velocity and pressure. External conditions, such as stray electric current; contact with other structures; and stress from traffic vibrations, frost loads and freezing soil around a pipe can also contribute to leaks.

Remember though, it’s always important that you allow someone with the proper licensing and experience handle the repair of your leak. Otherwise, you might be left with worse problems than you started with.

Underground Leaks

The underground piping on either side of a water meter should be maintained. Leaks in underground plumbing can be caused by many different factors, including rusting through from age or from stray electric currents from other underground utilities that can prematurely rust metallic piping, driving over piping with heavy trucks or equipment, poor initial installation, freezing and thawing of a pipeline, leaking joints or valves or transient high-pressure events such as opening and closing valves or starting and stopping pumps quickly.

Signs of underground leaks include:

  • Unusually wet spots in landscaped areas and/or water pooling on the ground surface
  • An area that is green, moldy, soft or mossy surrounded by drier conditions
  • A notable drop in water pressure/flow volume
  • A sudden problem with rusty water or dirt or air in the water supply (there are other causes for this besides a leak)
  • A portion of an irrigated area is suddenly brown/dead/dying when it used to be thriving (water pressure is too low to enable distant heads to pop up properly)
  • Heaving or cracking of paved areas
  • Sink holes or potholes
  • Uneven floor grade or leaning of a structure
  • Unexplained sudden increase in water use, consistently high water use or water use that has been climbing at a fairly steady rate for several billing cycles

Popular Leaks

Being popular isn’t always a good thing, especially when it comes to how much damage you can inflict. Popular leaks are one of those things that aren’t welcome in any home! And often, it can take weeks or even longer for the average homeowner to even know they leak, since many pipes and plumbing components are hidden behind walls or beneath the floors. The most common types of leaks we get called for include:

  • Pipe leaks under sinks
  • Slab leaks/Foundational leaks
  • Leaks behind drywall
  • Toilet leaks
  • Water heater leaks

Drippy faucets are another common leak, but they don’t tend to be too huge of a concern since they’re spotted so quickly, and the water leaking out simply goes down your drain. But the above-mentioned leaks are important to know about. Even more important? Knowing the signs you’re dealing with one of them Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of Melbourne leak detection

The Top Signs You Have a Leak

While you need to hire a professional for professional leak detection services in order to pinpoint the exact area and cause of a leak to have it repaired, there are some indicators you can watch out for and listen for on your own. These include:

  • The Sound of Running or Dripping Water: If there are no plumbing appliances on in your home, nobody is taking a shower, and no sinks are being used, then you should not detect the sound of running or dripping water in your home. If you do, it’s a sign that water is leaking from somewhere and it’s time to call a pro.
  • Soft Spots on Drywall or Ceiling: Over time, moisture from leaking pipes can damage the drywall or ceiling the pipe is behind or above. This will eventually lead to soft spots in your walls or ceiling. Keep in mind, by the time this happens the leak has probably been happening for at least a few days, so you’ll want to address it right away!
  • Loss of Water Pressure: A loss of water pressure means that something is preventing waterflow from being as powerful as it usually is. This may be the result of some work being done in your city, so you should of course be cognizant of that first and foremost. But in the absence of citywide plumbing work, this probably means you have a leak somewhere. If water pressure throughout your home is affected, it likely means your main water line is in trouble.
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