A Brief History of Water Leak Detection Methods & Technologies

Who should I hire for comprehensive slab leak detection and repair in Corona, CAAlthough plumbing leaks may seem like a relatively recent problem, historically speaking, the reality is that people have had to deal with water damage for as long as homes existed. However, while our ancestors mostly worried about rain, flooding, and other obvious issues, modern leak detection can be a lot more mystifying and requires greater care to avoid mistakes.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a time long before people in Riverside, CA, and beyond had access to modern slab leak detection equipment, and explain how these technologies were created and gradually improved upon. Keep reading to learn more.

Which technique was used to detect water leakage in the past?

The earliest known water supply system was built by ancient Romans and consisted of numerous aqueducts. Even back then, leaks caused by regular wear and unlawful water diversion were a major problem.

Here’s how leak detection methods and equipment evolved over the years:

Visual examination

For most of history, the only way to find a leak was by manually checking pipes and other parts of a plumbing system. Needless to say, this meant that the vast majority of hidden leaks went unnoticed and led to serious damages.

Thermal imaging

William Herschel revolutionized leak detection by inventing infrared thermal imaging in 1800. Unfortunately, this technology was initially only used in military applications and wasn’t able to produce line images until the 1960s.

Eventually, the technology was advanced enough to allow for clear digital images to be taken. This made it possible to identify water leaks using an affordable, handheld device, and paved the way for onsite water leak inspections we have today.

Acoustic detection

M. Mayer invented the topophone in 1879, which was a device that enabled the user to pinpoint the source of any sound. This technology is frequently used to determine the source of a water leak by comparing acoustic signals produced by escaping water to a baseline acoustic fingerprint that’s taken while the pipe is still in good condition.

Another way to detect water leaks by using sound is with a ground geo-phone. This device “catches” and amplifies certain noises when placed above a leak.

Camera examinations

Advancements in film and digital technologies eventually made it possible to create tiny cameras that could be inserted into pipes and other tight areas. Combined with infrared technology, this enabled technicians to more easily assess the condition of the infrastructure and identify the source and progress of the leak.

3 Consequences of Untreated Slab LeaksGround-penetrating radar

Invented in 1970, ground penetrating radars proved invaluable when it came to mapping utility lines and pipes beneath city streets. Not only do these radars help pinpoint the precise location of the water leak, but they can also produce a 3D image that greatly facilitates planning and performing the necessary repairs.

Who in Riverside, CA & the vicinity provides expert-level slab leak detection?

The Leak Detection Pros consists of a team of experienced professionals who understand the ins and outs of leak detection and have access to cutting-edge equipment that enables them to effectively address water leaks and equip your Riverside home with modern leak detection systems and low-flow indicators.

Whether you’re located near the Riverside Convention Center or in one of the surrounding cities, our experts are just a short call away. Contact us today.