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Leak Detection and Testing with Hydrogen Tracer Gas

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Walwyn Jackson, Leak Detection Service Supervisor
Phone +1.315.434.1226
Walwyn.Jackson [at] inficon.com

Leak Testing Water Systems




SAFETY / Are there any inconveniences for the users/consumers when leak testing water systems with hydrogen tracer gas?

METHOD / I have a 30 cm diameter water pipe; Can I use the hydrogen method to detect leaks?

LEAK DETECTION / When using your method on buried pipes, doesn´t the hydrogen take the easiest way up to the surface, and not the shortest?

LEAK DETECTION / Is it really true that your detectors can detect Hydrogen through concrete?

LEAK DETECTION / Is it possible to use your instruments for leak detection on water pipes also? Is it necessary to empty the pipe first?



SAFETY / Are there any inconveniences for the users/consumers when leak testing water systems with hydrogen tracer gas?

ANSWER:

“Spitting taps” are something that customers might experience when performing leak detection on water pipes. To minimize these effects, you should try to limit the search area on the pipe.



METHOD / I have a 30 cm diameter water pipe; Can I use the hydrogen method to detect leaks?

ANSWER:

Yes, it can be used to find leaks in water pipes, both filled with water and empty.



LEAK DETECTION / When using your method on buried pipes, doesn´t the hydrogen take the easiest way up to the surface, and not the shortest?

ANSWER:

Yes, hydrogen takes the easiest way up, but will ALSO go straight up from the leak. In real tests you may in a case like this get a strong indication where you know there is no pipe, which will tell you that it may just be a puff of hydrogen taking the easiest way up, through a drain, a fissure or something similar. Just go back to where you know the pipe is buried and continue your search and I guarantee that you will find your leak.



LEAK DETECTION / Is it really true that your detectors can detect Hydrogen through concrete?

ANSWER:

Yes, Hydrogen penetrates anything if you wait long enough. Concrete is normally quite porous as is also many other materials we normally think are solid. Practically we have experience in finding leaks where the tracer gas has had to pass through dirt, mud, gravel, snow, concrete, asphalt and various types of tiles and cobble-stone paving



LEAK DETECTION / Is it possible to use your instruments for leak detection on water pipes also? Is it necessary to empty the pipe first?

ANSWER:

Yes, it is an excellent idea to use our equipment for leak detection in water pipes, and you do not even have to empty the pipe first. Just make sure there is a certain over pressure in the pipe and the injected tracer gas will dissolve into the water. When the water escapes out through a leak it will release the tracer gas and let it rise to the surface for detection.




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