how to find leak?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by EagleLandscape, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    I've got a church that has 3 water meters for irrigation.

    theyve complained about high water bills, and their plumber said they shut off the backflow and the meter stopped spinning.

    i confirmed the problem a few days back, shut off the backflow and the meter stopped spinning.

    I forget the gpm on the meter, but it was rather fast. seemed alot faster than just a stuck diaphragm or something.

    there are no visible leaks that I can find, and they recently had a new parking lot poured when they added a new building.

    how in the word can i find the leak? just wait for the parking lot to collapse?
     
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 46,445

    Try blowing air into the system.
     
  3. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

  4. Might want to consider a leak detection company with the expertise to use the above listed tool. Need to cut the system in half with ball valves to help isolate the area it is in. I've but in 4 ball valves before to help me narrow down a leak that was running into a french drain. On small leaks I sometimes add a master valve to get around the problem if I can't find it without a lot of cost.
     
  5. Blowing air into the system is so foreign to us. I'm not sure 99% of irrigators could use a compressor here. (myself included)
     
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 46,445

    Air is strictly a crapshoot, but you sometimes can hear a leak that doesn't show itself with water. And of course, we already have the compressor.
     
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,601

    Air + water mite work, we've found leaks that way..set the compressor to
    "max"..you want to blow it out of the ground. Check all valve boxes, make
    sure you know which main is leaking..could have a rock in the valve too.
    You can put your hand (or a stethoscope) on the valves & feel/hear the flow.
    Make sure the valves are tite & no leaks around the area exist. "Witching"
    works if you can find someone who has a "no cure, no charge" clause.
    Bottom line would be a master valve so the plants stay healthy whilst you
    become detective. Helium injection final cure, invite Peter for that!
     
  8. I suspect if three meters are feeding it then we've got a looped main.
     
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,601

    As built would be handy...start tracking. Smart cookies who use looped mains have isolation ball valves.
     
  10. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    No, its not looped. The site has 3 meters, only reason I noted that was to show how large it was. this leaking meter was from the original church building, two new ones were added when they built a new chapel.

    We'll probably have to go the route a leak detection with a concrete saw / mini ex or something i'm sure. kinda stinks since it's brand new construction. we'll see tuesday.
     

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