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This method isolates the sound of water escaping the pipework to locate the leak

Water leaks occur every day, but they’re often more difficult to pinpoint than you might expect. That’s because a multitude of utility pipes can be concealed underground, behind walls and in ceilings. Whether there’s a leak in your home, office or commercial property, using acoustic leak detection means the leak can be pinpointed without any intrusive excavation.

Some common signs of water leaks:

  • Unusually wet areas on lawn or paving
  • Noticeable drop in water pressure
  • Unexplained increases in water usage/increased water bills
  • Buckled ceilings

For more information, see our leak detection page. Do you have these tell-tale signs of a water leak?

How do acoustic water leak detectors work?

Water leaks make sounds which are transmitted on the pipes and also to the surface. Not every leak will sound the same because factors such as water pressure, soil type and depth, surface cover and pipe construction all affect the frequency and loudness of the sound.

Pipe and Cable Location Technology

Pipe and cable locator equipment is used to mark the location of water lines using electromagnetic transmission. This means a transmitter is carefully calibrated to induce a frequency into the ground. A receiver is then used to detect the pipe or cable which re-radiates the signal. Toscano Plumbing’s highly-trained plumbers interpret the signal so the pipe location can be mapped out. This makes it easier to identify the exact location of the leak with an acoustic leak detector.

Acoustic Leak Detection Technology

The pre-location of water pipes can also be done using an acoustic leak detector. By connecting a stopper to the line believed to be leaking, this opens and closes a valve to create a rhythmic pulsation. The pulsing can then be detected through the ground with an acoustic listening stick. The pulsing sound is loudest when the microphone is positioned directly over the pipe. That point is marked, and this process is continued to trace the entire line. By mapping the location of the pipe, it becomes possible to listen directly over the pipe for the next step: acoustic leak detection.

Toscano Plumbing uses a wireless system of headphones and a touchscreen electronic monitor for acoustic leak detection. To pinpoint an underground leak an advanced ground microphone is used with a wind-protected fitting. The microphone is used at points directly above the water line to identify where the sound is the loudest. This is the location of the leak. A variety of other specialised microphones can be used to suit the location of the leak, dependent on surface and whether the leak is indoors or outdoors.


  • Performs well on small to large leaks
  • A comprehensive and adaptable system
  • Filtering options for precise acoustic listening and detection
  • Limits damage to property

Tracer Gas Leak Detection Technology

If an area has too much noise to precisely pinpoint the leak, the leak is very deep, or in confined areas with restricted access, tracer gas technology is the ideal solution. It is used for both gas and water services.

A completely safe combination of hydrogen and nitrogen is injected into the pipeline which is suspected of leaking. Nitrogen is the carrier gas, while hydrogen is used for leak detection because it is such a light gas. Hydrogen atoms seek the shortest route from the pipeline to the surface, so escape through the leak quickly. The gas permeates covering surfaces, where a sensitive, specialised probe detects its activity so that the leak can be accurately pinpointed.


  • Excellent detection rating
  • Fast testing method
  • Safe, non-combustible, non-toxic, non-corrosive leak detection solution

Bringing state-of-the-art technology and expertise together

As well as state-of-the-art leak detection equipment, Toscano Plumbing relies on extensive knowledge and experience to operate it correctly. Although leak detectors are a fantastic innovation, they cannot operate themselves, and it’s vital you engage a professional plumber who is confident using the equipment to its full capacity. With more than 60 years combined experience in the professional plumbing industry, our qualified plumbers are constantly kept up to date with specialist training.


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