Water leak detection is coming to a project near you soon
Potential water loss from a burst pipe can reach as high as 3000 litres per hour, so it’s no surprise that water leaks often result in extensive damage to ceilings, walls, floors, and pipework. Not to mention the long project delays and penalties that water leaks can cause, too. This means that it is important to ensure costly water leaks are detected either before they occur or to have the right water leak detection processes in place to identify leaks early enough before they cause extensive damage.
The potential water escape related harm caused is just one element of leaks that we want to prevent. But water leaks can be a burden on the environment, too. A problem as small as a dripping tap can result in 1 litre of water lost per hour, so imagine how much is lost by all of the micro-leaks that go unnoticed throughout a home or a large building.
Why do we need water leak detection technology?
The need for housebuilding in the UK is increasing at a rapid pace, meaning that delays are becoming even more undesirable. With greater pressures being put on installers to work quickly, it is inevitable that some mistakes in installation may go unnoticed or some steps might be forcibly rushed. This, of course, comes with unnecessarily negative outcomes, especially when there is technology available that can speed up these processes without sacrificing accuracy. In 99% of buildings, water leak detection is a manual process. While this is usually adequate for catastrophic leaks, it is not the best practice for finding those tough to identify, low flow leaks; especially at the frequency at which they happen. This is only made worse by the fact that low flow leaks usually occur in plumbed-in elements or in pipework that is hidden in the building’s fabric.
Everything about manual water leak detection is pointing towards leak detection technology being the answer to stopping leaks for good.
What leak detection technology is available?
The MultiSafe Leak Detection System from RWC’s Reliance Valves can identify water loss in real-time. Through regular microleak testing, even the smallest of leaks can be detected. The homeowner is notified by text or email, and the isolation valve is automatically closed so that no water is supplied to the affected area. For high-risk areas, the water leak detection system can be combined with the MultiSafe Floor Leak Sensor, which monitors floors for wet areas and sends alerts when water is detected. This system is especially useful in commercial buildings and is best utilised in utility or IT rooms, where it is imperative that moisture levels remain the same.
Additionally, the system prevents leaks before they have a chance to strike and monitors the room temperature to identify when pipes are at risk of freezing, as well as the humidity level inside the pipes to identify if mould could form. With the user-friendly app, you can set up instant alerts, view real-time insights, and adjust settings via the two modes: home and away. Better still, multiple devices can be connected on the same WiFi network to enable simplified central control in large office buildings or apartment complexes.
These systems are also time-saving to put in place, meaning that installers will be able to cut out the timely manual water leak detection process and prevent delays that could arise as a result of leaks.
Be more economical, be more efficient
The use of smart leak protection also contributes towards the wider green agenda, helping projects earn BREEAM points and deliver more eco-efficient buildings.
In addition to the real-time leak detection functionality, the MultiSafe system can monitor water usage patterns in real-time, identifying potential areas for conservation. The technology can also measure water temperature to mitigate legionella risks and water hardness.
Make water leak detection work for you
Even though relying on innovative technologies becomes more commonplace going forward, installers should still apply their expertise to make sure systems are safe and installed correctly. Even with these innovations, water leak detection isn’t just about technology, you must carry out the right processes at the right times too.
For example, it is important to know that for a successful installation the smart leak detection system should be fitted onto the main cold-water line before branches to appliances and after any other control valves. The MultiSafe Leak Detection System is WRAS-approved and designed with MBSP union connections for simplicity. In order to ensure that every plumbing system is compliant with regulations, all components need to be pre-tested and tested before installation.
Installers should do pressure tests before buildings are signed off and systems are commissioned. The period between commissioning and occupation is crucial, as leaks can (and do) occur once the mains have been commissioned and the building has been stage-filled with water. Therefore, leak protection should be fitted during the commissioning phase to act as a safety device. Any issues can then be detected when water is pressurised.
To find out more about RWC’s Reliance Valves MultiSafe Leak Detection System.