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It's a Jungle out there. Underground Utility Detection & Inspection Services

Oregon and Washington States Leader for Water & Irrigation Pipe Locating & Inspection Services for Performing Subsurface Work

Oregon and Washington States Leader for Water & Irrigation Pipe Locating & Inspection Services for Performing Subsurface Work

What Is Plastic Water Pipe Detection and Why Is It Important

At C-N-I Locates LTD, we use state-of-the-art equipment to locate water mains, transmission water pipes, water services, well water, pool/spa water, irrigation water, fire systems, and more. We are also able to provide leak detection on water mains, water services, transmission water pipes, well water, pools & spas, irrigation, fire systems, and more. CNI Locates provides utility locating and utility inspection services for all of Oregon and Washington State billing from our nearest location in Eugene, Oregon, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, Tacoma, Washington, Renton, Washington, or Everett, Washington back to it.

Water leaks in Oregon and Washington can be incredibly damaging and difficult to locate, especially when they occur in outdoor systems. Our experts use cutting-edge technology to provide numerous types of leak detection services like acoustic leak detection, tracer gas leak detection, thermal imaging leak detection, and ground penetrating radar leak detection. CNI Locates has over 20+ years of experience committed to providing the highest quality utility detection and inspection services possible.

Examples of Different Types of Water

Below are some examples of different types of water systems/pipes we can locate and detect leaks on. 

Locating Water Services

Our expert technicians are able to locate water services from the water meter to the house or from the house to an outbuilding, yard hydrant, etc. Water services that were installed after 1969 are typically plastic (poly, PEX, PVC, etc.) due to code changes, and water services that were installed before 1969 are typically metallic (galvanized, copper, etc.).

Plastic water services are more difficult to locate because you cannot send an electromagnetic radiofrequency signal through the pipe unless a tracer wire is buried in the same trench as the pipe (less than 1% of water services have a tracer wire from the meter to the house). In order to locate plastic water, the pipe needs to be exposed (with the water turned off at the meter) and uncoupled so a new steel fish tape can be inserted into the pipe with a small water sonde attached to it. The steel fish tape is locatable wherever it has been inserted into the water pipe because metals can carry an electromagnetic radiofrequency signal through them, and the water sonde is also locatable and helps provide more accurate depth assessments. If a client is unable to expose and uncouple a plastic water service, we can also use an electronic pulse transmitter to send a pulse through the water line that we can listen for with our amplified subsurface microphones. This method has over a 90% success rate of locating plastic water pipes between 100 to 150 feet and has different types of limitations such as depth of the pipe, size of the pipe, length of the pipe, angles in the pipe, soil condition the pipe is buried in, surface type, etc., and those limitations depend on how successful the service will be. Lastly, if all other methods are unsuccessful, we recommend using ground penetrating radar (GPR) to try to identify the plastic water pipe. GPR typically sees 1” plastic pipes to 1’, 2” plastic pipes to 2’, 3” plastic pipes to 3’, and so on (these depths may change depending on the dielectric of the soil conditions in the work area). Since it is difficult to locate plastic water services, we recommend using a reliable company like CNI Locates that has years of experience in locating plastic water services on your property.

Metallic water services are easier to locate because we can send an electromagnetic (EM) radiofrequency (RF) signal through the pipe that is locatable, and the equipment can also provide estimated depth assessments. Our technicians will have all the equipment necessary to locate metallic water services.

Locating Leaks on Water Services

CNI Locates technicians provide numerous types of pipe locating services and leak detection services like tracer gas leak detection, acoustic leak detection, thermal leak detection, and ground penetrating radar leak detection to best suit the specific scenario they are needed for.

Leaks on plastic water services can be more difficult to identify since we are not able to send an EM RF signal through the pipe to locate the exact location of the pipe that we need to check for a leak. We recommend inserting plastic water pipes with a new steel fish tape (that has no bacteria) to increase our chances of finding the leak. If the client is unable to uncouple the water service and put a steel fish tape into the pipe, we recommend that our technicians use an electronic pulse transmitter to send a pulse through the pipe that we can listen for or use GPR to try to get a visual on the pipe.

Leaks on metallic water services are usually easier to identify since we can send a signal through the pipe to know the exact location of the pipe that needs to be investigated.

Once the location of the water service has been identified, our technicians will attempt to find the leak with our acoustic leak detection equipment. If the leak is hard to hear or we believe that any limitations may be masking the leak or causing the leak to appear in a location that doesn’t make sense, we recommend that our technicians use tracer gas leak detection, ground penetrating radar leak detection, or thermal imaging leak detection. Tracer gas leak detection is extremely useful with small, deep, or hard-to-find water leaks. Ground penetrating radar leak detection is extremely useful for water leaks when we are able to get a visual on the entire service since we can scan over the water service for any distortions that can be caused by leaking water. Thermal imaging can also be extremely useful for exterior cold water leaks on hot days, interior cold water leaks, and interior hot water leaks since they can sense a temperature change in the location of the leak.

Locating Water Mains

Water mains (distribution water pipes) provide water to a community, are frequently tapped for customer connections to the water meter and have multiple side connections. There are many different materials used for water mains, like Ductile Iron (DI), Cast Iron (CI), Asbestos Concrete (AC), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), etc. The locating method used to locate these pipes depends on the material you are looking for.

Our technicians use EM radio frequencies to locate metallic water mains like ductile iron and cast iron. They can also provide EM depth estimates on metallic water mains.

Our technicians use ground penetrating radar (GPR) to locate water mains that are not conductible/metallic like AC or PVC. GPR can be used to locate metallic water mains like ductile iron and cast iron that weren’t properly cad welded, have significant rust, don’t have access points, etc. GPR can also provide more accurate estimated depth assessments than electromagnetic signals since GPR can be calibrated to the specific work area. 

Locating Leaks on Water Mains

CNI Locates typically uses acoustic leak detection, thermal imaging leak detection, and ground penetrating radar leak detection to identify leaks on water mains (distribution water pipes) since we are not able to fill a water main with tracer gas. Occasionally, we may need to have the client put compressed air into the main or use a pump truck to increase the pressure/noise in order to identify the leak. 

Locating Transmission Water Pipes 

Our expert locating technicians are able to locate water transmission pipes made of different types of materials. Transmission water lines typically don’t have customer services, have few side connections, and run in a straight line. They are generally made of the same materials as water mains (distribution water pipes).

Locating Leaks on Transmission Water Pipes

Our technicians generally follow the same leak detection methods that we use on water mains to detect leaks on transmission water pipes. 

Locating Fire Systems Water Pipes

Fire systems have many components that need to be located before performing subsurface work. They have Post Indicator Valves (PIVs), Fire Department Connections (FDCs), sprinkler lines, and more. At CNI Locates, we use electromagnetic radio frequency transmitters and receivers to locate metallic fire systems and ground penetrating radar to locate nonmetallic fire systems we can get a visual on. 

Locating Leaks on Fire System Water Pipes

Fire systems leak detection methods are typically performed using the same methods that are used on water mains (distribution lines) and transmission lines. 

Locating Pool and Spa Water Pipes

Pools and Spas have multiple pipes running to them that are full of water. Our technicians are able to locate return lines, suction lines (main drains, skimmers, and vacuum ports), and more. These pipes are generally plastic and need to be inserted with a traceable rod/sonde in order to locate the pool/spa water pipes accurately.   

Locating Leaks in Pools and Spas

CNI Locates has the ability to locate pool and spa water leaks in pipes. The most common cause of leaks in pools and spas water pipes are the return lines and suction lines. CNI Locates has the equipment to provide pool and spa leak detection for all different types of scenarios with our acoustic leak detection, tracer gas leak detection, thermal imaging leak detection, and ground penetrating radar leak detection. Please visit our leak detection service page to learn more about pool and spa leaks. 

Locating Irrigation Water Systems

Irrigation systems are generally made of plastic water pipes that don’t transmit an EM signal, but they commonly have irrigation control wires that are locatable. Our technicians are able to locate irrigation control wires with our electromagnetic radio frequency transmitters and receivers. If there are any sections of pipe that break off from the control wires, those sections may need to be identified with GPR or exposed and inserted with a traceable rod. When you are trying to locate irrigation, we recommend using expert help from a professional company like CNI Locates.

Locating Leaks in Irrigation Systems

Our expert leak detection technicians have years of experience in locating irrigation leaks. We use multiple methods, such as tracer gas leak detection, acoustic leak detection, ground penetrating radar leak detection, and thermal imaging leak detection, to locate leaks in irrigation systems. If you need irrigation leak detection, we recommend contacting a professional service company like CNI Locates to identify your leak.

Signs and Signals of Irrigation System Leaks

Since it is almost summertime, we recommend checking your irrigation system for leaks. Being aware of the indications of possible leaks is crucial to guarantee that your irrigation system is operating efficiently. Here are a few indicators that you may have an irrigation leak: 

  1. Dying Lawn

If certain parts of your Lawn appear dry or are dying, it could be an indication that they are not receiving the water they need to flourish. Verify if any leak is present that is causing this issue. 

  1. High Water Bill

If you see that your water bill has increased significantly, despite not using more water than usual, this could indicate a leak in your irrigation system. 

  1. Wet Spots

Do you notice any sections of your Lawn that remain wet and watery consistently? Irrigation systems are typically designed to provide just enough water to promote plant growth. If you notice an excess of moisture, it may indicate a leak. 

  1. Damage

Damaged pipes can also be a sign of irrigation system leaks. For instance, a burst pipe or a broken valve can cause a sprinkler to shoot water like a fountain. Additionally, constant dripping from control valves can be a sign of a leak. 

  1. Check Isolation Valves

Isolation valves are another crucial component of your irrigation system that can help you identify leaks. If you have isolation valves installed between sections of your system, you can use them to isolate the affected area and locate the section of the leak. Without isolation valves, identifying the section of a leak can be much more challenging and time-consuming.

Paying attention to these indications will help enable you to spot irrigation system issues early so you can fix them. At C-N-I Locates LTD, we offer professional leak detection services to ensure that your irrigation system runs smoothly and efficiently. With years of expertise in irrigation leak detection, our specialists are equipped with advanced tools and techniques to identify any problems with your system promptly.

Irrigation System Inspection

An irrigation system inspection is a thorough examination of your irrigation system to ensure that all components, from the backflow preventer to the sprinkler heads, are functioning properly. During the inspection, we recommend checking for the following:

  • Damaged, clogged, or malfunctioning sprinkler heads.
  • Damage to shut-off and main valves, vacuum breakers, and bleeder caps.
  • Inconsistent water coverage or low water pressure.
  • Leaking lines, sprinkler heads, or pipes.
  • Areas of pooling water or dry spots on your Lawn.
  • Issues with the control panel or specific zones.
  • Problems with the backflow preventer.

Understanding the Importance of An Irrigation System

At C-N-I Locates LTD, we understand the importance of having a well-functioning irrigation system for maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn, watering plants and trees, watering crops, etc. That’s why we offer underground water leak detection services to address any issues with your irrigation system quickly and effectively. C-N-I Locates LTD’s experts can help you determine the location of any leaks and provide you with reliable solutions to keep your irrigation system running smoothly.

There are various locations where irrigation leaks can occur, such as:

  • Landscaping
  • Home Gardens
  • Agriculture
  • Safety Sprinklers

5 Significant Advantages of Water Pipe Leak Detection

Every year, thousands of water pipes leak across the entire country, and the problem is only getting worse. Since they cannot be fixed if they are not found, this is where water leak detection comes into play. Water leak detection services by professionals include various advantages as follows: 

  1. Location of Leaks

We use various methods to detect water pipe leaks in Oregon and Washington State, with field offices in Eugene, OR, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Renton, WA, and Everett, WA. In the past, digging into the ground was the only way to detect underground leaks, but with modern technology, there are more efficient options available. We use advanced techniques such as acoustic sensors, tracer gas, ground penetrating radar, and thermal imaging so our professionals can accurately locate underground leaks without the need for invasive digging. 

  1. Efficient Time Management

If you identify a water leak in your underground pipes, you may end up spending countless hours searching for the leak with no success. However, hiring a professionalunderground water leak detection company like CNI Locates Ltd. can save you a significant amount of time and effort. Rather than wasting your valuable time, it’s more practical to seek the help of certified experts who can quickly and efficiently detect leaking water pipes underground. 

  1. Reduced Expenses

Monthly bills can unexpectedly rise if there is a leak present, causing you to spend more money than necessary. Leaks can stem from various sources, including fixtures, irrigation systems, underground pipes, pipes inside walls, etc. Consulting professionals like CNI Locates Ltd. to locate the leak quickly can help to bring your bills back to normal.

  1. Prevents Major Damage

Ignoring small leaks can be tempting, especially if they don’t affect your water pressure or bill. However, leaks can worsen over time and cause significant damage to your property. For instance, a leaky pipe within a wall can lead to mold growth or structural damage. Repairs for such damage can be costly and time-consuming. It is best to get leaks identified by CNI Locates Ltd. as soon as possible to prevent major damage. 

  1. Ensures Reliable Water Supply

A steady water supply is vital for many businesses, and some emergency services rely on reliable water sources. A leak can lead to a poor water supply, causing serious problems. It is crucial to hire professionals like CNI Locates Ltd. to find the leak immediately when you notice any signs of a leak, ensuring a steady water supply. 

Trust Our Experts for Water & Irrigation Pipe Location & Inspection Services!

Trust Oregon and Washington States leader in underground utility locating services for over 20 + years to locate your water pipes accurately. CNI Locates Ltd. has field offices in Eugene, Oregon, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, Tacoma, Washington, Renton, Washington, and Everett, Washington, which serves all of the Pacific Northwest.

C-N-I Locates LTD takes great care in selecting highly qualified professionals for their utility locating and leak detection team. Maintaining a water system can be challenging, and it is essential to address any issues promptly. Get in touch with certified experts like CNI Locates for utility locating and utility inspection services to provide reliable results.