5 Ways A Plumber Locates Underground Stormwater Pipes
It's a question we're asked quite a lot: How do I find stormwater pipes on my property? And there are plenty of good reasons why you're on the stormwater pipe hunt - like maintenance and repairs such as block drains and pipe burst, or knowledge for a forthcoming landscaping project or some renovations in order to avoid damage. After all, while it may be your home, castle, pride and joy, the intricacies of your property's underground infrastructure are probably somewhat of a mystery to most of us.
Unseen and elusive: The mystery of buried stormwater pipelines
Why, precisely, is a simple stormwater pipe locator technique so elusive?:
You can't see them: Unlike your plumbing fixtures and things like electrical outlets, knowing how to find stormwater pipe infrastructure can be a serious challenge as they are buried deep beneath your feet with no obvious or visible signs of them from the surface.
You don't have a map: Perhaps you've got some detailed schematics of your home's underground utilities, but renovations - or just losing or never having the required documentation - can keep those pipes a big secret.
Beyond metal: Why standard detection fails some pipes
Worse still, various methods for locating other underground utilities don't work for non-metal structures like those PVC, clay or concrete stormwater pipes. A magnetic locator is no good, neither is a metal detector, and even sophisticated electromagnetic induction tools or acoustic pipe locators fall short unless you know pretty precisely where a leak is.
So what's the answer? Ask a plumber. Because this is what they'd tell you:
How a great plumber locates non-metal stormwater pipes
Find a local plumber who's good enough, and they'll deploy a range of methods based on accessibility, practicality, cost-effectiveness and some of the best tools in the business.
1. CCTV camera inspection tech
It's a flexible rod equipped with a CCTV camera - feed it into the access point and what you get is real-time video feedback to trace that pipe's path and inspect its condition in detail at the same time.
2. Sonde locators
They're small, battery-operated transmitters compatible with many plumbing tools that emit a frequency that is detected from the professional's position at ground level.
3. Dye testing
It may be simple, but the best methods often are. Your pro will introduce a bright, non-toxic dye into the drainage system, and you just watch where the dye ends up to track the direction and flow of stormwater to locate pipes and identify pipe problems.
4. Acoustic listening devices
Used from the surface together with a rough idea of the likely pipe location, and these devices listen out for the sound of moving water - especially helpful for pinpointing water leaks and blockages.
5. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR)
Ok, your plumber may not always have this - or some of the other technologies on this list - in their toolbox, because anything other than super-entry level GPR is mightily expensive. That's because they ingeniously emit high-frequency radio signals into the ground, and when they hit something like a PVC pipe, they reflect the signal back to the unit.
Why going Pro is the best bet for buried pipes
In the plumbing world, locating underground pipes is all in a day's work! Experienced experts have an impressive toolkit of methods and technologies and a finely-honed instinct crafted by experience for a fast, cost-effective and safe pipe location every time. Still asking yourself 'How do I find stormwater pipes on my property QLD wide?' Reach out to In Deep Plumbing, your go-to for top-notch plumbing services across the board in the Gold Coast and beyond. Call In Deep Plumbing today!