When you discover a leak in your property it can be difficult to find out where the water is coming from.
A simple and cost effective way to find out, is by testing the water.
Option 1: Treated water is likely to contain chlorine, which is added to the mains water for sanitary reasons. Therefore, a good test to use is the Total Chlorine test. Chlorine levels in drinking water should be between 0.2 and 2.0ppm. The World Health Organisation has set a health based guideline maximum value of 5ppm (mg/l) for chlorine as a residual disinfectant in drinking water. Total Chlorine measures the amount of free and combined chlorine in water. A chlorine test works best when the leak contains fresh water because chlorine evaporates over time. If the water has been sitting for a while somewhere, then chlorine may have naturally disappeared and can not be detected anymore.
Option 2: Another option is to test the pH using wide range water pH test . The pH of water varies depending on its origin. Tap water should have a pH of 6.5 to 9.5. Rain water is usually more acidic, 4 to 5, due to its origin (primarily due to the presence of two strong acids, sulphuric acid (H2SO4) and nitric acid (HNO3)).
From customer feedback it seems that either one or both tests are useful in establishing the source of a leak.
To use test strips to identify the source of a leak, it is best to test water from different sources around the property, note the result for each and then compare the results to the water in the leak:
- Test your tap water
- Test your rainwater (collect some or use water from a water butt or bird table in the garden)
- Test groundwater, potential streams, wells and other potential sources of the leak
- Test the water in the leak and compare all results to find a match
Total Chlorine Test:
Contains: 50 strips
Testing Levels: Method A: 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 0.8, 4.0, 10.0 ppm (mg/l), Method B: 0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.15, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0 ppm (mg/l)
Total Test time: 33 seconds
Extended Range Water pH Test:
These wide range pH test strips are the convenient measurement tool for pH. It covers nearly the whole pH range from 2 to 12, whilst still measuring smaller increments in the crucial range of 6 to 10, therefore providing accurate results.
Contains: 50 strips per bottle
Testing Levels: pH: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 11, 12
Total Test time: 30 seconds
Please note, that whilst it helps to test the water of the leak and the various water sources around a property, this may not be entirely conclusive. This will be the case when chlorine has evaporated from the water in the leak or the pH levels are too similar to make a clear distinction. A number of different tests may be necessary to eliminate potential sources of the leak.
Good luck with identifying the source of the leak!
Further Free Resources:
Got a question about water testing? Try our complete list of Free Water Testing Resources. Here are the most frequently read guides:
- Click here to download our FREE Water Guide
- Read an overview of the potential contaminants in your water
- Why test your water and water supply?
- Unusual colours, smells and taste of your water & further advice on finding the right test kit
- How to choose the right Water Testing Kit
- Choosing the right water testing kit for a water improvement & purification system, water cooler or a pool, spa or hot tub
- How to understand the results of your Quality Water Test Kit
- How to test for lead correctly and what immediate steps can be taken to reduce lead exposure
- How to get the best drinking water – which water filter?
- How to check if my water filter is working?
- How to test the pH of soap?
- How to find the source of a leak in a property
- How to look after your hot tub safely and test the water regularly
- What is best pH level for drinking water? How to measure the pH of water & other liquids correctly
- How to test the quality of Open Water for bathing or swimming
- Commercial Applications for Water Testing: Buyers Guide – Water Testing on vessels, ships as well as water tanks in remote locations
Disclaimer: Only opinions based upon our own personal experience or information detailed in academic journals or other publications is cited. This has been done exclusively for anyone who is interested in this subject but is not intended to replace proper analysis. We cannot accept responsibility and liability of any kind which may result from the application of this information. We always recommend to consult an expert to discuss any test results or get a full recommendation on the specific subject and specific to your situation by an expert.
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