Liquid Leak Detector

A liquid leak detector is able to sense exactly when a liquid might be leaking from a tank, receptacle or pipe. When the leak detector detects a liquid escaping it will often sound an audible alarm as well as a visual indicator which alerts all personnel who are concerned with maintaining the pipelines and other areas related to this liquid. The alarm as well as the visual indicator may be based on the amount of accumulated liquid, its pressure or even the change in its flow. However, when purchasing a leak detector it is important to specify exactly what leak detection method you need, in addition liquid types which are detectable and other additional required features also need to be stated, for instance corrosive fluids as well as petroleum based fluids fall under the detectable liquid types category i.e. they can be detected as they form bubbles.

There are various types of liquid detectors which include:

  • Sensor type detectors – these are usually installed on to pipeline but are not part of the overall system. The liquid that escapes sounds an alarm as it is detected by the sensor.
  • Conventional detectors – these use a series of pumps and monitor the pressure of the liquid. The alarm will often sound when the pressure suddenly drops but they need to be installed as part of the piping system in order to be effective.
  • Handheld detectors – These types of detectors use laser, sonar and ultrasound technologies to find leaks.

Conductivity based Liquid leak detector

Many cheap liquid leak detectors work by relying on electrical conductivity or the overall resistance of a fluid which passes across the separated electrodes. The problem with these detectors is that they are  not reliable since they are often triggered by other conductive materials such as pieces of metal or even an insect that gets stuck in between their electrodes. They also require frequent cleaning which is a big hassle for systems which run underground.

Electrochemical based liquid leak detector with sensors

These systems work by outputting a small electrical signal; however, the beauty of these systems is that they can be programmed to only be set off by specific chemical signatures. This means that a detector meant for petroleum will not trigger an alarm if there is rain water hitting the sensor and vice versa. This also allows for the sensors / detectors to be embedded with existing technologies to independently monitor pipelines for leaks and cracks.

The working of a conventional liquid leak detector

This type of leak detector simply works by monitoring the pressure of the liquid in a system. This uses a system of valves, pumps and pistons to ensure that even the slightest leak is quickly picked up on. However, the problem with these systems is that they need regular maintenance, and they are known to fail. This is why these conventional systems have been replaced with more modern and high tech systems with higher accuracy and low maintenance costs.



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