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Gimme that old time leak detector

I had a visit from Southern Water at the office this morning. Seems there’s a water leak on the path that runs past the building and they were looking for the origin. I had to fetch keys and open up storage rooms so they could test the pipes.

Funny pair. It was an older woman, graying at the temples, and a young man who was on the phone the entire time. I don’t know if he was doing something important related to finding the leak or if it was a kids these days situation.

She had a device with a wooden cup shape at the top and a long thin metal rod. Like the picture above, except her wooden bit was larger and look like it had worn down over decades of use. I thought it was solid, but the description I found online says it’s hollow. Anyway, it’s flat, not pierced in any way at the top and the pipe is solid, too.

It works like a giant stethoscope. She held it against a pipe and she could hear if water was flowing through it. She let me fiddle with it for a while and frankly I want one now.

I tried to find it online for you, but I didn’t know what to search for. I used all kinds of combinations of sono- and aqua- and probe and meter and I finally found it and do you want to know what it’s really called? Do you? I swear to dog, it’s called a Water Listening Stick. They’re about £35.

Here’s the article that picture came from, about a young man who is a leak detector in Cornwall. Here’s a more general article about what water sounds like leaking out of pipes (but using the sort of electronic equipment you’d expect). It’s oddly interesting.

We weren’t the leaker, by the way. She said they’d find the pipe, put a stopcock on it above the leak and turn it off. Then they wait to see if anyone yelps about their water being cut off. There’s so much stuff down there, apparently, that it could be a pipe that hasn’t actively carried water to anyone in a hundred years.

And now you’ve learned something utterly useless. Good weekend!

February 24, 2023 — 6:25 pm
Comments: 10