Finding water where it shouldn’t be is a concern for not just homeowners but boaters, plumbers and product quality assurance departments. Here we discuss some inexpensive tools for water leak detection.
Also see: Ammonia Leak Detection.
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How to Find a Water Leak-Cheaply
Water can get into places you can’t see or reach & do serious damage if left unattended. Special paper treated with water “sensing” chemicals can offer a simple & inexpensive solution for finding roof or dishwasher leaks, water incursion into car doors, lab equipment & much more.
As might be expected with water being the “universal” solvent that it is, no one solution works for every problem but these three water detection sheets are good place to start.
Cobalt Chloride Test Paper
for Water Leak Detection
Cobalt chloride sheets change color from blue to pinkish white at relative humidity above 55%. At 99% it changes very quickly & with liquid water it is immediate. Use it for both liquid water and humidity problems.
You can lay out or tape sheets as needed to find single or multiple leaks in ceilings, under appliances or in packaging. It can also be cut into strips & used to find moisture in hard to find places like cracks & crevices in circuit boards or concrete blocks. It’s sensitive enough to roughly record splash patterns.
Find Dishwasher & Hot Water Leaks
If your water leakage problem is in a potentially humid area such as beneath a dishwasher or hot water heater. Chlorophenol red test sheets change color from yellow to bright red on contact with liquid water. Use it also vacuum assemblies for spot plate leak testing.
Chlorophenol red, however, doesn’t change color if the pH of the water is less than ~5, so it is not recommended for acid rain studies.
How to Find a Leak in Aluminum or
Fiberglass Boats w/ Universal pH Paper
A boat leak is no different from any other leak but universal pH indicator water test paper sheets react to acid & alkaline pH by turning a different color. Adding vinegar or ammonia cleaner to trace a leak path could offer some insights.
The standard sheets are 8×10″ (200x250mm) but are available by special order in 20×24″ (500x675mm); minimum order quantities apply.