alt='Routine maintenance for leak detection rooms'

Mechanical rooms with multiple points that a water leak can occur

 

Leak Detection Maintenance will help you avoid issues

If you have water leak detection products, you need to test them out from time to time. Routine maintenance for Leak Detection systems helps ensure your system is working correctly. Eventually, systems will get contamination built up, leading to false alarms. As long as the system was configured and calibrated perfectly when first brought online. Because the initial setup is key to system performance, you will constantly have accuracy issues if not done correctly from day one.

If notification methods have changed and no one updated the system, you will not receive alerts. Testing your external communications helps ensure you get the critical alerts, especially when needed. Notably, if the controller is web-based, firmware updates help provide new features and potentially security updates.

Moreover, firmware updates keep your system up-to-date with the manufacturer. Indeed nothing stays the same over time with a floor plan layout. Updates to the graphic/drawing showing the cable routing and distance markers. If the original reference map lacked detail, this is a great time to update that image. Better detail to help your staff identify connection points, leak detection cable routing, and non-sensing components of the system. Therefore, depending on your environment, performing scheduled maintenance is key to ensuring your system is ready to alert you of an issue accurately.

Get it wet and see what happens.

In the first place, whether it is a Distance Read or Zone system, place a small puddle of water on the cable.

  • By all means, make sure you follow a testing procedure to inform others at your facility
  • Verify any local alarms are visual and audible
  • Verify notification to other facility operators

Excellent housekeeping helps, but maintenance for Leak Detection is still good practice.

  • Leak detection providing a micro-amp reading is key
  • Notably, some companies offering leak detection may have ways to detect contamination levels
  • For example, using a white towel pulled along a section will show the contamination build-up
  • Look for oil build-up or heavy contamination from mechanical equipment
  • Calcium or hardware stains can cause contamination alarms
  • A least every two years, wipe isopropyl alcohol and rags along the cable
  • Warm soapy water works well but is more difficult with the sense-cable in place
  • Systems requiring heavy cleaning benefit from the dish-washer cleaning method

Zone Controller testing

These GO/NO-GO systems give you basic information on the Leak Detection system state. The simple alarm status includes Normal, Leak Alarm, and potentially Cable Break alarms.

Zone Water Leak Test

  • To explain, place a one-to-two-inch amount of water along the cable for each zone
  • Verify that the controller shows the leak alarm on the panel (audible/visual)
  • If connected to an external notification device, confirm the Leak alert
  • Clean the water from the cable/area and ensure the alarm condition clears

Zone Cable Fault Test

  • Disconnect the cable from the controller, either by removing the End-Of-Line, or controller terminal block
  • Likewise, verify the controller shows the cable-break alarm on the panel (audible/visual)
  • If connected to an external notification device, confirm the Fault alert
  • Once verified, reconnect the cable to the controller
  • Finally, verify the system is back to a normal condition
  • Repeat this process for each zone/controller

Distance Read controller testing

For example, a distance read controller gives you a distance marker reference. These systems will display the installed distance of cable and simulated devices. Distance read systems will show a distance reading if a leak occurs.

Distance-Read Water Leak Test

  • To demonstrate, confirm the installed cable distance displayed matches the reference map
  • If less/greater than 2%, recalibrate the controller
  • Another critical point, find a documented distance marker/reference point along the cable
  • Place a one-to-two-inch amount of water along the cable
  • Then, verify that the controller goes into alarm, showing that distance
  • If connected to an external notification device, confirm the Leak alert
  • Controllers using the Interactive Leak Map verify the marker flashes in the correct location
  • Clean the water from the cable/area and ensure the alarm condition clears

Distance-Read Cable Fault Test

  • Disconnect the cable from the controller, either by removing the End-Of-Line, or controller terminal block
  • Verify the controller shows the cable-break alarm on the panel (audible/visual)
  • If connected to an external notification device, confirm the Fault alert
  • Once verified, reconnect the cable to the controller
  • To conclude, verify the system is back to a normal condition

As shown above, leak detection systems are not a “set it and forget it” system. To ensure your system, whether it is in an industrial or commercial application, have routine maintenance for Leak Detection Systems performed. Overall, you do not have to hire professional services from a vendor if looking to help save money for maintenance for Leak Detection Systems all the time.

Whenever your system requires more attention, then hiring a professional is a wise choice, given that the nature of your environment for cleanliness will determine how often.

As shown above, testing for leak alarms will verify you get the warnings locally and from any potential systems monitoring it if you have any questions based on testing, cleaning, or calibrating. Please feel free to contact us at FMS Integration LLC.