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.
How to Find Water Leaks-Cheaply
Water can get into places you can’t see or reach & can do serious damage if left unattended. Special paper treated with water “sensing” chemicals is 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 a good place to start.
Find Water Leaks with Cobalt Chloride Test Paper
Cobalt chloride sheets change color from blue to pinkish-white at relative humidity above 55%. You can use it for both liquid water and humidity problems. At 99% it changes very quickly. With liquid water it is immediate.
You can layout the sheets as they are or make your own water contact indicator tape to find single or multiple leaks in ceilings, under appliances, or in packaging. Or, cut it into strips & to find moisture in hard to reach places like cracks & crevices in circuit boards or concrete blocks. It’s sensitive enough to roughly record splash patterns.
Find Water Leaks Under Dishwashers & Hot Water Tanks
If your water leakage problem is in a potentially humid area such as beneath a dishwasher or hot water heater you might want to try chlorophenol red test sheets. They change color from yellow to bright red only on contact with liquid water. You can also use it in the lab with vacuum assemblies for spot plate leak testing.
Chlorophenol red won’t change color if the pH of the water is less than ~5.6. Freshly distilled water is neutral pH 7 but can absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and will turn slightly acidic, around pH 5.7. Fortunately, soapy water is alkaline, so if you see puddles under your dishwasher but no change in paper color, add some detergent.
Find Water Leaks in Aluminum or Fiberglass Boats
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. You can even add vinegar or ammonia cleaner to help trace a leak path.
Standard sheets are 8×10″ (200x250mm) but are available by special order in 20×24″ (500x675mm) sizes; minimum order quantities apply.
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