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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Tool available for finding leak inside a wall?

    I've been lurking here for years, and joined a little while ago, but finally I'm desperate enough to ask a question.

    I have a job where I've isolated the leak to the suction line of a split system in a two-story house. And not just up two stories, but it goes up in the garage exterior wall, then through a garage soffit, then up another wall to the attic.

    It will now leak 200 PSI of nitrogen within a few minutes, so has been getting worse and worse over the weeks. The owner is prepared to run a new line, and to do it the hard way so nothing is visible from the outside. But I'm still hoping I can find it. Fortunately, I have several days to do this without inconveniencing him. After that, well, it is what it is.

    The line has the king valve shut off at the machine, and the suction and liquid lines were disconnected from the machine in the attic and sealed at the ends.

    Do we have any tools designed for finding this leak inside the walls, like plumbers do for finding water leaks underground? Or is the sheetrock guy going to make more money on this than I do? Preferably, I have enough work and make enough money and want this done the easy way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago area
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    Tool available for finding leak inside a wall?

    An ultrasonic detector might work, or a stethoscope. A leak that big, you should be able to hear with assistance.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Thread Starter
    I'll try the ultrasonic. Didn't know about those but read the reviews on Amazon for the Amprobe ULD-300. They say it won't work well through walls, but maybe this leak is big enough, and it looks like a useful tool for other leak jobs. And if it doesn't work worth having, I love the no-hassle returns. Thanks for the suggestion. The order is already being processed and will be at my door tomorrow while I'm doing other things.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
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    Maybe this?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  5. Likes Achso017 liked this post.
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the help. Thought I was clear I was already going to do that but thought it keen to see if others had ideas. However, I'll be using a circular saw with shallow blade, and a lot of dust control.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida
    Posts
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    Those vibrating saws make a lot less dust.
    Doug

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
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    Yeah don't use a circular saw. A multi tool will be slower but virtually no dust flying and you can catch dust with a small shop vac under the cut.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Thread Starter
    Good points. I was more worried about things in the wall and being able to set the depth of my blade. I do a lot of sheetrock removal as an electrician, also, but those are much smaller pieces so it's feasible to use a handsaw or go very slowly with a 12V Sawzall.

    Let's hope the ultrasound can hear it and narrow this down, and we aren't ripping out a new pipe path.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Thread Starter
    I didn't understand what tool you guys were talking about, but pondered it a bit. I've never used one of those oscillating tools before, so did some research on them. They definitely seem worth trying for this. I ordered the 18V Makita to match most of my other truck tools. It'll be here tomorrow.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
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    If you like it, buy the replacement blades at harbor freight. All manufacturer's blades last about the same (not long) so you might as well get them for 1/3 to 1/2 the price.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,593
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    I have a amprobe ultrasonic, not impressed.

    I also have a Kent Moore ultrasonic with the wand and the mic in the end of the flexible wand. It is much better.

    The other good thing is I got the Kent Moore ultrasonic off eBay pretty cheap and it works great.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    27,186
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    Cut the rock with a utility knife - not a saw of any kind.

    Start at the bottom - about 3-4' up. Keep working your way up until you are above the leak. Stop cutting there.

    PHM
    --------


    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Good points. I was more worried about things in the wall and being able to set the depth of my blade. I do a lot of sheetrock removal as an electrician, also, but those are much smaller pieces so it's feasible to use a handsaw or go very slowly with a 12V Sawzall.

    Let's hope the ultrasound can hear it and narrow this down, and we aren't ripping out a new pipe path.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago area
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    The most likely leak points I would think would be the turns, and anywhere it passes a moulding, or penetrates a floor.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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