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Popular Leak Detection Seminar to be Offered at International Show and Northeast Show


International Show: Thursday, November 1 from 9:15 AM to 10:30 AM

Northeast Pool and Spa Show: Thursday, January 29 from 8:30 AM to 11:45 AM

Leak Detection Seminar at Northeast Pool and Spa Show

The basics of swimming pool leak detection will be covered at two convention venues this trade show season.  Lance Anderson and Brad Madison will teach “Finding Leaks – Turn Headaches into Profits” at the 2018 International Pool, Spa, and Patio Show in Las Vegas this October.  Then, in January at the 2019 Northeast Pool and Spa Show in Atlantic City, the presentation will be given again with the addition of a panel of experts who provide another layer of in-field experience to the topic.

These can’t miss courses cover the basic procedures, techniques and tools that will turn pesky leak problems into profit making opportunities. By focusing on the underlying principles of leak detection, the seminar provides an unbiased explanation of the systematic, 3-step process that should be followed on every leak job to assure efficiency. Special attention is payed to the following topics:

  • What time-saving pieces of information are important to gather before going to the job site
  • The “Pressure Testing Principles” that explain the behavior of air and water in tested plumbing lines
  • How to pinpoint underground plumbing leaks with sonic and helium detection methods
  • How to pinpoint structural leaks in concrete, fiberglass, acrylic, and vinyl

While the seminar is geared toward those who are looking to get started with leak detection, even seasoned professionals will be able to pick up a few tips. This is also a great course to send new employees to for comprehensive training!

Attendee testimonials from previous presentations:

“This seminar made my trip worthwhile. Excellent!”

“Lance Anderson presents an excellent message – well prepared, thoughtful, and precise – his passion for the subject is appreciated.”

“An informative, well-organized approach. Excellent presentation based on research and experience.”

“The whole class will make my job easier.”

“This is the best presentation I have attended at this show in years. Well organized and thought out. Great material for a difficult problem.”

“After 25+ years in pool sales and service, I still learn something at these seminars. Keep them coming.”

How to Gather Good Information for Efficient Leak Jobs

An efficient leak detection job starts well before you open the gate to your customer’s back yard.  You can save a great deal of time by gathering and processing information about the suspected leak before the job is even scheduled. Make a practice of purposefully communicating with the pool owner to accomplish the following 3 objectives as the first part of your leak detection process.


1. Make sure there really is a leak

Sometimes customers are concerned about water loss that may be the result of something besides a leak.  Evaporation, splash-out, or even miscommunications about when a backwash was performed can result in panicked calls to a leak professional.  It’s hard to charge for a leak job if there isn’t really a problem (even after you’ve spent a lot of time looking for the non-existent leak), so it’s important to ask enough questions upfront to eliminate the possibility that the symptom they describe is anything but a leak. It’s also a good idea to schedule jobs far enough out to give the customer time to do a Bucket Test for themselves to confirm the water loss they are observing is not just due to evaporation.

Example Questions to Ask:
  • Why do you think you have a leak?
  • When did the problem start?
  • How much loss are you experiencing per day?
  • When is the last time you backwashed the pool?


 2. Collect key facts that allow you to start processing the problem before you get to the pool

Leak detection is as much mental as it is physical .  Your observations and tests at the pool are just one source of clues that can lead you to solving the elusive problem.  By asking strategic questions of the pool owner before you get to the job, you can start thinking about and solving the problem even while you are driving. Knowing when the pool was built, who built it, how it is used, and when it started leaking can provide clues to where the leak will be, especially as you start building a mental database of previous leaks you’ve found.  Other information about the nature of the problem, like whether it leaks more with the pump on or off, will also help to establish what part of the pool may be the most suspect.

Example Questions to Ask:
  • How far down have you let the water level go?
  • Does the pool have any unique features such as an attached spa, waterfall, or in-floor cleaning system?
  • When was the pool built and who built it?
  • Who typically uses the pool and how do they use it?
  • Have there been any unusual events associated with the pool recently?
  • Have you recently had repairs or construction work done in or around the pool?


3. Clearly establish what the expectations are for the condition of, and access to the pool

Generally the tests you do on site will require that the pool be filled to its normal operating level. Make sure the customer knows this.  You may also have to get in the pool for inspection and repair, so it’s a good idea to request the pool be clean and warm if possible.  Of course, you can’t work on a pool that you can’t get to, so make sure the customer provides information on how to access the pool in case they aren’t there.  It’s easy to assume that these simple and common sense issues will be obvious, but a few wasted trips to a pool reinforce the fact that it’s better to err on the side of over-communication.

Example Questions to Ask:
  • Is the pool filled to its normal level?
  • Do I need any keys or codes to access the pool and equipment?
  • Is the pool clean?
  • Will you be home when I’m working on the pool? If not, how can I reach you during that time?


For more in depth discussion of the information gathering step and how it fits into the rest of the leak detection process check out the slide shows available in our resource center.

Pressure Testing Myths Busted

Pressure testing is a topic where a number of myths and misunderstandings have developed in the swimming pool industry. Below, we explain the truth behind 4 common misconceptions that should help you stay focused on efforts that will lead to leak detection success and profits.

MYTH #1: Pressure Testing is Unnecessary for Leak Detection

While you may be able to find common leaks without pressure testing, if you want to leave the pool assured that you have found all of the leaks . . . and you want to give the customer that assurance, pressure testing is critical.

There are other ways of finding easy to reach leaks in plumbing, but from the standpoint of conclusively determining if the entire line is leak free, nothing beats a properly performed pressure test.  Furthermore, despite advancements in cameras and other probes that have applications in some situations, the most common and dependable way of pinpointing leaks underground involves the use of a listening device that picks up the sound of pressurized air escaping from a leak into water saturated soil.

MYTH #2:  Air Can Be Used Interchangeably With Water for Pressure Testing

Air and water behave very differently in pressure testing situations.  Understanding three pressure testing principles that address these differences is important as you determine when to use air and when to use water to build pressure.

  1. Air compresses under pressure, water does not
  2. Air stays at the top of the pipe, water stays at the bottom
  3. Air escapes from leaks faster than water does

Our pressure testing slide show provides helpful diagrams and more explanation of how these principles affect your test results.  As a general rule it is best to use water when testing to determine if the line is leaking since it does not compress under pressure so it will show a loss in pressure quickly, even with a small loss in volume.  On the other hand, air trapped in a line can expand as water volume is lost from the leak, slowing (and sometimes completely masking) a drop in pressure. Additionally, if plugs happen to pop out under pressure they will come out with much less force if the line is pressurized with only water . . . trapped air will propel a popped plug like a cannon ball!

The main benefit of using air is that it makes a much better noise escaping from the pipe into water saturated soil than water does.  So, once you have identified a leaking section of plumbing with a water test, switch to air to produce a good noise that can be picked up by your listening device.

Myth #3: Air and Water Can Be “Mixed” in a Pressure Tester and Will Stay “Mixed” Inside the Pipe

We’ve debunked this myth by testing it on a plumbing system made of clear PVC.  Regardless of how they are transmitted into the pipe, water stays low and air stays high.  They do not stay mixed up just because they are put under pressure.  This is simple physics and anyone who says otherwise is selling you hocus-pocus.

Adding both air and water to a line is not the first step you should take when trying to make a good leak noise.  While it is indeed important for the soil to be full of water outside of the pipe where air will blow out through the leak, no noise is made unless air actually gets to the leak.  Since water stays at the bottom of the pipe and air at the top, if the leak is in the low end of the plumbing no air will get to it if you are adding both air and water.  So, all of the water above the leak level must be purged from the line before this happens. Generally this is best accomplished by removing a low plug and blowing air from the high end.  Once you see bubbles, replace the plug, set your air source regulator to maintain no higher than 5 psi, and begin listening.  Larger leaks and/or leaks in soil that drains quickly may necessitate adding water while air is going into the line.  To avoid noises inside the pipe, do this with a separate pressure tester from the low end of the plumbing.  The best results happen when air and water do not mix inside the plumbing . . . just at the leak!

MYTH #4: Certain Kinds of Gas Make Better Noises Than Others for Leak Location

Any gas escaping from a leak will make bubbling/gurgling /hissing/spotting sounds in the full range of sonic frequencies that can be picked up with a listening device.  Sometimes, leak detectors will use nitrogen tanks to deliver the gas into the line quietly (without the conflicting sound of a compressor).  However, these tanks are used not because of any special characteristic of the gas (in fact, the air we breathe is made up of 78% nitrogen) but because of its ease of availability and inexpensiveness in relation to other gasses.  SCUBA tanks adapted with an adjustable regulator can also be used if you can get them filled.  A small compressor works just fine for inducing air pressure, especially if you use a 50 foot hose that allows you  to position the compressor some distance from where you are listening.

In some situations where soil or leak conditions make it difficult to create a noise helium gas is used to find underground plumbing leaks.  In these situations a Helium Detector picks up the presence of the gas as it makes its way to the soil’s surface.  Helium is not being used because it makes a better noise, but because it can be detected by this detector.

If you have any questions about pressure testing or swimming pool leak detection, consult the Resource Center of our website or give us a call.

High Marks for Another Leak Training Seminar

“I make sure to come to this one every year.”
“Such a good refresher and I always pick up new tips.”
“This class is why I come to the Atlantic City show.”

Anderson Manufacturing’s Leak Detection Seminar, one of Aqua Magazine’s Top Picks, lives up to its hype once again as hundreds turn out for the Leak Detection seminar put on by Lance Anderson in Atlantic City. The capacity crowd listened to Lance and a panel of experts discuss the importance of leak detection basics and answered questions on the intricacies of leak detection.

With over 110 years of leak detection experience on the panel, the three experts provided solutions to tricky problems and tricks for locating and fixing common leaks. Throughout the 3 hour seminar Lance and all three panel experts talked about a systematic approach of applying the fundamentals of leak detection to be the most effective and efficient way to perform leak detection.

The importance of pressure testing in the overall leak detection process was highlighted several times. Pressure Testing continues to be an crucial component to underground plumbing leaks. Overall it was nice to hear the experts on the panel and many in the crowd validate our leak detection process and confirm the value of our products:

  • Bruce Roach an experienced diver talked about how liner leaks are more elusive than ever with the newer liner designs making the LeakTrac an even more valuable tool. He also had a nice marking tool rigged up on his probe to circle the leaks.

    A wax marker taped to a pipe probe can help mark leaks in vinyl liners.
  • John Stinemire shared how he uses the hydrophone along side his Fisher Listening Device  to listen along the pool wall to hear plumbing lines that run along side the pool edge.  When pressurized these leaks can make a clear sound into the pool. John also talked about the Leakalyzer and its value in confirming  all leaks have been found and not just a leak, especially in concrete pools.
  • Steve White highlighted how you can “save a customer thousands and gain a customer for life” by using the Stair Foam Kit to firm up and repair their existing steps rather than replacing them.

Overall it was a good day as we “brushed up on the basics” and shared the tips and tricks for tackling the toughest leaks.

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