What is Water Detection?
Water Leak Detection is an expression more commonly used for larger, integrated systems installed in "high-tech" buildings or those containing valuable artefacts, materials or other assets where early notification of a potentially damaging leak would be beneficial.
The Water Leak Detection industry is small and specialised with only a few manufacturers operating world-wide. The original application was in the void created by "computer room" floors in the days of large main-frame computer systems. These use a modular, raised floor based around a structural "floor tile" usually 600mm square and supported at the corners by pedestals. The void created gave easy access and routing for the mass of power, networking and other interconnecting cables associated with larger computer systems - processors, drives, routers etc. Mainframe computers also generated large amounts of heat so a void under the floor could also be used as a plenum to distribute and diffuse chilled air around the computer room. The void therefore was likely to have chilled water pipes running through it along with the drains for condensates associated with refrigeration plant. In addition designers also found the floor void a very convenient place to route other wet services feeding bathrooms, radiators and other facilities.
A leak occurring within a floor void would therefore go unnoticed until the hydrostatic head of pressure meant that the water found its way through to floors below where its dripping through the ceiling would be noted or, and more disconcerting, the water would penetrate the joints and connectors of the power or network cabling and cause system failure from short circuit.
What is Chemical, Hydrocarbon and Solvent Leak Detection?
Chemical, Hydrocarbon and Solvent Leak Detection uses the same principles as Water Leak Detection. You would normally find these types of detection in harsher environments such as laboratories (Chemicals), generator enclosures (Hydrocarbons) etc.