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Class I leak detection, how it works

This PDF-brochure explains in detail how class I leak detection for doublewalled tanks and pipes with overpressure and vacuum leak detectors works.

ASF pdfClass I leak detection, how it works


Why leak protection and leak detection equipment is necessary?

Many of us are probably familiar with the hint when traveling abroad, not to drink water from the tap, to rinse when brushing your teeth with bottled water or that normally washed lettuce can cause stomach disorders. Fortunately, this is different in Germany, where water from the mains supply mostly has drinking water quality, and this despite the very high density of population and industry. This is achieved only by the fact that numerous rules and regulations must be observed and adhered to consistently.

Already many decades ago responsible people in Germany have begun to work out rules for the sustainable protection of one of our greatest assets - water. These rules have been gradually expanded further and enshrined at EU level binding guidelines. These guidelines for the preservation and improvement of water quality are also implemented by other EU countries gradually.

A measure of these regulations is for example the leak detection of tanks and pipes in which water-polluting liquids are stored or conveyed. This will be achieved, inter alia, that tanks and piping are designed with a double wall and the resulting space between the double wall (also called the interstitial space) constantly is monitored by leak detection equipment. Single-walled tanks can be retrofitted for this purpose with an authorized leak protection lining to meet the demand of the double wall. Leaks and spills are detected by these security systems and produce an alarm signal at an exactly defined limit.

What can be the cause for an alarm on leak detector?

This question can not be answered generally. The causes that lead to an alarm condition at the leak detection system can be very complex. Causes may be for example a leak in a tank wall or the leak detector itself, in the connecting pipes or fittings connected. Do not perform any repair work on the leak detection system by yourself, because further damage, not visible from outside, can occur. Hire a qualified contractor.

What to do when an alarm on the leak detector is indicated?

When an alarm occurs, a specialist firm must be notified immediately that determines the cause and fixes the problem.

What can I do myself to the leak detector?

Despite the recurring function test on the leak detector system by a qualified person or testing of the system by an expert, we recommend regular visual inspection of your facility. To do this, check the leak indicator's visual displays as well as the condensate level in the connected vessels. For pressure leak detectors with attached air dryer the dry beads have to be checked for possible discoloration (New State: Orange; - Dry beads saturated, replace: Clear or Green). In case of incorrect indications, filled condensate vessels or other obvious mistakes, please contact your specialized contractor.

Who may carry out work on the leak detector system?

The German Water Resources Act (Wasserhaushaltsgesetz - WHG) and the associated Federal regulations require that the installation, commissioning and repair of leak detection systems only may be executed by qualified professionals with proven skills for this kind of work.

In addition, the specialized company must possess also sufficient knowledge in the field of fire and explosion protection.

Each operator of a facility is responsible for its safe operation. Improper work on the system can cause damage.

How often should a functional test be performed on the leak detector?

Trade associations, professional firms and manufacturers of leak detectors recommend an annual functional test of the leak detector system by an expert.

Most specialized companies offer this service by maintenance contracts.

Remember - a regularly checked leakage protection device offers maximum reliability. After the functional test, insist on receiving a test report that certifies the functionality of your system.

Where can I get replacement parts for a leak detector (e.g. green power light)?

Please see the note in the menu item "Spare parts" in the "Service" menu.

Where can I find a specialist for leak detection systems?

Contact data of your nearest dealer or specialized company can be found in various trade directories (e.g. yellow pages) under the heading "tank protection."

We are happy to assist you with the selection of a qualified specialist company in your area - please contact us.

How often, how long runs the pump/compressor of a leak detector?

The on / off frequency and the duty cycle of the integrated pump to compensate for minimal leakages, depends on the volume of the interstitial space and tightness conditions of the whole system. The pump has the task to compensate for minimal leakage in the system. The on and off of the pump at timed intervals without alarm output is normal and does not require any special measures.

Basically, the smaller the tank, the more often the pump runs, but in each case for a shorter period. For large tanks the pump runs less often, but then works longer to shutdown.

In vacuum leak detectors for the high pressure system (higher switching values), the pump basically runs longer per power cycle than in low pressure systems (lower switching values), with the switch-in return is lower than for low pressure systems.

Is the starting frequency of the pump increasing more and more, this points to an increasing leakage. If the pump runs until shutdown are getting longer or even constant, this may also indicate a large leakage, or the pump itself no longer reaches the required cut-off point.

In both cases, you should inform the specialist as a precaution, because otherwise an alarm condition can occur in the foreseeable future.

How much are the annual operating cost of a leak detector?

Similar to the terms of the pump of a leak detector, the operating costs depend on the state of your system and the type of the leak monitoring system used (low-pressure or high pressure system).

Basically, however, the operating costs in normal conditions of the installed system are relatively low. This amounts at a low pressure system to only 2-3 € / year, with a high pressure system according to the tightness 2-5 €. For comparison: A 42 "LCD TV (140 watts) produces at an average operating time of 3.5 hours / day around 35 euros in electricity costs / year.