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Find - Locate Water Leaks using Acoustic ground microphone

Water Leak Detection Using Ground Microphones

When a pressurised water pipe leaks the water flows out which causes the pipe and surrounding material (mud, concrete tarmac) to vibrate. This sound, or vibration, is transmitted along the pipe, (structure borne water leak noise) and through the surrounding material (ground borne water leak noise).

Listening sticks, metal or wooden poles with ear pieces, have been used for centuries to listen for water leaks, they are, at best, only able to detect water leaks that are very loud. However, contrary to common perception, it is not always the largest leaks which are the loudest; often a large split in a water pipe produces less noise than one pouring through a small hole. This can be particularly true in non-metallic pipes. For this reason amplifying the water leak noise with an electroacoustic microphone, such as the Aquaphon A100, has become an essential tool for finding water leaks in networks and leaks in houses under concrete and wooden floors

With digital circuitry, superior microphone technology and easy to use help features, the Aquaphon A100 ground microphone helps to reduce reliance on the user’s experience helping them to find the smallest water leaks.

The Aquaphon A100 has a large digital numerical display showing the Minimum (quietest) Noise Level which allows the operator to make use of another of their senses, sight - “See” the leak as well as hear it.

Ground mic receiver mutes sound when loud noise are detected
Frequencies of water leak heard can be filtered
Ground microphone BO-4 - elephant's foot type wind protected


With some ground microphones an uncomfortable, sometimes dangerous, noise is heard when a microphone accidentally slips off a valve or when some joker stamps their foot beside you asking : "Can you hear that noise then?"

The Aquaphon A100 incorporates a novel technology to makes this danger a thing of the past. When a very loud noise is picked up the sound to the headphones is immediately muffled. If the sound increases further, the headphones are switched off to protect your hearing.

Water Leak Noise Optimised Listening

We do not all hear best at the same frequencies; some people can hear higher frequencies better than lower ones and vice versa. Water leaks do not all produce sounds at the same frequency. Interfering noises (trains, cars, dogs barking) can all make listening for water leaks at certain frequencies very difficult.
The Aquaphon A100 has a number of ways to change the frequencies that you hear to render the leak noise loudest for you.

  • Suit yourself - select your own band of frequency filters:
    By applying your own choice of frequency filters you can listen to any frequency grouping that best suits your hearing and  the water leak noise being listened to. 
  • Let the Aquaphon do it for you - Automatic frequency analysis:
    The Aquaphon takes a sample of the noise which is analysed  and  the optimum frequency range filter is set automatically. This can greatly assist those with less experience making the sound of the water leak particularly clear.
Noise protected high specification headphones for clarity

Hear what a Water Leak sounds like with a Sewerin Ground Microphone

Structure borne noise 600 ‐ 2000 Hz


please install the flash player

Ground borne noise 200 ‐ 600 Hz


please install the flash player
concept of minimum noise level
Ground mic displays the water leak noise at each position

Minimum Noise Level

Current Minimum Noise Level
A water leak noise does not vary in its intensity as you listen to it. However, interfering transient noises from cars, planes, trains, dogs barking and children shouting do. The Aquaphon effectively ignores these interfering noises by locking onto and numerically displaying the level of only the "quietest" it has been during the time you have been listening. This is the important value to concentrate on, the constant real water leak noise

Last Minimum Noise Level
The previous Minimum Noise Level is always stored and displayed on the side of the main screen. Is the Current Minimum Noise Level higher or lower then the previous one? Are you closer or further away from the leak in the current listening position compared to the last? Is the leak sound getting louder or quieter? The higher the number on the display the closer to the leak you are.

Test rod T-4 - highly sensitive microphone
BO-4 ground microphone for finding water leaks

A Choice of Microphones

Pre-location of Water Leaks: Pre location of leaks is carried out using the test rod T-4 a highly sensitive microphone for listening for water leaks at valves and hydrants.


Pinpointing on pavements and level surfaces - BO-4 Microphone
When the section of pipeline with the leak has been identified, or if you choose to walk the surface of the pipe to find the water leak, pin pointing can be carried out using the wind insulated ground microphone BO-4.

3P-4 microphone with tripod foot and ground spike
Tripod Adaptor which fits on the base of the BO-4
EM30 Compact mic with tripod adaptors

Pinpointing on uneven surfaces - 3P-4 Microphone

On uneven or off road surfaces the 3P-4, complete with ground spike, is the perfect choice; its tripod foot ensures stable contact at all times, reducing interferences from unnecessary vibrations. The 3P-4 can also be used on paved surfaces.

Tripod Adaptor BO-4

If off road use is only anticipated as being infrequent there is the Tripod adaptor which fits on the base of the BO-4 converting it into an off road or uneven terrain ground microphone.


Indoors - EM30

The EM30 compact mic with tripod or listening stick attachments is ideal for working indoors or even for occasional outdoor use.

Sets can be customised to suit
Plumbers' Compact Kit

Sets can be tailored to suit your applications

  1. Ground microphone BO-4
  2. Ground microphone 3P-4
  3. Handle H-4
  4. Test rod T-4
  5. Noise insulating headphones
  6. Charging station
  7. Aquaphon A 100
  8. Carrying padded neck strap

Plumbers' Compact Kit

A useful set for locating water leaks in kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms. This set comes with the EM30 microphone and a tripod which screws onto the end of the EM30 for use on floors. Listening rods can be attached to the EM30 to listen on valves and directly on the pipe. If you intend to carry out a lot of work outdoors it is best to consider the wind protected BO-4 outdoor microphone as an optional extra in the larger case.