Tracer Gas Water Leak Detection

Tracer gas

Leak detection by means of a tracer gas is a tried & tested method, one of the most efficient in domestic environments.

Tracer gas is a mixture of 5% hydrogen and 95% nitrogen. Also called forming gas because of its use in the welding industry.

With the gas leak detection technique, a non-toxic, water insoluble and lighter-than-air gas, such as helium  or hydrogen, is injected into an isolated segment of a water pipe.   

The tracer gas escapes at a leak opening and then, being lighter than air, permeates to the surface through the soil and pavement.   

The leak is located by scanning the ground surface directly above the pipe with a highly sensitive gas  detector.

Although helium is used in the US, the most commonly used tracer gas worldwide is hydrogen (H2).

Hydrogen gas is a flammable, highly explosive gas but when mixed 5% with 95% nitrogen it forms tracing gas (called forming gas in the welding industry).

Tracing gas is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.


The gas detection equipment is designed to sense the amount of hydrogen (H2) in the air.

Hydrogen is the first element on the periodic table with an atomic weight of 1.01.

It is the smallest atom and therefore one of the lightest gases known to man. Hydrogen can percolate up through many substrates and can then be detected at the surface.

Hydrogen is used to detect leaks in closed water pipe systems, in buildings, heating systems, pumps, aviation fuel tanks and industrial pipelines carrying various products (eg. gas, fuel and water).

Contact us, for assistance with gas leak detection.

Season’s Greetings from Plumb Leak – Plumbers in Cape Town


We are at the end of the year which means we are all preparing to settle into our long-awaited, well-deserved holidays. Plumb Leak plumbers in Cape Town would like to wish you a joyful, safe and memorable festive season.


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Posted by Marcelle Meyeridricks on Friday, December 20, 2019 Views: 4554