How To Find Faulty Valves And Fix Water Leaks Through Data Analysis

Image of Toronto with leak detection

Aging infrastructure like water leaks can be a costly and time-consuming process that most property managers must face. More importantly however, is figuring out what should be replaced and when. One such problem arose in one of our client’s buildings in the Greater Toronto Area: A 170-unit condominium with usage rates raising some eyebrows.

image of graph showing leak detection

Utilizing a new leak detection algorithm within our software reporting program, MeterConnex, we were alerted to the offending suite:

Min flow rate 0.091 m3/hr, Max flow rate 0.176 m3/hr. Total daily consumption 3.075 m3 Cold Water.

This equates to roughly using 3,000 litres of water per day! That would be the equivalent of taking 10 showers every day, or washing your car 6 times every day.

Undetected leaks can lead to wasting 10 showers worth of water a day

After noting the suspiciously high consumption, we drilled further into the consumption patterns of this unit.  Comparing consumption for both the hot and cold-water meters showed that while the hot water was maintaining a consistent trend, the cold-water usage was steadily increasing on a daily basis – which would suggest that something was faulty. With more in-depth analysis, we found that the minimum hourly flow rate on the meter was consistently increasing, indicative of a leak that was becoming progressively worse (we later learned this was due to a faulty toilet valve).

The resident was contacted, corrective actions were taken to fix the faulty valve, and consumption returned to normal.  Over the 75-day period we studied, the average cold water consumption should have been roughly 0.082 m3/day, however the actual average seen was greater than 1.5 m3/day. The estimated wastage was greater than 100 m3, costing the resident over $350. With proactive leak monitoring from QMC, these leaks and abnormal usage patterns would be quickly detected, saving both financial and environmental resources.

The key components to running a successful water metering and leak detection system are good quality data from a high resolution encoded register water meter, and a reliable communication infrastructure. Contact QMC to see how we can help you plan your next water metering project.

Neel Parikh – Director, MeterConnex

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