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A simple guide to Trace and Access vs Leak Detection

A simple guide to Trace and Access vs Leak Detection

Trace and Access, leak detection – what’s the difference? It can be a pretty confusing topic, but we’re here to decipher the jargon for you.

One thing’s for sure, both of these services are crucial to finding hidden pipe leaks. But to assess and tackle any potential water damage in order to make a claim, you’ll need to go one step further than leak detection.

Here, we explain the difference between Trace and Access and leak detection, so you know exactly what you need should the issue arise in your property.

What is leak detection?

Your typical leak detection service utilises a range of specialist equipment and techniques to find hidden leaks, often found in your central heating pipe system.

Experts will assess each situation to determine which method may be most effective, before working their way through each one until the exact location of the leak is identified.

Acoustic, Thermal, Moisture Mapping, Endoscopic inspections, Water Analysis and Tracer Gas are all examples of methods a technician may use. Some of these are non-invasive, whereas others may involve a small amount of damage (such as drilling or digging down) to help locate the leak.

What is Trace and Access cover?

This is a type of insurance cover, often found as part of your home or building insurance. In the event of a hidden leak, it covers the costs of a professional locating the source and exposing the area around it.

This then makes room for a thorough assessment of the leak, allowing you to make a plan of action to repair it. What’s more, the cost of repairing the damage caused by locating and exposing the leak is also covered.

It is important to check your policy coverage, as whilst many cover water damage repairs and leak detection, some do exclude Trace and Access cover.

What is the difference between Trace and Access and leak detection?

A leak detection service is similar to Trace and Access in that they both utilise the same methods to identify the source of the leak. However, a Trace and Access specialist goes further by offering invaluable solutions to expose and treat it.

This is delivered in the form of a comprehensive report detailing the source of a leak, the damage caused and how to repair it. Your insurer will utilise this report to assess the needs and value of the claim.

Depending on the limit of your policy, you’ll then be able to make an insurance claim, saving you from dipping into your own pocket to pay for the service.

It is important to be aware a leak detection or trace and access service doesn’t always cover the cost of the repair.

What are the methods used for water leak detection?

Acoustic testing

Can’t hear your hidden leak? Not to worry, that’s what electro-acoustic listening devices are for. They amplify, filter and process sound to accurately pinpoint the location of the leak amongst your hidden pipes.

It’s totally non-invasive, designed to discover the source of your leak accurately and without interrupting your daily life.

Acoustic testing close up.

Thermal imaging

Thermal cameras can detect leaks on concealed pipework by measuring the surface temperature differences in the building material. They can accurately identify problem areas and leaking pipework that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Thermal Imaging.

Tracer gas

Here, water is drained from the system so tracer gas can be introduced into the pipes to locate the source of the leak. It’s a little more intrusive than the previous methods, but completely safe and very effective.

Tracer Gas.

Pipe tracing

Experts may also turn to pipe tracing. This involves the use of high-frequency leak detectors to trace any hidden water pipes that escaped the thermal imaging cameras.

Pipe Tracing- Trace and Access Service.

How can Rainbow Restoration help?

Rainbow Restoration isn’t just a leak detection specialist.

Our experts can perform a full Trace and Access service too, and have been doing so for homeowners, builders, plumbers, insurance companies, facility management companies, maintenance managers and loss adjusters since 1987.

We’ll get to the root of your issue and draw up a full action plan on how to resolve it. Our restoration team will then deliver a full remediation programme to return your property back to its original condition with little to no disruption.

Find out more about our comprehensive Leak Detection and Trace and Access service.

Frequently asked questions

Is Trace and Access cover worth it?

Without insurance cover, the various essential steps that make up the trace and access process can amount to a hefty bill, often totalling thousands of pounds.

What is emergency access cover?

If your home is damaged in the process of someone accessing your home to deal with an emergency, your insurance company will cover the repair costs.

How much does leak detection cost?

Many things affect the final price, like the specific services needed to find the leak. Get in touch with our helpline today for a personalised quote.

Should you find yourself in need of our services, or simply have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact our 24 hour national helpline on 01623 422488.

Updated: 16/10/2023

Published: 07 Feb 2023