Leak detectors are vital pieces of safety equipment which are designed to indicate if there is a leakage in a closed system. These types of detectors can be either manual or microprocessor based. Leak detectors are usually used to detect the leakage of hazardous gases, chemicals and liquids. These devices are used in all sorts of industries as any piece of equipment that holds liquids or gases can potentially spring a leak. Many types of gases can cause brain damage and even death.
While many leaks can be detected right away by your feel, sight, taste or smell, there are many types of poisonous gases that can leak and go undetected. This can happen because some types of gases such as carbon monoxide are virtually odorless, colorless and tasteless. Other harmful gases such as propane actually have an odor added to them so you will be able to smell the leaking gas right away. It is recommended that all homes have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors installed in them.
Basically any type of instrument that is used to detect a leak could be considered to be a leak detector. There are many types of leak detectors and most of them are designed to detect a specific type of leak. Some detectors are very simple while others may be highly complex devices.
Some forms of leak detection are performed when extra fluid accumulates in an area, pressure falls or rises, when the resistance value of a circuit changes or when the chemical composition of a gaseous environment changes.
In many types of electrical types of leak detectors, probes are placed at suspected points and the circuit is completed when liquid collects around the probes. Electrochemical sensors are used to detect the presence or concentration of a fluid or a gaseous environment. An output is then generated that can be analyzed by a microprocessor to discover where the leaks are.
Differential flow detectors use a mass balance and a float to find any increase in the flow level that is caused by leakages. Sealed reed switches are used in level sensors along with floats and a permanent magnet. If there is any leakage present then the float will rise and trip a switch.
In all of the above cases, a suitable electrical connection is included along with flashing warning light bulbs or a beeping system to indicate a leak in the system.