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Pocket-Sized Electronic Listening Stick for Acoustic Leak Detection

Posted: Wednesday 28th August 2013

The new Tmic from HWM is a highly cost effective monitoring tool for identifying leak noises on the water network that would otherwise be inaudible to the human ear.

The lightweight and portable device allows operators to hear amplified sound via high quality, rechargeable wireless Bluetooth headphones, while an LED display simultaneously shows a clear visual representation of noise levels all in a package small enough to fit in a shirt pocket.

By storing the previous reading in its built-in memory, Tmic allows the operator to visually compare current and previously recorded noise levels. This lets the user quickly determine whether a noise is caused by a leak and, if so, where the most likely position of the leak is. The high quality digital sensor can be placed directly on the pipe or coupling and provides levels of sensitivity and noise quality far beyond what is possible with mechanical listening sticks. An additional magnetic attachment is available if required and the Tmic can also be connected to a detachable metre long extension rod to access congested or difficult to reach areas.

An ergonomic, robust design and long battery life from standard alkaline cells mean that Tmic is always ready to use in any situation. Weighing just 180 grams, it can be easily carried in a shirt or trouser pocket, and a bright LED torch is built into the head for use at night or to investigate dark chambers. For additional convenience, the wireless headphones ensure full freedom of movement with no risk of tangled cables, and the unit is supplied with its accessories in a durable carrying case with precision cut foam compartments to protect all components in transit.

Since the earliest days of leak detection operators have listened for the noise generated by water escaping from buried supply pipes under pressure. Contrary to common perception, it is not always the largest leaks which produce the loudest noise; often a large split in a water pipe will produce a quieter sound than a small hole. Traditional mechanical listening sticks rely on only one of the user's senses: hearing. However, not all leaks produce a noise audible to the human ear. Therefore, an electronic acoustic sensor which amplifies noise below the unaided audible threshold, and visually displays the result, is now considered a highly valuable tool when surveying for underground leaks or confirming a leak position prior to digging.

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