The Importance of Detection of Buried Pipes by Gpr

Pipes under ground

There are many reasons why a homeowner may wish to have a buried pipe detection conducted in their home. This need can become essential when renovations are planned and replacement of existing pipes has not been planned. This is also true if there is a leak in the system. Discover in this article the importance of water pipe detection by GPR for your construction projects.

Pipe detection by GPR

The worst nightmare for any do-it-yourselfer or construction professional is unintentionally running into a pipe while using a drill. This can lead to a host of other problems, including material issues. In addition, a plumber will need to be contacted urgently to avoid a flood. Water pipe detection or buried pipe detection by GPR, which is increasingly used in construction, can detect and inspect the concrete.

What is GPR?

Ground-penetrating radar is used in many areas to observe man-made and natural features. Ground-penetrating radar detects tanks, metallic and non-metallic pipes, power lines, underground conduits such as water pipes, reinforcing bars and post-tensioning cables inside concrete.

GPR waves are equal to those of a cell phone or Wi-Fi network, while X-rays require a clearance of 50 feet before being used for safety reasons. In general, ground-penetrating radar is the most cost-effective option and the fastest method of testing concrete.

The principle of using radio waves to determine internal soil structures has long been known. Among the earliest works in this field, the use of radio echo sounders to determine the thickness of ice sheets in Antarctica and the Arctic and to measure the thickness of glaciers is undoubtedly the most successful. Buried pipe detection or water pipe detection by GPR in non-glaciated areas was initiated in the early 1970s. The first achievements focused on work on permafrost soils.

Pipe detection in a ceiling during a leak

It is essential to react properly to a water leak (even a small one) to prevent further damage. This is especially true if the pipe is inaccessible because it is embedded in the slab. This is a complication that often requires a professional. This way, you don’t turn your home into a construction site just to find the water leak. There are many methods used by plumbing professionals.

The moisture detector

By using this method, the specialist can act by locating the place of the leak to find it. This will prevent your tiles from being damaged by water penetration.


This is a solution that allows gas to be injected under pressure into a pipe. The gas, under the action of water, is then dissolved and transported throughout the pipe network. It escapes from the pipe and rises to the surface when it encounters a leak. During this period, the pressure of the gas is constantly monitored by a suction probe to determine its location.


This is an examination of the pipes carried out with the help of cameras: a thermal camera and a video camera. Depending on the nature of the site, the professional plumber will choose the most appropriate solution.

The benefits of pipe detection by GPR

Detection speed

While conventional systems can rarely be used at speeds above 50 km/h (without increasing the distance to the point), GPR can be used at virtually any speed. This allows for faster surveying and, more importantly for road surveys, without disrupting traffic.

Preventing problems

Construction sites can have inherent problems such as loose soil or areas prone to erosion. By identifying these areas before construction begins using GPR, you can avoid potential problems by accurately planning to prevent them. This saves an incredible amount of money, both now and in the future.

Pipe detection by GPR is more efficient

This quick turnaround time also indicates that ground-penetrating radar is more efficient than you might think. Your workers can deploy the geospatial scanner as needed and perform scans in real time rather than waiting for images to be processed and developed away from the job site, which can take weeks or even months. This means your workers can continue to saw concrete and drill holes without encountering potentially dangerous obstacles that could slow down the work.

Ground-penetrating radar is safer

Safety is of paramount importance on any job site. There are many hazards that you strive to protect your workers from, such as heat stroke, sun exposure, cold, and toxic dust, to name a few. However, the beams from an x-ray scanner can be potentially dangerous to your workers and bystanders.

The use of ground-penetrating radar is much safer for everyone. When the x-ray scanner is in use, only certified x-rays can operate it, and everyone around the machine must wear personal protective equipment.

It works almost anywhere

GPR is so advanced that it can penetrate most materials with ease. This allows for accurate and detailed results that give a clear indication of exactly what lies beneath a particular site. This versatility allows it to be used almost anywhere.