Electronic Leak Detection Essentials – Often A Failure to Communicate?

Sourced from the Living Architecture Monitor

Many of us are familiar with the iconic 1967 film Cool Hand Luke and one of the most famous lines in American cinema – “What we've got here is a failure to communicate,” spoken by the warden - played by Strother Martin, and later thrown back at him by Paul Newman as Luke, a rebellious prisoner.
Of course, conditions in the roofing and waterproofing industry are not nearly as dire as in the sweltering southern prison camp depicted in the movie. However, many Electronic Leak Detection (ELD) specifications fail to adequately communicate the design requirements for constructing a testable assembly, the experience of service providers, the testing procedures required and specific deliverables.  ELD involves the use of electrodes to generate an electronic field that can be used to detect leaks on the surface of waterproofing.  

As designers have become familiar with ELD’s many advantages over flood testing, and membrane integrity testing with ELD has rapidly become the first choice for owners, manufacturers, architects, specifiers, consultants, and contractors around the world. ELD on roofing and waterproofing membranes is proving faster, safer, more accurate and often less expensive than flood testing. However, as with all new technologies, there are growing pains. This article addresses some of the factors affecting the testability of common roofing and waterproofing assemblies, and the necessity of specifying alternative grounding media in certain systems.

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