Case Studies

Kona Labs case studies, designed for quality.

Kona Labs Leak Detection



Kona Labs was asked to provide a leak inspection of the Fairway Villas water supply systems. The water primary supply systems considered were the irrigation and domestic water supplies. The pool system is connected to the irrigation supply. Although it is estimated that considerably more than 10,000 gallons per day of losses were indicated in this first phase of work there is more losses that may exist. After these initial repairs are completed subsequent leak detection efforts can be implementation of preventative maintenance programs and valve upgrades.

Spa and Pool Sub-system:
Using the LP-2750 leak sensor system the Spa was measured to be only using water to evaporative losses. No leaks were observed. The pool was in use by residents and could not be measured using the LP-2750 Pro Leak Tool. However, observations made during pool operation and use showed that the pool system is leaking due to splash-out and poor infinity edge design. The surge tank supply was observed to be running freely and the float valve inside to be broken. All excess water entering the surge tank was overflowing out of the surge tank outflow pipe. The pool equipment room showed large water retention on the floor. The source of the water on the floor of the pool and spa equipment room was not known and is not unusual. It is suspected that irrigation watering deposits water regularly and drainage seems to be very poor on the equipment slab. There was evidence that this is a problem that has existed for some time.

Pool System Recommendations:
It is recommended that the pool system infinity edge trough ends be reworked to prevent chemically treated pool water from escaping. It is recommended the pool system be closed for 1 hour so that a pool leak check can be accomplished using the LP-2750 Leak sensor system. It is recommended that the pool equipment room be made safe and dry by improving drainage off of the slab. Equipment life would be greatly extended and the work environment would not be as dangerous.

Domestic water supply system:
The domestic supply was observed to generally follow the plans supplied and shutoff valve installations were observed for the building stacks. Some of these valves and boxes were observed to be in need of maintenance. Some gate valves were observed to leak out of the packing nut. There were several high flow indications using the electronic leak detection equipment but it was impossible to determine if these flows were from tenant use or loss. A coordinated shutdown and inspection of each building would need to be conducted to determine if leaks exist in each subset of building stacks. Access to each bathroom shower, laundry room and kitchen would be needed for a comprehensive leak inspection operation. It is possible to coordinate a inspection plan if you would like to inspect the domestic supply.

Domestic water Supply Recommendations:
Gate valves should be maintained on a regular 3 months schedule to insure proper operation. They tend to scale and make operations difficult. Gate valves should be replaced with ball valves where possible. To arrive at a leak assessment of the domestic supply one would need to schedule leak inspections over a three day period for 6 hours each day to cover most of the property and buildings. Sequentially we can provide a window of water shutdown for each stack providing 45 minutes or so with a 30 minute window between each. Provide a notice that water supply should not be used during this time and that if possible to provide access to the inspection team to all plumbing fixtures. It is possible to do this stack by stack however may make sense to your tenants or occupancy.

Irrigation System:
The plans show the irrigation system is a fully looped system with shutoffs and that layout that seems to generally follow the available plans. The irrigation system was inspected using electronic leak detection equipment. Each station and leaking electronic remote irrigation valve or valve manifolds that were indicating flow or observed to leak were marked. Some of these indications may be a leak in the manifold within a few inches to feet from the valve. There are special methods that can be used to ascertain if the leak is in the pressure side of the water supply or if the leak is in the valve body diaphragm.

Each flagged valve should be maintained or replaced at the earliest opportunity. A phase II leak detection operation is recommended with a focus on the irrigation system pressurized water supply. In this phase II of work the valve manifolds and main sections of the irrigation system will be measured and tested for leaks using helium methods. Each shutoff valve will be tested and used to isolate each subsystem as possible. Each main section subsystem will be pressure tested for leaks. Flow rates will be measured to provide an assessment of leak volume in each section. If a section is determined to leak during this leak-down testing a helium leak detection operation will be conducted accordingly and the leaks located. If good station shutoffs are available work can be continue before valves have been repaired but the manifold at that station cannot be tested until all valves are repaired.

Irrigation remote valve leak, Figure 2. Irrigation remote manifold suspected leak at quick-connect as indicated by electronic leak detection equipment.

Valve leak. > Domestic valve maintenance needed.

Spraying/leaking remote valve through damaged o-ring seal. > Leak in irrigation remote valve.

Pool equipment room > Pool equipment room

Broken float valve in surge tank. > Pool infinity edge trough. This side is not leaking much.

Infinity edge trough. This side is leaking a large amount of treated water.


MeterDog® Finds Leak Then Confirms Leak Repair Done

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A regular property manager client of Kona Labs Leak Detection Service called for a leak detection on one of her high-end vacation homes with indoor streams, koi ponds, swimming pools and spas with guest quarters and commercial grade systems in support of it all. The leak condition was complex and it seemed that there were no pressure side leaks and it was an operational issue with some of the systems that are connected to the water supply. It was suggested to the property management that MeterDog™ can be put onto the meter to evaluate the water flow and help to provide minute to minute monitoring of the water system for leaks and water use. In a matter of a single day MeterDog™ data showed that the problem was in a sticking float type auto fill system. The auto fill was turned off and eventually replaced with a LevelSmart™ wireless water saving auto-fill system. During this process the MeterDog documented the leak and the repair. Since no plumber is required to mount the MeterDog™ it can be installed and removed as needed in minutes. This particular system used the homes own Wi-Fi system to provide data to the MeterDog™ servers where water movement was recorded minute to minute for evaluation. Newer systems come with cell phone modems to service any location with or without Wi-Fi access.

A screenshot of a 5-Day plot of meter speed data.

Note the constant slow movement and the regular irrigation sessions….The speed reduces to effectively zero between uses and correlates with the Meter position data in the next plot. Note the reduction in the baseline flow minute to minute after the irrigation system was turned off. The float type auto-fill was connected to the irrigation system. Once the irrigation was turned off the meter only recorded the household use. The house was empty at the time so the meter only shows movement due to regular cleaning and maintenance activities.

Day plot of meter motion data showing if the meter moved minute to minute.

Note meter constant motion begins to reflect normal use after repairs and correlates directly with the speed measurements.

The MeterDog™ data that was recorded the day immediately before the leak repair that is showing the meter did not stop all day minute to minute…

The screenshot of the plot of the last day of meter movement post repairs. It is easy to see the difference between a leaking system and non-leaking system.


Dr. Richard A. DeVerse Ph.D.
Kona Labs

MeterDog® Leak Detection On Single Family Homes

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A simple description of how MeterDog™ data can provide rapid leak detection and diagnostics. Shirley is busy account executive. She has had a bad leak before and knows how a surprise water bill can ruin your day. She bought and installed a Meterdog™ system. It took her about 30 minutes to figure it all out and she did not need a plumber or any tools special tools. She went online and set up her account and rapidly MeterDog™ started showing data that showed that she did not have a leak. As time went on the daily and weekly use patterns were typical to normal household use. Below is a typical raw meter movement data for a single day. Her daily email reports from MeterDog™ gives her time with peace of mind as she knows her home is leak free.

Example of a typical use pattern as measured by the MeterDog™ system.
Richard had a different experience when he installed his MeterDog™ system. When he installed his MeterDog it was apparent in a few hours that he had a leak. By logging on and viewing the MeterDog™ data he was able to visually see that his meter was not stopping. His attempts to check the irrigation and house resulted in him finding a toilet leak within three hours of installation the MeterDog™ system. Below is a day of MeterDog™ data from a leaking system. Note that there are times where the meter just spins faster. Even a busy house or place of business typically has periods of meter stoppage. By monitoring flow and meter movement simultaneously MeterDog™ can diagnose leaks and water loss events to the minute. Irrigation systems can be remotely diagnosed for failure modes of operation and blown sprinkler heads.

MeterDog® Leak Detection on Large 17-Acre Irrigation System

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MeterDog™ data can provide rapid leak detection and diagnostics for large irrigation systems that can diagnose each zones ability to delivery constant performance each time it is active. This system also monitors off time movement and flow rates for pressure side leaks. Time to off delivers remote valve performance assessments each time the valve is turned on and off. This data is from the Fairways Villas Irrigation Time Date Stamped MeterDog Data From Note the first plot of Meter Movement minute-to-minute shows that this system stops for a period of time when Maintenance turns off the water supply to the irrigation system. However during the periods when the supply is on to the irrigation system the meter does not stop spinning as indicated by the constant oscillation of the meters position after the valve was turned back on.

Note how When Maintenance turned off the meter at the backflow it stopped spinning for a few hours showing what Non-Leaking system looks like.

MeterDog™ is designed so that even though there is a small leak in the system moving the meter constantly measurements of irrigation system performance and measurements of larger flow rates can be measured. In this way even when leaks develop catastrophic flow monitoring can still be accomplished.

Here is the corresponding Day view of the RATE of flow through the meter by MeterDog™

This feature allows MeterDog™ system to perform multiple tasks and the method of meter monitoring allows for multidimensional analytics for large scale single metered systems.

With the addition of pressure and moisture and fluid flow and level sensors MeterDog™ can provide comprehensive leak detection and water surveillance.


Dr. Richard A. DeVerse Ph.D.
Kona Labs

MeterDog® As A Meter Failure Indicator

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MeterDog™ had just been installed at a resort facility on the Kona Coast. Soon after MeterDog™ data was coming in it was noted that there were no longer the changes in the Water Number™ reported on a daily basis. Water Numbers™ change day to day depending on watering schedules of the system. It was noted that they remained exactly as they were the day before indicating a problem. A quick check of the data online showed a stoppage. A call to the maintenance supervisor indicated that maintenance had been done, however, the valves were returned to the on position and water was indeed flowing to the irrigation system. He did observe that although water was flowing through the meter there was no meter motion and the meter was stuck. A new irrigation meter was installed and has been working for over 12 months since and is still moving providing MeterDog™ and available online to the maintenance manager 24/7. The installed MeterDog™ continues to keep track of maintenance and leak repairs as they are noted.

The rate of flow the day BEFORE meter failure. Note that this system has a leak and the flow never is zero. In the next screenshot of the data you can see the time and date stamped new meter being mounted with a MeterDog™ sensor and the flow resume.

Flow rate over last ten (10) days where the old meter was not functioning and no flow was recorded even though water was flowing. Note no flow for days during last many days until very recently when the new water meter was installed. MeterDog™ multi-dimensional continuous sensing methods can detect many modes of meter failure in-situ.


Dr. Richard A. DeVerse Ph.D.
Kona Labs

Awareness Brings About Change

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Awareness brings about change....Over a period of 5 days a problem ongoing for years costing many thousands of dollars in water loss and chemical loss was solved. Pool leaks are a serious problem globally.

Leaks are not always broken pipes. They can be misaligned automatic fill systems or faulty rubber washers and wear-parts in faucets and valves that periodically do not function properly.

A case study.. Typical problem of he said she said going on for years between landscaper and pool maintenance and the “stuck-in-between” property manager stress has now ended by access to information and rapid feedback knowing that the actions they are taking are producing results.

Never before has it been this easy to solve difficult water loss issues due to valve and wear part failure.

This problem was diagnosed remotely using MeterDog™ data. The property manager was notified and provided data to support the re-work. Results are verified instantly.

  1. MeterDog™ Meter sensor
  2. Receiver with integrated 433MHz 12’ antenna and Wi-Fi
  3. 120VAC USB power supply with 3.3V output/ optional power by USB port
  4. 2 each SS mounting screws
  5. SS security cable and crimps
  6. Battery Pack *

*Note: for quantitative monitoring option upgrade a battery size upgrade or solar power option is recommended. Valve control and relays are options.

MeterDog™ on meter > MeterDog™ on outside outlet > MeterDog™ receiver mounting in industrial resort property equipment room.

5-Day plot of meter speed data. Note the constant slow movement and the regular irrigation sessions....The speed reduces to effectively zero between uses and correlates with the Meter position data in the next plot.

5-Day plot of meter movement data. Note meter constant motion begins to reflect normal use after repairs and correlates with the speed measurements. The last day of meter movement post repairs. Compared with the previous daily movement.


Dr. Richard A. DeVerse Ph.D.
Kona Labs

Fairways Villas Irrigation Study

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Fairways Villas Irrigation Time Date Stamped MeterDog™ Data From Note the first plot of Meter Movement by angular position of the meter.

Note how When Maintenance turned off the meter at the backflow it stopped spinning for a few hours showing what Non-Leaking system looks like.

Here is the corresponding Day view of the RATE of flow through the meter by MeterDog™


Dr. Richard A. DeVerse Ph.D.
Kona Labs

Kona Labs innovates technology driven solutions that help people to live a better, environmentally sensitive, and sustainable life. We do this by manufacturing high-performance water monitoring devices (hardware and software) that are connected to the Internet for anyone to install and use. The accuracy and connectivity of the devices conserve water, save you money, save time, and enable sustainability.

The case studies that you see on this page were developed in testing various products. All of the products that we make are built to the highest standards of quality in both manufacturing and measurement accuracy. There are no products on the market today that are all American made, come with a warranty, and offer the level of quality that Kona Labs can provide.