American Leak Detection_lowres

American Leak specialist Steve Devall is poised to ferret out a leak.

It can be frustrating seeing water bills increase each month and not knowing the cause. The American Leak Detection (504-522-9897; specializes in finding leaks that could be the culprit behind those high bills.

  Vice president of the New Orleans location of American Leak Detection, Laura Kleinpeter and her husband opened the franchise in 1990. Kleinpeter's husband had been involved in a family business and was looking for a change of pace. They learned about the company from Kleinpeter's relatives.

  "My husband's cousin and her husband owned the American Leak Detection in Houston, and they had it two or three years before we bought ours," Kleinpeter says.

  American Leak Detection uses the latest technology to find hidden water, sewer and gas leaks for residential and commercial properties. Infrared technology is used to find water and energy leaks as well as pests. For leaks, the company uses a sonar device that puts pressure on the plumbing lines to locate a break. Because this device locates leaks through sound, it's not necessary to damage the property.

  "Some service companies go in, and their way of finding the leak is to tear up sheet rock or flooring," Kleinpeter says. "This equipment eliminates having to do that. If you can hear it, then you don't have to see it."

  Untreated leaks may not be obvious but could result in severe floor and structural damages. Klein- peter says if you notice a high bill you should investigate the cause. The website also provides useful videos on ways to test if there is a leak in your home, like the meter test, which can help homeowners find out how much water they are losing.

  American Leak Detection workers are not licensed plumbers, but they work with plumbers to repair damaged pipes. After they have found the leak, technicians make recommendation on the best way to repair the problem.

  "We either recommend a plumber for the homeowners if they do not have someone they use or sometimes a plumber will call us to come out and help on a job because they can't find the problem," Kleinpeter says.

  The company also can identify leaks in swimming pools and repair them, since these leaks require no work to the plumbing.

  Although the Louisiana franchise of the American Leak Detection is based in Prairieville, it services the Southeast region from the Atchafalaya Basin to Slidell.