The transient frequency response (TFR) method has been widely developed and applied in the literature to identify and detect potential defects such as leakage and blockage in water supply pipe systems. This type of method was found to be efficient, economic and non-intrusive for pipeline condition assessment and diagnosis, but its applications so far are mainly limited to single and simple pipeline systems. This paper aims to extend the TFR-based leak detection method to relatively more complex pipeline connection situations. The branched and looped pipe junctions are firstly investigated for their influences to the system TFR, so that their effects can be characterized and separated from the effect of other components and potential leakage defects in the system. The leak-induced patterns of transient responses are derived analytically using the transfer matrix method for systems with different pipe junctions, which thereafter are used for the analysis of pipe leakage conditions in the system. The developed method is validated through different numerical experiments in this study. Based on the analytical analysis and numerical results, the applicability and accuracy as well as the limitations of the developed TFR-based leak detection method are discussed for practical applications in the paper.

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