Transients are used as a diagnostic tool for pressurized pipes due to their capabilities to acquire and transmit information about system status. To interpret such information in complex systems, models obtained by the integration of the governing equations in the frequency domain are used, since they are computationally efficient and reliable. These models do not require a regular spatial grid for integration and introduce the pipe lengths as parameters. In this paper a calibration procedure based on this particular feature is introduced, to determine a basic item of information that can be lost about the water distribution system, that is the length of the pipes. The network admittance matrix method is implemented and its numerical efficiency allows the investigation of the calibration optimization function on a regular grid in the parameter space. The calibration is tested using in series a genetic and the Nelder–Mead algorithms, considering both elastic and viscoelastic material pipes. The results of the presented numerical investigation allow some insights into the existence of the solution and into the shape of the optimization function.

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