While modern Plumbing systems are great and on the whole reliable there are lots of points where a leak can occur. By its very nature, water is corrosive, and over time will cause wear to your Plumbing system.
For instance once a copper joint or rubber seal has worn away enough water will find it’s way out, this is how leaks occur. While leaks can cause problems and eventually will get worse if left alone most of the time, they go unnoticed as they are hard to detect.
Homeowners usually only suspect a leak when they notice lower than usual water pressure that causes issues around the home or a higher than usual water bill.
Suspect a leak?
Here’s how to find out if you have a water leak
- First of all, locate your water meter this will usually be out in the street in a square or rectangle chamber at ground level it will be marked ‘water’, lift the door and remove any rainwater that may be present so you can read the dials accurately. (Please note that not all homes in Essex have water meters if you don’t have a water meter and you suspect a leak you’ll have to check your Plumbing System for leaks manually)
- Make sure every tap in your home is switched off along with any showers your washing machine and dishwasher, you don’t want to use any water whatsoever for at least 30 minutes.
- Record your meter reading leave for 30 minutes to an hour then take another meter reading.
- If the meter readings the same after 30 minutes to an hour, then you haven’t got a leak, in which case you don’t need to worry about the next steps.
- If the meter readings changed in this time, then there’s a leak somewhere either in your home (which is your responsibility) or in the external mains water supply (which is the responsibility of your water supplier).
- The next step is to determine whether the leaks inside your home or outside.
- Turn off your mains water supply at the mains stopcock
- Take a meter reading again from the water meter
- Wait 30 minutes to an hour before taking another reading
- If the meters changed then you have an external leak, contact your water supplier they might give you a leakage allowance on your water bill
- If the meter hasn’t changed in this time, then you leak somewhere in your plumbing system, (remember to turn your mains water back on)
Next, you need to find where the leak’s located in your home, please read the next article Leak Detection At Home for information on what to do next.