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Water leaks

Whether it's a dripping tap or a cracked pipe, water leaks are annoying at best, and can cost you a lot of money if they're not fixed straight away.

Dripping taps

The most common kind of water leak is a tap that just won't turn off. Even a slowly dripping cold water tap can waste up to 20,000 litres of water a year!

Most tap leaks are quickly detected thanks to their annoying sound, but wet areas around taps and hot water systems are also evidence of a slow leak.

In most cases, the leak can be fixed by replacing the washer in the faucet. Just don't forget to shut the water supply off first!

water leak

Underground water leaks

The most serious water leaks are usually caused by aging pipe work underneath your house. These leaks are invisible to you and can waste thousands of litres a day!

Detecting underground water leaks

You can use your water meter to detect otherwise invisible leaks around your home.

First, ensure no water is being used in your house or garden. Turn off all taps and water-consuming appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, automatic watering systems etc), and make sure no one uses the toilet.

Then, take a look at the reading on your water meter. Wait a few minutes and see if the number changes at all. If the dials have changed position, then there is a leak in your water system.

To calculate how many litres are being wasted, divide the difference between the first and second readings by the number of minutes between readings. The result is the number of litres wasted per minute. For example, 20 litres passing through the metre in 5 minutes equals 4 litres per minute, or 5760 litres a day.

What to do if you have a water leak

If you have an underground water leak you should get it fixed by a qualified plumber  as soon as possible.

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