How to check for leaks

It’s important to check for leaks regularly. Leaks waste money by wasting water, but they can also cause serious damage to your premises over time. General wear and tear or extreme weather can affect your pipes and cause leaks when you least expect it.

How do I know if I have a leak?

You may have noticed an unexplained spike in your water consumption or bills. But it’s important to remember that you could still have a leak and not even realise it. Luckily, there’s an easy way to check.

Step 1. Turn off everything that uses water

This includes all the taps and appliances, as well as internal water outlets like urinals, header tanks or ice machines.

Step 2. Check your meter and take a reading

With your internal stop valve open – this is a small dial that turns quite visibly if water is being used. If the dial is stationary, chances are you don’t have a leak, but it’s best to take a meter reading at this stage, to be doubly sure.

Step 3. Leave everything turned off for a few hours

Leaks can be tricky to detect by just looking at your meter, so by leaving everything off for a few hours or overnight, you’ll be better able to spot the meter turning. If you are unable to turn everything off, then it would be best to call a plumber for assistance.

Step 4. Check your meter again and take another reading

If the leak has remained the same then this indicates there is no leak between the meter and the property boundary. However further checks to determine the reason for high consumption will be required. If the meter reading has changed, it looks like you've got a leak.

Step 5. If you have a leak, determine its location

Turn off your premises main internal stop valve and check your meter again. You may need to leave it a few more hours in this position to be sure.

If your meter has remained stationary while the internal stop valve has been turned off, your leak is on your internal pipework.

If your meter has continued to turn with your internal stop valve switched off, the leak is on your external pipework between the meter and the stop valve.

How to spot a leak

It’s best to do a visual inspection of your property and grounds from time to time. Concentrate around areas where you know there are water pipes, focusing particularly on joints and fittings, where leaks can commonly occur.

Leaks can be difficult to detect, so look for tell-tale signs, like patches of damp in walls, floors or ceilings, or even areas of grass that remain suspiciously luscious during dry seasons.

What to do if you find a leak

Act straight away and don’t delay – leaks that are left unrepaired can lead to huge costs in lost water and property damage. It’s best to contact a plumber first and foremost for all internal leaks in your premises. If the leak is external to your premises, you can get in touch with our Solutions team and use our leak detection and repair service.