How do I know if I have a leak in or around my home or business?

How to check for a leak at your property

Common sources of leaks in the home include toilets, dripping taps, showers, radiators and pipework.

Also look out for poorly plumbed appliances and overflows from a water tank or cistern in the loft. Check outside taps too.

Some leaks are hidden from view and easy to miss. If you're on a meter, a higher than normal bill may mean that there is a leak on one of your pipes or appliances.

Not sure where your meter is?

  • Inside: it’s normally fitted close to your internal stop tap, which in many homes is under the kitchen sink, in the downstairs loo, on in your garage.
  • Outside: usually near the boundary of your home, such as in the front garden, your drive or in the footpath. You may need a screwdriver to lift the outer lid.

You can also sometimes find it in a wall-mounted box on the side of your home.

Now you can check your meter in a few simple steps:

  1. Turn off all the taps and appliancesin the house that use water.
  2. Wait 30 minutes to allow any tanks and cisterns to fill up, then write down your current meter reading (including the red digits).
  3. Take a second reading after at least two hours, or overnight, making sure no water has been used in the meantime.
  4. Check the meter reading again, especially the red digits. If the reading is higher, this means there could be a leak in your home.

If you're not on a meter, signs of a leak could be:

  • Loss of pressure
  • Rust
  • Areas of lush vegetation – could be a symptom of a recent leak during dry periods
  • Areas of reduced vegetation – this could be a symptom of a long term leak
  • Damp patches on walls, floors or carpets
  • Mould on ceilings and walls
  • A constant noise of flowing water coming from the pipes in your home.

If you have a leak on your supply pipe outside your home, check with your water supplier as they may be able to help repair it. If you think you have a leak inside your property you'll need to contact a plumber. You can use our postcode search to find a WaterSafe recognised plumber near you.

For further information on being more water efficient  click here.

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