A leaking water pipe can occur at any time and can affect both new and old homes. Finding and fixing leaks saves water and money. A slow dripping tap can lose you a few litres of water an hour and a constantly running toilet can cost you thousands of litres daily. The quicker you can find and repair leaks, the better.
Here are some checks you can do to see if there are any leaks in some of the more common sources of leaks around your home:
- Check your taps and toilets regularly for signs or sounds of leaks.
- Disconnect hoses or irrigation pipes that are always connected to garden taps, then check that the taps aren't leaking.
- Place a small piece of dry toilet paper behind the toilet bowl and check that it stays dry until the next flush. Toilet cisterns shouldn't release any water between flushes.
- Look for green patches of grass that are different from the grass around it. This could mean you have an underground pipe leak.
You can use your water meter to conduct a simple test. It will only take a few minutes.
For this test to work, it's important not to intentionally use any water at your property.
- Turn off all taps and water-using appliances.
- Locate your water meter. It's usually at the front of your property.
- Write down the black and red numbers on the dial of the water meter. See Reading your water meter for more information.
- Wait for at least five minutes.
- Check if the last numbers on the dial have changed. If the numbers have changed, you have a leak.
The greater the change, the bigger the leak!
Call a licensed plumber.
If you can detect a leak using your meter but can't locate it, a leak detection specialist will be able to help.
Not all plumbers have the special tools and skills needed to find leaks hidden underground and inside walls, so check with your plumber first before engaging them.