Most homeowners or even renters will, at some point, experience a water leak of some sort or another. It is no surprise then when the great majority of home insurance claims are made as a result of burst pipes or leaks within the home. This problem is often referred to as an escape of water within the insurance industry.
Unfortunately, where this does occur, it can prove to be very costly in terms of fixing the damage and paying for the water in the first place. This is particularly true for those people who are on a water meter. Although leaks cannot be avoided, the risk of them happening can be greatly reduced, thus saving you money and damage to your property.
That being said, not all leaks within a property are as obvious as hearing a dripping sound that you can see or hear. In most instances, any leaks that occur within your home will be much more subtle and less obvious. This is why it is so important to find them as soon as possible.
Finding water leaks inside your home
If you cannot visibly see any water on your property, you can detect a water leak in the following ways:
- Keep a close eye on when your boiler or hot water comes on. If it is not on all the time, it may be the case that there is a leak somewhere on your hot water pipe. Because these are usually found underground, it makes leaks that much harder to find. Where the hot water pipe is visible, using a leak detection dye is an effective way of doing so.
- Experiencing a fall in the water pressure when doing something like taking a shower or filling up the bathtub, is a clear sign of the presence of a leak. You can check if this is the case by turning all of the fixtures off in your home and then turning them back on one by one in order to determine what exactly is responsible for the leak.
- Regularly check how much water you use so that you can easily identify any cases where the usage all of a sudden goes up without any explanation. If this happens and you have not been using more water, then this may be the sign of a leak inside your home. An effective way of keeping tabs on how much water you are using is by setting up an online account with your water supplier and getting them to send you statements each and every month.
Common places where water leaks happen inside your home
Some of the most common places that you can look at if you think that there may be a leak inside of your home include the following:
- Shower heads – because they are in use regularly, shower heads can quickly become worn down and thus leaks appear. The low water pressure coming from the shower head is a clear and obvious sign of a leak. It is also a sign of a clogged shower head.
- Boilers/water tanks – the first place to check here are the valves responsible for taking the water out and into the water tank or boiler. If there is a leak, it should be easy to spot when performing this check.
- Appliances – using appliances can cause them to move around and become detached from their original position. This can be enough for pipes and valves to loosen off, thus causing a leak.
- Toilets – due to them being used regularly, it is pretty easy for toilets to spring a leak. In most instances, this is not a huge job and is not something that you should worry yourself about.
Finding water leaks outside your home
If you are unable to see any clear signs of a leak inside your property, you can check if it is happening outside by looking at your water meter. You can do this by firstly turning off the water stop tap so that all of the water going into your home is cut off. You can check that this has worked by running a tap inside your property – no water should come out of it.
Once this has been done, you should then take a look at the water meter and see if the dial is moving at all. Where there is any movement, then this is a clear sign that there is a leak in the outdoor supply line somewhere. If there is no movement, you have successfully identified that the leak is happening inside your property, either through an appliance or an internal pipe.
After identifying a leak outside of your home, you should then begin looking for any visible signs. This includes looking for muddy patches around pipes or if there are areas of the lawn that appear to be growing better than others. Unfortunately, finding a leak outside may involve having to dig up parts of your yard and breaking through brick/concrete.
What to do if you find a water leak at your home
Upon finding a leak, whether that be inside or outside of your home, the first thing that you must do is determine how serious it is. It may be really bad and get much worse the longer you leave it, potentially causing considerable damage to your property. Where the leak is solely coming from an individual appliance or fitting, such as a tap or a washing machine, this may be something that you are able to tackle yourself.
To do this, make sure that the water to the appliance or fixture is completely turned off in order to be able to make the repair(s). In addition to this, you should also turn off the electrics to that appliance in order to avoid being electrocuted. If you do not feel up to the task of tackling a water leak, then you should hire a professional to do it for you instead.