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Do you have a funny feeling that there is a leak somewhere in your home or workplace plumbing, but you just don’t know where? Water leaks can be a frustrating and annoying disturbance, but knowing how to check for them and what causes them can be a serious help in saving water. That is why we have put together this guide for checking leaks to help you out – give Brisbane Plumbing & Drainage a call on 1300 616 203 for further assistance with water leaks.

What can cause a water leak?

Water leaks in the mains water pipes and your drains can be caused by a range of factors, with some of the common ones being:

  • Aged plumbing.
  • Tree roots.
  • Blocked drains.
  • Damaged pipes and pipe joints.
  • Movement of the earth around the plumbing.
  • Damaged washers and broken seals on taps.
  • Corrosion and rust.

What are the signs that you have a water leak?

There are some simple signs to look out for which could indicate you have a water leak:

  • Increased water bill for no apparent reason.
  • Sound of flowing water.
  • If you can visibly see that your plumbing is leaking e.g. an exposed pipe is leaking.
  • There is a wet patch on your lawn that will not dry.
  • There is a mould patch on your wall, floor or ceiling that will not go away.
  • Ongoing low water pressure.

Even if you do not have any of the above signs, this does not mean that you do not have a water leak. It is better to be safe than sorry – if you have a sneaky suspicion something isn’t right with the plumbing, call a plumber and they can carry out a professional water leak detection service to let you know if it is a cause for concern.

How do you find out if you have a water leak?

One of the best ways to find out if you have a water leak if you can not visibly see it is to follow these steps:

  1. Turn off every tap in your home, including washing machines and dishwashers.
  2. Check your water meter and take a reading. Note, if the dials are moving this can indicate a leak and, if they aren’t, this can still indicate a slow leak. If you are unsure as to how to check your water meter, more information can be found on this factsheet – dnrme.qld.gov.au.
  3. Do not use any water for at least one hour (we recommend leaving the house if possible). The longer you can leave it the better.
  4. Check the water meter again – if the reading has changed, you have a leak.
  5. If the water meter reading hasn’t changed, you may have a leaking toilet. If this is the case, put a few drops of food colouring into your toilet cistern. If without flushing, the colouring begins to appear in the bowl, the cistern rubbers need repairing.

Important Note: After the test, flush your toilet twice to prevent the food colouring from staining the toilet bowl.

What damage can be caused by an undetected water leak?

An undetected water leak can cause a lot of damage if left too long, including:

  • A tap that drips once every second will waste up to 33 litres per day.
  • Rotting of timber floorboards, walls, and other areas of your home.
  • Termites.
  • Structural damage, including walls, foundations and floors.
  • Mould and mildew damage, which can be a health risk.

Undetected leaks can cause extensive damage to your wallet too!

What should you do if you have a water leak?

Call in the professionals! As you can see above, leaving a leak for too long can cause huge amounts of damage and can be very costly. That is why it is best to call your trusted local plumber as soon as possible to provide practical solutions and repairs to suit your needs. Even if you can not locate the leak, do not worry – a fully qualified plumber will have the tools and equipment to detect the leak to do that for you.

How can I prevent water leaks?

There are a few ways that you can help prevent water leaks from occurring in your home, including:

  • Always turn off your taps gently, so as not to damage the washer.
  • Try not to plant large trees over pipes and mains that run through your property, as root growth can damage plumbing.
  • Inspect your pool on a regular basis for cracks and any signs of leaks.
  • Ensure automatic watering systems are regularly maintained and checked for leaks.
  • Always ensure all building and renovation work is undertaken by a licensed professional.

For further information, or for some help in relation to leak detection, give Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage a call on 1300 616 203 today.