Getting your water bill in the mail is hardly a celebration at the best of times.
But when it’s significantly higher than normal? That’s going to put a dampener in any homeowner’s day.
If there’s no reason for your water bill to be higher than normal, you might be facing a water leak. Water leak detection can be a tricky business, and repairing a leaking pipe is often a messy and difficult task.
However, it’s important to look into it because a leaky water line can damage buildings, foundations, and landscaping, not to mention result in that shocking water bill. Read on for some tips for putting your detective hat on and detecting those water leaks.
Common signs that you have a leak
- Your water pressure is reduced to a weak trickle.
- You now have a swamp for a front lawn.
- There are worrying new soft patches and depressions in the ground. Your lawn might be looking much healthier in some areas than others, despite your efforts at watering evenly.
- The outside paving, bricks or concrete around your house are damp and unstable.
- Your water bill has jumped a lot higher than seems normal.
To confirm your suspicions, check your meter and take note of the reading. It is essential to go without using any water on your property for an hour. If you read the meter again and it’s changed, it’s likely that you have a leak somewhere.
Make sure any family members are also aware of the no-water rule, so there are no showers or toilet breaks that could throw your detective work off.
How to detect a water leak
First of all, you need to rule out any water leaks hidden inside the house that might be causing the problem. A running toilet leak is one of the most likely reasons your water bill has jumped. (If that’s the case, check out our blog on fixing a leaky toilet for some handy hints.)
Check the taps, any appliances connected to the plumbing (like dishwashers or washing machines), and the side of your hot water system or air conditioner for drips. You can also make sure there are no damp, warped, or discoloured areas in your house, especially walls, ceilings, floorboards, or carpets.
Make sure your outdoor hoses, sprinklers, and taps are also dry and free of damage.
If you haven’t found any leaks inside the house or on outside taps or attachments, you could have a supply line leak.
Trying to find a leak in your underground supply line can be a difficult and messy job. You can narrow it down by looking for the some of the signs that we mentioned above, like unusually healthy areas of lawn, damp or unstable paving, or especially soft areas in your garden.
It’s best to organise a qualified plumber to come out to locate the water leak, as digging along the supply line can sometimes pose a danger to other utility lines.
Older homes can have supply lines that corrode over time, causing the loss of water pressure we mentioned earlier. If it starts to leak as well, you’re going to find you have a very muddy, flooded front garden.
Unfortunately, the water supply connection from the meter to the house is the property owner’s responsibility to repair. If the meter itself or the connecting pipework is leaking, you can report the problem to SA Water online.
Mott Plumbing will come and service supply lines and check for water mains leaks across Adelaide, detecting the leak and fixing the problem to look after your landscaping and your water bill. Give us a call to have one of our qualified plumbers come and repair any water main leak quickly and efficiently.