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6 Ways To Find Hidden Water Leaks
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6 Ways To Find Hidden Water Leaks

Early detection of a water leak will not only reduce the chances of potential damage, but also save you money too. Here at Watermains & Drains UK Ltd, we don’t like disasters, so we’ve put together a guide taking you through signs that you may have a leak and when you should consider contacting a qualified water industry approved contractor (WIAPS).

  1. Check your water meter

One of the main ways to tell if you have a leak in a section of your plumbing is to check the water meter. To do this, you’ll first have to turn off all the water in your home. Shut off all faucets, and make sure the dishwasher, washing machine or other water connected appliances are not running. Then, watch the meter and check if it begins to change.

If it does change, you likely have a fast-moving leak.

If the meter doesn’t change straight away, wait two hours and check it again. If at this point you spot a change, despite the water still being turned off, you could be dealing with a slower leak.

The leak could be anywhere after the meter, or even underground.

  1. Look at your usage

Checking your winter water usage is vital when running a home, as it could highlight a leak is occurring somewhere in your home. If a family of four is using more than 12,000 gallons of water per month, then the chances are there is a serious leak problem somewhere in your plumbing system.

  1. Monitor your bill

If your water bill consistently rises, but your water use habits haven’t changed, a leak may be to blame. Gather up your bills from the past few months and compare them. Your water bill should remain within the same range month to month. If you spot a significant difference, it’s best to have a professional plumber make a thorough check of all the pipes. A warm spot on the floor, or the sound of water running need imeddiate professional attention.

  1. Food coloring test

Your toilet can actually account for up to 30% of your water use, therefore it’s important you ensure it’s running properly. To test for leaks, add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank and wait 10 minutes. If the color shows up in your bowl, then you have a leak allowing water to flow from the tank to your drain without ever flushing the bowl.

  1. Check exterior usage

It’s not just the interior of your home you need to watch out for, but the exterior too. Check your outside spigots by attaching a garden hose; if water seeps through the connection while the hose is running, replace the rubber hose gasket and check to see if all connections are tight.

Consider calling a professional once a year to check your irrigation system, if you have one.

Did you know? Even a small leak could be wasting 6,300 gallons of water per month.

  1. Common sense

Ensure you regularly check the back of cabinets and under basins for any signs of mold or foul smells that may indicate a leak as efficient attention could save you a lot of money, and time, in repairs. Consider having a professional plumber make an annual inspection of your home to check for leaks or potential plumbing problems.

If your home is over 25 years old, you may want to be particularly vigilant as your plumbing system may be reaching it’s life expectancy. Inspect all accessible connections at the water heater, pumps, washing machine hoses and valves for oxidation or discoloration – clear signs of a slow leak.

Turning a blind eye to a leaking water main could cause serious problems to your property such as damp or subsidence, we would advise that any known leaks are investigated and fixed as a matter of urgency.

Leaking water main?

At Watermains & Drains UK Ltd, we will find and fix your underground bursts with minimal disruption. We offer customers with expert water and drainage solutions – from new water main installations and lead pipe replacements, to leak detection, drainage repairs and reactive call out service in the event of an emergency.

Call us today 0800 024 8494

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Lead Pipe Replacement: 5 Signs to look for

At Watermains & Drains, we are dedicated to delivering expert water and drainage solutions and this includes lead pipe replacements. One question that we commonly get asked is: “how do I know when its time for my lead pipe to be replaced?” and our experts have collated the top 5 signs to watch out for.

Most pipes are designed to last decades, however if you have an older property or are in the process of completing a renovation it is important to check your pipes for the following signs to see if they need to be replaced. So, lets get to it – what is the first sign that you should look out for when it comes to lead pipe replacement?

1. Look out for cracks

This may sound like an obvious one, but looking out for cracks in your pipes is one of the first things that you should check for. Noticing a crack in a pipe is a pretty easy spot and you should be able to see water dripping as it passes through the pipe. If the pipe isn’t exposed, you should still check for any potential cracks in the system as leaks can cause more serious damage over extended periods of time.

One tip we suggest that you follow is to check for cracks in pipes if you notice mould, a wet wall or wet flooring.

2. Signs of corrosion

Another sign to watch out for is signs of corrosion round your property. One way to figure out if your pipes are corroding is if your drains or sink start to become clogged more often. It may be a case that other family members aren’t watching what they are putting down the sink. It could also however, be that your pipe is corroding from the inside out.

Once corrosion has set into the pipe, it isn’t a matter of if you should replace your pipe – it will be a matter of when you will need to replace it.

3. Decreased water pressure

This is another easy sign to spot that you may need your lead pipe replacing. If your water pressure is suddenly not as powerful, it could be a sign that you are having some issues with your pipes.

The trick to watch out for with decreased water pressure is that it is over a sustained period. If your pressure has dropped but only momentarily, you should monitor it over the coming weeks as it could be an issue in your local area.

If your water pressure is resolved after a few weeks, it could be that you need to replace your pipes as the old pipes may not be able to handle the water pressure that you need in your home.

4. Discoloured water

If your water is brown or yellow – it is definitely time to check for a replacement of your pipes. You water should be clear and if it looks like it has sediment floating through it or it is looks discoloured in any way, it could be a sign that your pipes are corroding.

It could also be possible that there is an issue within your local water supply, so make sure that you check with your local water supplier if it doesn’t clear.

5. Old pipes

Having old pipes can be dangerous and often older pipes can be made from harmful chemicals that can get into your water and along with repeated exposure can cause damage to your health including learning disabilities in kids and kidney problems.

How long should pipes last?

Different pipes have varying lifespans and this is how often they should be replaced:

  • Cast iron pipes: 75-100 years
  • Copper pipes: 50 years
  • Brass pipes: 40 years
  • Galvanised steel pipes: 20-50 years

If you have noticed any of the above signs, it could be time to get your lead pipes replaced. Here at Watermains & Drains Ltd, we have a professionals on hand who can give you advice about your procedure.

Call us today 0800 024 8494