Water Leaks: Everything You Need To Know

Water Leaks: Everything You Need To Know

In order to enjoy the absolute necessity of having running water at our disposal, our homes carry a complex network of pipes, fittings, tubes, and other components. After all, we need to have a functional kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower, toilet, and different water-reliant appliances. However, as with anything else, wear and tear will slowly eat at the plumbing and potentially lead to unexpected water leaks and other serious issues. If not treated promptly, water leaks and water build-up could cause significant damage. According to statistics from the Association of British Insurers, approximately £1.8 million are paid out daily to fix water damage to homes.

While it may be tempting, DIY plumbing is a risky venture that more often than not proves to have been a bad idea. Unless you have complete confidence in your plumbing knowledge and expertise, it may be for the best to leave the problem to a professional. In most cases, look for a local plumbing company with a good reputation and transparent pricing. Turning to London plumbers, if your home is located in that area, will ensure a swift response from the experts and that they will be familiar with the most common plumbing problems occurring in the specific neighbourhood.

Identifying A Water Leak

Having a leak that has gone unnoticed for a prolonged period of time could have devastating consequences. That is why you should be aware of the early signs of such issues and take the appropriate measures to avoid a full-blown leak or burst pipe, which insurance companies recognize as an ‘escape of water.’ Unnoticed leaking could also result in much higher water bills as the constantly flowing water will drive the home meter up, sometimes to ridiculous levels. In fact, monitoring your water usage by receiving monthly statements from your water supplier is one of the best ways to identify hidden plumbing issues, as any unexplained spikes in used water could be due to a leak.

If you notice lower than usual water pressure while taking a shower or filling up your bath, do not dismiss it as a minor inconvenience as it could be a sign of a water leak. A quick check you can perform is to first turn off all fixtures and then pick one and turn only it back on. If the water pressure is now noticeably higher, then there is probably a water leak somewhere. However, limescale build-up is a common occurrence in showerheads and it could also lead to lower water pressure. The same is also true for a faulty Shower/Bath diverter. You could try cleaning the showerhead with a limescale remover and making sure that the diverter is operating as intended before calling a plumber.

Underground water leaks may be harder to spot. Look for wet or damp patches on your floor with no immediately discernible source. With underground leaks taking longer to come through to the surface, mould or mildew might start to appear in the vicinity of the problem. Typically, they would also produce a distinctive odour.

How To Proceed After Finding a Water Leak

The first step in mitigating the problem until a professional arrives is to stop the water supply to your home completely. To do this, you will need to find the stop tap and turn it off. Make sure to warn everyone in the home that there will be no water for a while so that they can prepare accordingly. Next, drain the water remaining in the pipes by turning on the cold water tap until the water stops running.

If you are not sure where exactly is the leak, you may want to also turn off the heating system as a precaution. Locate the shut-off valve next to your boiler and turn it off. Now, drain the hot water from the system by turning on the hot water tap. Make sure to also switch the boiler off via the relevant circuit breaker. Finally, you may need to also switch off your electrical power, if the leak is located anywhere near outlets or appliances. The same applies to any wall sockets or light fittings.

Leakage and leaking pipes are not just serious problems for individual homes. Amid global water shortage concerns and the effects of climate change, the government has urged water companies to make reducing the water wasted through such issues a top priority. According to a report by the National Audit Office, around three billion liters of water are lost each day due to leakage.

Plumbing issues are not always complex but even relatively small problems could lead to catastrophic consequences if left unaddressed for so long. When looking for a reliable plumbing technician, you should pay attention to any call out charges or unexpected costs that could be added to the bill, especially when the situation is an emergency that you would want to have resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Share this post