How to tell if you have a water leak

Think you have a leak at your home or business? If so then you may be literally pouring money down the drain!

Clean drinking water is something most of us take for granted in Australia but it’s coming at an ever-increasing price. In fact, it is estimated that our water bills could double by 2040 which, when you consider the compounding price rise over that same period, equates to a lot of post-tax dollars!

So what should you do if you know you have a leak?

The most common and obvious water leak is visible – a dripping tap for example. It can be as simple as replacing a washer but if you’re not sure how to do that you can always call your local professional plumber

Tracking down a water leak

But what can you do if you suspect you have a leak? Leak detection can be a frustrating first step in sorting out a plumbing issue, but there are simple tests you can do to narrow down what needs to be done before calling in an emergency plumber:

  1. Turn off all taps and appliances that use water e.g. washing machine, dishwasher, irrigation system.
  2. Find your water meter and make a note of the reading – it’s usually enough to record the last three digits, but writing down the entire number is okay too.
  3. Wait for 15 minutes (if you already filled your kettle up before performing this test, you could make yourself a coffee!).
  4. Write down the meter reading again.
  5. If your second reading is higher than your first then you probably have a water leak and are in need of some plumbing repair.

So what should you do if you think you have a leak but aren’t sure where it is?

There are a couple of ways you can try to find your water leak:

  • Call your local plumbing company
  • Continue your investigative journey as below

Firstly, divide up your home or business into two distinct areas: indoors and outdoors.

For your indoor areas:

  • Check all rooms where you know you have water services: the kitchen, bathroom, laundry. Look for dripping taps or leaking connections on your washing machine, dishwasher, fridge water service (if it has one) or toilet(s).
  • It could be a toilet that is leaking ‘inside’ the bowl. An easy way to check if this is the case is to add a few drops of food colouring into your toilet cistern. If there is a leak you’ll see coloured water in the toilet bowl.
  • Failing all of that, check all walls for visible damp patches – if you find any, they may even be damp to touch (unless it’s an old leak that was fixed previously). 

For your outdoor areas:

  • Check all outdoor water fittings for drips or leaks: hoses, irrigation systems/sprinklers. 
  • Check around your hot water system connection for obvious signs of leaks.>
  • Check your lawns and flowerbeds for obviously damp or wet areas – if you have submerged irrigation systems this is particularly important.

If you don’t find the source of the leak, it’s time to pick up the phone and give us a call – at Parrish Group we offer a 24/7 emergency call-out service. 

We’ve helped thousands of customers around the Shoalhaven over the last two decades. Water leaks are just a matter of life and the sooner it gets fixed, the sooner you can stop pouring money down the drain and do your bit to limit the use of this precious resource!

Go back to News
Plumbing emergency

Call Our Team 24/7

Call Now (02) 4422 1227