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How To Tell If You’ve Got A Water Leak And What To Do If You’ve Got One

24 September

Water Leaks Can Be Costly And Cause Severe Damage

Water leaks won’t only cause headaches because of high water bills and the damp patches on your ceilings and walls. Leaking water pipes can cause severe damage to the interior and exterior structure of the house. Significantly, there are hidden leaks in your water pipe. A concealed leak can be pretty costly to boot. Prevention, water leak detection services, and quick correction are the best courses of action for dealing with water leaks. Not to mention, professional plumbers do regular plumbing maintenance.

It helps to detect leaks early on and see if you also need another professional service for all your plumbing needs— maybe your hot water system is also leaking. You’ll never know what other plumbing issues you have, aside from leaking water pipes and hot water units, until it’s too late or an excellent service plumbing maintenance makes you aware sooner rather than later. Read the following information to know more and prevent leaks and hidden leaks in the future from affecting your water meter monthly and causing further structural damage.

Prevention And Detection

Preventing and detecting water leaks and leaking pipes can save property owners money in water bills and extensive repairs, severe damage, headaches and frustrations. Not only that, but fixing water leaks also helps conserve our precious water resources. Think of the water lost for every hour you procrastinate calling in plumbing services with upfront pricing.

We advise you to check your meter monthly and your water bill to monitor it and understand how much water you usually use. Get the benchmark in both usage and cost to know what’s average for you and your household. Contact professional plumbers to connect one if you don’t have a water meter to keep track of the usage.

Often, the first sign of a leak is a noticeable increase in your usual water usage and a higher than regular water bill. So, don’t ignore your high water bill. That’s a red flag. But who can ignore a high water bill, right?

How much water do you think a slowly dripping tap can waste in a year? 1,000 litres? 5,000 litres? 7,000 litres? NOPE. One drippy faucet can waste 9,000 L of water. Even worse, a toilet with a visible leak can waste more than 60,000 litres! That’s no way to save water and the ecosystem. I am still surprised that you have a very high water bill.

This water waste is almost criminal in a drought-sensitive land like ours.

Water Leaking From External Tap

Queensland Government’s Advice

We agree with the Queensland government’s advice: Make sure you turn all your taps off properly; check for leaks and repair taps, and keep all water fittings and equipment in good condition.”

They also clearly state, “As a landowner, it is your responsibility to install and maintain any plumbing on your property (i.e. pipes and fittings past the water meter connection point). This includes identifying and fixing any leaks on your property.”

Think You May Have An Internal Water Leak In Your Home? Here Are Some Signs:

  1. Unexplained damp walls, ceilings, floors or wet spots on carpets
  2. Dripping, running or trickling noises in the walls or ceilings
  3. The presence of mould – it thrives in moist, humid conditions. It can be seen quite readily on constantly wet surfaces.
  4. A musty smell caused by either visible or invisible mould (behind an appliance or inside the wall cavity, for example)
  5. Faulty or broken appliances (running toilets, leaking toilet cistern or toilet bowl, dripping taps, worn hoses, etc. Put some food colouring in the toilet cistern to check a leaking toilet. If, without flushing, the colouring begins to appear in the bowl, the cistern rubbers need to be repaired.)
  6. A noticeable drop in your water pressure
  7. An increase in your use of water usage, your routines have remained the same
  8. There are obvious signs of water damage to cabinets and cupboards, such as laminate bubbling and lifting or noticeable soft spots.

Maybe the leak causing your high water bill is not an inside job. Perhaps it’s outside the home and on the property near the house or the water connection point. If that’s the case while waiting for water leak detection specialists, here are the signs for an underground leak.

Signs You May Have A Possible Concealed/Underground Leak On Your Property

  1. You may have received a high consumption notice from the council. Or you’ll notice a considerably higher than average consumption when your regular use-of-water routine has remained unchanged.
  2. You may have seen a greener-than-usual patch of lawn on your property
  3. There’s evidence of sudden cracks or potholes in pavement or slabs surrounding the house or elsewhere on the property
  4. There are obvious signs of water pooling (note: water doesn’t always surface where the leak is. It can travel along pipes until it finds a spot where it can penetrate the ground quickly, which can be meters away).

Do You Have Unusual High Water Bills? Suspect A Leak? We Recommend The Following:

  • First, identify any noticeable leakage causes like dripping taps, running appliances, loose fittings, damaged pipes, etc.
  • Turn off all taps and appliances that use water inside and outside the home.
  • Instruct household members to refrain from using them
  • Take a meter reading.
  • Wait an hour or two and then take another reading to determine if there’s a change in usage even though you’ve stopped using. (Note: ensure you leave the water ON at the meter)
  • Take another reading; a leak may require further investigation if the task has changed. This simple water meter reading can quickly determine your water loss.

3 Steps On How To Read Your Water Meter

Hands up if you’ve never read your meter. Keep it up if you don’t even know where it is. That’s okay, and there’s no judgement here. Reading the water bill is enough for most of us until We’re faced with unusually high water bills. It’s common for us not to know a lot until the plumbing issues start making their presence known, and We’ll need an excellent service to keep our residential and commercial properties in top shape.

Step 1. To find it, your meter is almost always located towards the front of the property, either near the left or right boundary.

Step 2. Once you’ve located it, lift the lid to read the dial (take care, as the meter box can be home to spiders, snakes and other creepy crawlies).

Step 3. Once you’ve got a clear view, write down all the numbers you see.

This helpful City of Gold Coast video shows you exactly how to read your water meter and check for leaks.

You’ve Determined That, Yep, You’ve Got Yourself A Leak – What Then?

What are your next steps?

  1. Call Gold Coast Plumbing Company, of course! We offer water leak detection services.
  2. We will ask you to tell us what you’ve learned about your leak.
  3. We will arrange for a leak detection specialist to come out and investigate.
  4. Once the investigation is complete, we will provide an upfront price for the leak repair. This will depend on:
    1. The depth of the leak
    2. Whether it is under grass, tiles or concrete
    3. The location of the leak (tiered garden beds, challenging to access, etc.)
  5. They will pinpoint the leak and mark the location on the ground.
  6. We will repair it for you.
  7. Upon completion of the repair, we provide you with an invoice for the work,
  8. You may then be able to send to the council to apply for water relief, if applicable*

NOTE: It is wiser and more economical to install a replacement water line in some instances instead of repairing the leak.

*contact GCCC to see if you are eligible; you must lodge a form with the council.

Possible Water Relief From Council

The City of Gold Coast may provide water relief for undetectable, concealed leaks if a licensed plumber fixes them.

See the details that can be found on the GCCC website or by contacting the council on 1300 000 928

Who’s Responsible For What When It Comes To Water Leaks?

According to Urban Utilities, here on the Gold Coast, they state that:

The property owner is responsible for:

  • All pipework within the property boundary, including fixtures, fittings and water tanks
  • All pipework leads from the property up to and including the connection point to the water meter. This may be outside your property boundary, e.g. the council footpath or joint property.
  • The cost of water associated with any leaks at your property up to the connection point of the water meter
  • We are arranging to pay for a licensed plumber to repair your pipework.
  • If a leak is detected in these pipes, please call a plumber to perform water leak detection services and repair them.

Utilities are responsible for:

  • The water meter
  • The pipes from the water meter connect to the water main.

What Do You Know About H2O?

Here are some fascinating water facts:

Freshwater is the most precious resource on Earth; we use it in almost everything. While water covers three-quarters of our Earth’s surface, freshwater only makes up 1%, and that’s meant to provide for us all.

Did you know?

  • We use about 400 billion gallons of water every day on Earth.
  • Most of the world’s usable freshwater is groundwater.
  • Australian households are terrible at conserving water.
  • A global study by international water experts Hoekstra and Chapagain found that Australian households had the worst record for water consumption. Each Australian uses 341,000 L of water yearly– around eight backyard swimming pools! Some of the most carefree water users on the planet, and we live on the driest continents!
  • The closest to us in Canada is a distant second with 279,000 litres yearly. The Americans use 217,000 litres per person, the Chinese 26,000 and Bangladesh just 16,000 litres (half a backyard pool). The world average is 57,000 litres.
  • About 20% of the world’s population cannot access safe drinking water.
  • Bottled water can be up to 1000 times more expensive than tap water and may not be as safe.
  • If consumption patterns continue, 2 out of every three people will live in water-stressed conditions by 2025.
  • The overall amount of water has remained about the same for over 2 billion years.
  • Freshwater animals are disappearing five times faster than land animals.
  • Approximately 25,700 L of water is required to grow a day’s food for a family of four.
  • Spending 3 minutes less daily under the average shower will save 13,140 litres of water a year.
  • A cow can drink as much as 90 litres of water daily while producing only 12 litres of milk.

How Much Water Does It Take To Produce Some Of Our Favourite Foods?

An apple = 70 litresCup of coffee = 140 litres
A glass of beer = 75 litresA potato = 25 litres
A glass of wine = 120 litresAn egg = 135 litres
Bag of chips = 185 litresGlass of milk = 200 litres
Slice of bread = 40 litresHamburger = 2400 litres
Cup of tea = 35 litresOne kg of beef = 16000 litres

Whether you were as surprised by any of this as when you got your high water bill or not, I think we can all agree on how important our water is to our daily lives and how water leak detection is now vital, too. Internal or external water leaks are something we don’t want to go unchecked. When suspecting a potential water leak in the hot water systems or water pipes, it’s vital to have a water leak detected immediately. We need to protect this precious resource of ours! Let’s save water together. Reach out to our highly recommended Gold Coast plumbers. We aim to respond to you at the first phone call and to go the extra mile in any emergency plumbing service 24 hours a day, whether it’s water leak detection services, burst water pipes, hot water systems installation, a new tap for people with Arthritis and more.

For water leak detection services for your washing machine, pipes, or hot water system, our professional plumbers from Gold Coast Plumbing Company can help! So, if you suspect water leaks around your place, suddenly have high water bills without using much water, or need further information, please call us on 1300 792 041.

Save yourself from costly damage and a high water bill, and help conserve water. Invest in fully qualified professional plumbers with the latest technology and upfront pricing to fix those leaking pipes immediately and prevent further water damage! Rely on our highly recommended Gold Coast plumbers and water leak detection services. Call us today.