Have you ever been worried that there might be a leak on your water supply, but wanted to confirm this first before hiring a plumber? Good news, if your property is metered, then there is quite a simple way to tell if there is a leak on your clean water supply.
Things you need to know first
- This will only work on an analogue meter, not a newer digital one - as there is no flow indicator.
- Where is your water meter? (If you do not know where your water meter is, you can request this information from your clean water provider. It will not show on any plans, but they should have a written record of where the meter is located under your account information.)
- Where is your external stop-tap? (Your external stop-tap is usually located in the same pit next to your water meter.)
Step 1: Ensure that your appliances (dishwasher/dryer etc.) are switched off and that no one is about to run a tap or flush the toilet. Enlist assistance from a family member or friend (this will make it easier than running back and forth).
Step 2: Once you have confirmed which is your water meter and stop-tap, check your meter. To do this, ask your helper to turn on a tap in your property whilst you watch the meter. You can note down the reading if you wish*. But the most important thing is to check the rate at which the flow indicator is spinning. The flow indicator will be either a small wheel or a small triangular dial depending on your meter that is usually red, silver, or black in colour (see examples below).
All water meters have a flow indicator, as shown above. This will spin very fast when water is flowing through your meter, such as when you run a tap, and should stop fully when no water is in use.
Step 3: Once you have satisfied yourself that your flow indicator spins when water is running through it. Ask your helper to turn the tap off and you should see it slow down and come to a stop.
If your flow indicator stops spinning, you can now stop following these steps – you can be quite confident that there is no leak on your network.
If your flow indicator does not stop spinning once the tap is turned off, then it is likely that you have a leak. To locate whether it is on your pipes, or the water company’s please follow the next step.
Step 4: Turn your stop-tap so that it is now off (you can check this by trying to run your indoor tap again – it might trickle out at first, but all water should stop flowing if the stop-tap is off). Once you have confirmed your water flow has stopped, check your flow indicator again.
- If it has stopped spinning, then the leak is internal/after the meter (possibly an internal leak, a dripping tap, or even a malfunctioning toilet). If you cannot /do not wish to carry out the repair yourself, then a plumber will be required. Phone 0333 000 0058 (option 1) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact Waterlink for a quote.
- If it is still turning, then the leak is external/before the meter – you will need to contact your water provider so that they can fix this type of leak.
*If your meter reading doesn’t appear to change whilst carrying out the check, do not worry too much. All water meters will measure different quantities of water depending on the brand. If you are concerned that the meter is broken, take note of the reading and then read it again in a day or two, if there is still no change – phone your water provider and request they send an engineer out to check your meter is operational. Likewise, if your flow indicator doesn’t turn at all, then your meter is broken and you should call your water provider to repair/replace your meter.