England and Wales lose 3 billion litres of water every day because of leaking pipework, according to The Environment Agency.
Leaks can not only waste water, but also cause damage in your home.
You may not always know that a leak has formed. Usually, the first signs of a leak are a loss of water pressure, damp patches appearing on a wall, ceiling or floor. You may also notice that your water usage has come up significantly without reason.
It is important to monitor any minor water leaks at home routinely. This helps prevent damage that will be expensive to repair as well as lower your water bill.
When you have a bad leak, acting quickly is essential to prevent further damage.
What should you do when you have a leak?
1. Locate your stopcock and turn off the water. This will prevent water coming into your home and causing more damage.
2. Run your taps to rid your system of all water.
3. Call your home emergency cover provider tell them exactly what’s happened and where the leak has come from, e.g. the water tank in the loft, an upstairs bathroom or under the sink.
Common household leaking issues include…
My taps are dripping
There are a range of reasons behind a leaking tap, including wear and tea, a build up of debris or if someone hasn’t turned the tap tight enough.
If you’re comfortable to open up the tap and inspect the washer, you may see debris that you can simply clean away. You should switch off the water supply before doing this. If you aren’t confident in opening the tap, a plumber would be happy to help you.
My radiator is leaking
It’s important to fix this right away as a leaking radiator can cause significant damage to floors, ceiling and wiring. Usually your leaking radiator requires draining and refilling the system. It is usually best to call a plumber to help you resolve this one, as the components of a radiator can be fiddly.
My water heater is leaking
Usually this is caused by the water heater reaching its life expectancy. When a tank begins to rust and corrode, it can lead to a slow leak or sudden burst.
A replacement is usually the fix. Regular maintenance is the best way to delay the need to replace a water heater.
Leaky washing machine
To detect the cause, the washing machine must be on a level surface and unplugged.
First, check your water supply hoses are properly connected. If they are brittle or corroded with rust, you’ll need to replace them.
With age, seals can become brittle which could lead to leaking water. Check for moisture around the outside of the door seal.
If water is leaking under the machine, it’s usually caused by a hole in the water pump or leaky internal washing machine drain hoses.
Bottom of toilet leaking
If you notice a leak from the bottom of a toilet, stop using the toilet as the leaking water will be unsanitary from the toilet bowl.
It might be caused by an issue with the rubber seal around the base of the toiler or the bolts that keep it in place.
If you feel competent to handle this repair, you’ll need a replacement wax ring and an adjustable wrench to unscrew and tighten bolts. However, it’s usually safer and easier to call out a plumber.