How to find a leak
Water is precious and we need it for life. That’s why we want to help you to find and fix any leaks in your own pipework so, together, we can ensure we don’t waste water.
There aren’t always obvious signs of a leak such as a damp patch or water bubbling up out of the ground in your garden. Sometimes you have to go looking for it. To help you find a leak, follow the simple checklist below:
Find a leak in your home: checklist
1. Find your water meter. It’s usually outside your home, under a small metal or plastic cover embedded into the pavement close to the property. Or, it might be in your garden.
If you’re stuck, check out our Guide to finding my water meter.
2. Ensure anything that normally draws water from your pipework is not in the process of doing so. That includes appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, and also toilet cisterns and water tanks. Otherwise, you will not be able to detect a leak.
3. Give it 15 minutes to ensure nothing in your home is still consuming water.
4. Now check your meter. If the meter dial is moving, then there could be a leak somewhere in the pipework.
5. Find the leak by doing a simple stop tap test.
- Find your stop tap or check out our Guide to finding my stop tap.
- Turn off your stop tap. Test that it’s worked by opening a kitchen tap. If there’s no running water, then it’s worked.
- Check your water meter now: if the red dial is moving, it’s possible there is a leak between the meter and the stop tap. Take a look at the picture below for a better idea where that might be.
We want to help, even though in this instance the problem is in pipework that supplies your home directly and is your responsibility. If you get in touch via our simple Report a Leak form, we’ll get back to you about our free leak detection service available for up to an hour.
- If the red dial is not moving, then there might be a fault in the pipework or plumbing inside your home, which, as you’d expect, is your responsibility.
In this instance you’ll need to call a plumber to fix the problem. watersafe.org.uk lists trustworthy, local tradespeople that might help take some of the stress out of the situation.
Life cycle of a leak