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How to check for water leaks in 4 simple steps

Leaks in your infrastructure can be costly. Here's how you can keep an eye out for any leaks on your site or property.

No business wants a water leak in their system. Unfortunately, wear and tear does happen, and if you let a leak slip under the radar, it can end up being very costly. To ensure you don’t inadvertently rack up a massive water bill, checking for leaks every now and then is essential. Often leaks can’t be seen or heard, so at Water Plus we’ve created a four step guide outlining how to detect water leaks on your business premises.

Want to see the guide in full? Download our infographic, Leaks: the hidden loss

Step 1: Reality Check

Before you start, you need to think about if there’s been any recent changes on your business premises that may be causing you to use more water than before. For instance, have you just introduced a new process or piece of machinery?
You also need to check if your previous bill was based on an estimate reading that has since proved to be too low. If either of these ring true for you, then there might be an alternative explanation for an increase in water consumption.

Step 2: Check for obvious leaks
Dripping tap close up


Next, you need to take a good look around your business premises to check for any obvious water leaks in your infrastructure. Key areas to check include:

  • Faulty taps: running or dripping taps can waste thousands of litres of water every year.
  • Overflows: is water dripping out of your overflow pipes outside? If so, you need to check your water tanks or cisterns.
  • Toilet cisterns: often hard to spot, these leaks can often go unnoticed. New cisterns tend to overflow inside the toilet, as opposed to traditional cisterns that overflow outside.
  • Faulty urinals: if they’re running constantly, faulty urinals can waste a lot of water.

Step 3: Check the meter

If you’ve still not identified an obvious cause for an unusually high water bill, check your water meter.
Not sure where it is?

  • Check inside: in a boiler room or cellar.
  • Check outside: near the boundary or on a footpath on your site.

** Only check your water meter if you can access it safely **

Once you’ve located your water meter, you should:

  1. Choose a time when your business is using the least amount of water. Then, turn off all taps and water-using appliances.
  2. Take a meter reading (including the red digits).
  3. Don’t use any water for at least an hour, then take another reading. The longer you can wait between the two readings, the better.
  4. Compare the two readings. If they’ve changed, then you’re likely to have a leak in your system.

Step 4: Check the supply pipe

If your water meter is outside, the leak could be on your external supply pipe. This pipe connects your business to the public water mains and you are legally responsible for it.
To check if this pipe is leaking:

  1. Turn off your internal stop tap so that no water reaches your taps or inside pipes.
  2. Check your water meter. If it’s still turning, the leak is probably somewhere in your supply pipe.

Large burst pipe

If you’re a Water Plus customer, you can contact us if think you have a water leak on your business premises. Our leak specialists will carry out a survey to establish whether there is a leak and if there is, our leak technicians will talk to you about it and how they can help.  They can then fix it by either repairing the existing pipework, or replacing the pipe altogether.
Find out more about our leak detection and repair services and how much a leak can cost if left undetected.

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