A leaking faucet or fixture can hike your water bills up to ridiculous levels if you aren’t proactive with water leak detection. To put it into perspective, a leaking tap can waste up to 20,000 litres in a year, while a leaky toilet can easily waste around 16,000 litres per year. This is a cost that many Australian families simply cannot afford to accommodate – not to mention that it’s a huge waste of one of the Earth’s most precious resources.

Luckily, there are a few different ways you can check your home for nasty leaks. Keep reading today’s blog to find out our top tips for water leak detection.

The telltale signs of a water leak

Water leak detection is easy when it’s obvious; such as the loud dripping tap in the bathroom that everyone uses every day. However, undetected water leaks are often silent or occur in a low-traffic area of the home.

So how exactly do you know you’re dealing with a water leak? Look out for these signs:

  • A puddle in your garden, on the nature strip/curb or beside your driveway that never dries up
  • Any water damage from leaks – this can include discolouration, bubbling, stains, mould or wetness on walls, ceilings or woodwork
  • Excessive condensation to the point of damage
  • A part of your backyard or front garden that seems to always be wet and sludgy – look for depressions in the ground
  • A room or area of the home smells musty
  • Noisy pipes (rattling or tapping)
  • Wet bricks or cracked concrete outside.


Check your water meter

After you’ve noticed some suspicious signs of a leak, the next step in water leak detection is checking your water meter. Usually, your water meter will be located near the front gate or in the front garden.

Conducting a water meter test is an easy way to check for a leak. There are, however, a few key steps in the process. Follow these simple tips in order to successfully check your meter:

  • Turn off all the taps in the house apart from the water meter tap and the toilet.
  • Make sure no one uses water inside or outside the house for the duration of the test (around 10-15 minutes).
  • If you have a mechanical dial meter, record the numbers you see and wait 10-15 minutes. If any of the numbers have changed in that time, there is a good chance you have a leak.
  • If you have a clock meter, closely monitor the wheel for any movement over the next 10-15 minutes. Again, if it rotates, this indicates that there could be a leak.
  • Sometimes, different meters need different timings to be accurate. If you suspect a leak but nothing has changed in the 10-15 minutes, you may need to test for between 1-2 hours instead.
  • Always conduct the test twice to confirm whether you have a leak.


Check your toilet

There are a few different causes of a toilet leak, from a worn flapper valve to issues with the flush handle or button. It’s quite easy to check your toilet for a leak if you follow these steps in order:

  • Remove the tank lid and pour a couple of drops of food colouring into the toilet tank water – just enough to colour the water slightly.
  • Wait at least half an hour. During this time, ensure you do not flush and that no one uses the toilet.
  • After the time is up, check the water in the toilet bowl. If you see your food colouring appear, this is indicative of a leak.
  • Flush the toilet to remove the food colouring.


Inspect other areas of your home

If you aren’t sure where the leak is coming from, you should conduct an audit of your home or property. Check these key spots for any leakages:

  • Water tanks
  • Taps and fixtures
  • Showers
  • Hot water systems
  • Irrigation systems


Get help with water leak detection and fixing the leak

Having difficulty with water leak detection? Your best bet is contacting a professional plumber. A plumber can not only detect the leak, but also recommend the best way to fix it and keep your bills to a minimum.

JPG Plumbing provides a range of professional plumbing services, including water leak detection and maintenance audits. We service many areas for all kinds of jobs, from residential to commercial properties. Contact our friendly experts today to inquire further.