The pipe systems of our homes are hidden from view, buried underground, but these easily forgotten parts of our homes can cause a lot of issues if they aren’t performing correctly. A leaking mains supply pipe can be a hard issue to find, sometimes going months unresolved. There are a few signs which may signal you have a leak.
Physical Signs of a Leak
It is much harder to diagnose a leak in the main water supply pipes than an internal leak. You may want to check your garden and property for sinkholes, or areas of ground which are very wet and marshy. Another sign of an underground leak is cracked foundations or cement fractures. As water swells underground, this causes whatever is above the surface to move also, thus cement will crack under the pressure.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure within your home heating system could also signal a leak. If you are constantly topping up the pressure on your boiler, this suggests air may be entering the system via a leak. Even the smallest leak or loose pipe can cause pressure loss and gradually worsen over time.
Rising Water Bills
If over the course of a few months your water bills are higher than usual, but usage has been the same, this could suggest a leak has developed. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you had any maintenance done recently, or have your neighbours?
Any structural changes or even decorating could have caused a shift in the pipework under your home. Valves attached to pipes can wiggle loose, especially if drilling or hammering is happening above ground, as vibrations can cause the earth to move.
- Is there any evidence to suggest you have a faulty appliance?
A dripping tap or washing machine fault could be increasing your water bills, it is worth checking your appliances before jumping straight to the possibility of a leak.
- Are there more people using water in the property?
More people in the home will mean more water is being used.
If none of these factors apply, a leak is quite likely.
Testing for a Leak
If you suspect a leak in your home, there is a simple test you can do to discern whether the leak is coming from inside or outside of your property. Turn off the stockcock in your home, then turn on a sink tap to drain any water left in the system. After 10 or 20 seconds, water should stop coming out of the tap if the stopcock has been fully turned off. Secondly, go to your water meter and note the reading. If the water meter reading goes up, this could suggest a leak on the main pipework, as this means water is passing the meter but it is not making its way past the internal stopcock.
When to Enlist a Professional
If you suspect an underground leak in your main supply pipes, it is imperative the issue is not left unresolved. A leak will only continue to cause damage to your home’s structure, a problem that will only continue to get more dangerous and expensive.
Thankfully, underground leak investigation experts from Aspect, can efficiently find leaks within the main water supply of a home, with noninvasive methods. An underground leak can be quickly found using highly sensitive, acoustic equipment. Traditional methods of leak locating involved having to physically search for the leak, causing ground to be dug up necessarily. Using acoustic equipment means the leak can be located first and then a trench can be dug in the exact position it is needed. Even if a leak is located under concrete, acoustic equipment will be able to efficiently locate the leak.