How To Use Your Water Meter To Check For A Water Leak

Water bills are expensive at the best of times, but when you have a leak it can add some serious costs. Not only in wasted water, but also for repairs to your home caused by subsequent water damage. To keep costs down, it is important to source and fix leaking pipes as soon as possible. The trouble is, pipework tends to be hidden in walls and under floors. This makes it difficult to identify precisely when a leak starts. It’s often not until it’s too late and damage starts to show that you become aware of a problem.

However, one of the easiest and most reliable ways of identifying the first signs of a problem is to use your water meter to check for leaks.

Check Your Water Meter

Before you check your water meter, it is important that you turn off all water appliances (e.g. showers, taps, washing machines, dishwashers etc.). There should be no water being used in the house at the time of your test. If there is, your meter will read the water that is being used by your appliances. This in turn will make the results of your check invalid.

Once you are sure that all water appliances have been turn off, find your water meter and make a note of the number it is showing. Then wait for an hour or two. After this time has passed, check your water meter again. If the meter has gone up, there is a leak somewhere in your house. If you are still unsure, you should wait another hour or so. Once you have proof that there is a leak in your house, you can set about finding it.

The Stop Tap Test

The easiest way to work out if the problem is in your supply line, or in your appliances, is the stop tap test.

  1. Turn off your water supply main at the stop tap (also known as a stopcock). This will stop any water entering your property
  2. Make a note of the readings on your water meter
  3. Wait an hour
  4. Come back and check the readings again If the reading is different, there could be leak in your supply line
  5. If the reading is the same, there could be a leak in your fittings or appliances

Leaking Appliances

After your stop tap test, you may find that your appliances are at fault. If this is case, you will need to work out which ones are causing you a problem. The main appliances that can cause a leak include:

  • Taps
  • Toilets
  • Flapper valves
  • Flush handles
  • Overflow tubes
  • Kitchen appliances

It is a good idea to go around to all of these appliances and look for standing water. If you can’t find any problems, you may have an underground leak. At this point, you need a trace and detection team. Tangible Building Services have an experienced team on hand that can help find, dry and seal your leak.

For more information about how we can help, please contact our free advice team on 0800 328 4188. If you are busy, we are happy to call you back! Simply send us an enquiry and a best time to call and we will get back to you.

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Thames Valley

Suite 220, SK House, Vansittart Estate, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1SE.


Suite 220, SK House, Vansittart Estate, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1SE.

Jane Smith

Regional Director at Thames Valley Office

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