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How Will I Know If I Have A Hidden Water Leak?

How Will I Know If I Have A Hidden Water Leak?

Wondering why your water bill is so high?

With the Gold Coast City Council recently posting out the quarterly Water and Sewerage Rate Notices we have noticed a spike in the number of calls for leaking water pipes.
A common theme is that the owners have been completely unaware that they have had a hidden water leak and only discovered the problem when they opened their bill, which unfortunately for some, contained a nasty shock.

Pipes Can Leak Without Any Outward Signs

The pure nature of plumbing, with pipes hidden underground or in walls, it often means that pipes can leak with no outward signs, especially in areas with sandy soil.  Couple this with the fact that the bills issued in early July are for water consumed between January and April, it is easy to see how charges can accumulate as a pipe could potentially leak undetected for a period of three months between billing cycles.

A pipe could potentially leak undetected for 3 months or more, between water rate billing cycles

How Well Was Your House Constructed

Unfortunately, as a home owner, there is little you can do to prevent leaks from the water meter to the house. Basically it gets down to how well it was installed when the house was built.

In our forty plus years of experience we have found that if a pipe is well protected in a bed of sand there are few problems. However if there are items such as pieces of tiles, small rocks or other building debris then the chances are you will have problems over time and in some instances repeated leaks.

Interesting Fact

An interesting fact is the incidents of water leaks increase when we have cycles of rain followed by dry spells and is likely caused by ground movement allowing any sharp or rough objects adjacent to the pipes to rub against its side with the potential to create a split or hole in the pipe.

Monitor Your Water Usage

As a home owner the most effective way of detecting a concealed leak is to monitor your water usage, this is especially important if you have experienced a previous leak.

Your bill will have a daily average usage calculated for you so by reading the meter you should be able to pick up any increase.

At Whywait Plumbing we recommend reading your water meter monthly.
Set a reminder for the first of each month, however if you have had previous leaks you may wish to do this more frequently.
If you suspect you may have a leak then doing an overnight meter check is a good way to confirm, however it is best to turn the water off to the cisterns in case someone gets up during the night and flushes the toilet and remember not to turn the dishwasher on before going to bed.  Not sure how to read your water meter? We tell you exactly what to do! Click here for instructions.

Consider A Leak Detection System

If you would prefer not to have the hassle of monitoring your households water usage then it is worth considering purchasing one of the Leak Detection Systems available on the market. We recommend Aquatrip a programmable Leak Detection System with an automatic shutoff valve.

Aquatrip is easily fitted on your main incoming water pipe, and acts as a Water Safety Trip Switch. It is designed to detect the difference between your normal water use and a leak and will shut off the water if a leak is detected or a tap, hose or appliance is left running.

If you suspect you have a leak or to find out more about the Aquatrip give our office a call to speak with one of our friendly staff.

Top 10 Tips For Saving Water At Home

Top 10 Tips For Saving Water At Home

With the start of a new financial year we have the inevitable price rises, the cost of water being one of them. Whilst it isn’t a large rise it still impacts the family budget, so now is a good time to review the top ten tips for saving water at home.

Identify and fix water leaks
Dripping taps
or toilet cisterns not shutting off after flushing are the most obvious cause of water wastage and should be repaired promptly to minimise waste.

A less obvious problem is a concealed leak either underground or behind a wall. These types of leaks are often not identified until after your water rates arrive which can result in a nasty shock. Here at Whywait Plumbing we recommend monitoring your water use so any increase is picked up quickly and can be investigated further. This is especially important if you have had a previous leak as most local authorities will only allow you to claim relief on your water rates once every three years.

Water saving showers and taps
If you have an older home your fixtures and fittings are likely to use more water than product available today, so when the time comes to replace them compare products for water efficiency.
WELS water efficiency ratings indicate how much water they use – the more stars on the label the less water the product uses, a great way to reduce your in-home water usage.
Another option is to install aerators or flow controllers to existing tapware.

Consider water-efficient appliances
WELS ratings also apply to appliances so compare ratings when shopping for dishwashers and washing machines. All new washing machines must comply with a minimum water efficiency standard, and some dishwasher models on the market today can use as little as half the water of older models and you no longer need to rinse your dishes, in fact with the sensors in today’s machines you get a better wash if the dishes are dirty.

Only run full washing machine loads
Avoid using your washing machine or dishwasher when it’s half full. Only running these appliances when you have a full load not only saves on water but also is more energy efficient. If you must wash before you have a full- load then ensure you adjust the water level settings.

Water efficient toilets
All new toilets come with a half flush water saving option. If your property is not fitted with dual flush toilet cisterns then we would recommend having these installed as they can save thousands of litres of water per year.

Minimise running water
Always turn the tap off when cleaning your teeth and use the plug when shaving and washing vegetables rather than under running water.

Reduce your time in the shower
Encourage the whole family to take shorter showers and turn the shower off when shampooing your hair. A timer is a good way to keep everyone on track.

Catch the cold water
When showering when you first turn the taps on collect the cold water and use it to water plants or even flush the toilet. Just tip it down the pan instead of flushing.

Install a water tank
Collecting and reusing rainwater for watering lawns and gardens is an effective way to reduce water bills.

Get the family involved
Discuss your water saving tips with the family and remember it’s never to soon to teach young children water saving habits. If you teach them when they are young you may avoid the long showers once they become teenagers.

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