Is your water bill burning a hole in your pocket even when the water consumption is as usual or lower than usual?
Then a water leak may be the culprit. And no, a leaky faucet or tap isn’t the only thing you should watch. If you’re scratching your head trying to find out the reason behind an outrageous water bill, then we are here to help.
Read on to find the most common household water leaks that you should check for.
6 Top Household Water Leaks
1. Leaky Taps
Perhaps, the undisputed number one cause of plumbing problems and a high water bill is leaking taps. It’s said that a leaking tap can waste up to 20,000 litres of water if not fixed in time! So, even if a tap that doesn’t completely stop dripping water appears harmless, we recommend getting it checked at the earliest.
A leaking tap can be caused by various reasons, like worn-out washers, cracked or damaged ceramic disc spindles, or old cartridges (applicable for mixer taps only). Likewise, the showerheads and other faucets in the home may start leaking due to physical damage or because they have worn out. Hence, it’s important to check them from time to time, especially for those older than five years.
You can check for leaks on your own or call for a plumbing inspection. Some pipes may need to be replaced if you cannot repair the damaged parts or if there is water damage to the foundations of your house.
2. Concealed Water Filters
A leaky connection or tap is a problem on its own, and concealed fixtures will only add to your troubles. For example, if you have a filter attached beneath the sink inside the cabinet, it can be impossible to detect a leak. And it may only catch your eye once a substantial area of the house has flooded.
A leaking filter or its connecting pipes can cause severe damage to the flooring or walls, costing thousands of dollars for repairs.
If you have noticed that the filter isn’t functioning correctly or the flow of water coming out of the tank has suddenly reduced, check the filters and their connecting pipes. The good news is that you can stop the leak by simply changing an O ring, but sometimes, you may need to replace the filter or the pipes.
3. Burst Or Damaged Flex Hose
Flex hoses are required for hot water, cold water, and mixer taps and are typically placed under the sink or faucet. If you accidentally kink the pipe or if there is too much mineral deposit from the constant flow of hard water, you may develop a leak.
But no matter how affordable, expensive, new or old the hose is, you should always check it regularly to see if there are any leaks. Additionally, you can get flood stop isolating valves installed to prevent the risk of leaks and book annual maintenance services to keep it in the best condition.
4. Leaking Toilets
Leaking toilets are also among the most frequently occurring plumbing problems in residential and commercial spaces. The most common reasons for them include wear and tear from regular use or excessive hard water deposits.
Much like concealed taps or connections, they can be “invisible” while they originate but waste tens of gallons. However, you can repair such leaks by replacing the toilet flapper or repairing the flipping mechanism.
A quick and easy way to check for a toilet leak is to remove the tank's lid and add a few drops of coloured dye to the water. Leave it for 15 minutes, and if you see the colour in the water bowl, then there’s a leak that needs to be repaired.
4. Hose Burst
Appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, or refrigerators integrated with water dispensers are usually susceptible to hose bursts. And an unattended hose leak can flood your entire house in a matter of hours. That’s why it’s essential to keep them commenced to flood stop valves, which inhibit the water flow in case of a sudden hose leak.
5. Hot Water Appliances
Older hot water appliances are highly prone to leaks, mainly because the inner tank corrodes with time and use. You may see water dripping from the water heater base, which can add hundreds of dollars to your water bill if left unattended.
Besides, the water accumulating on the surface below can damage it, adding to your monthly bills.
6. Exterior Leaks
A common mistake that many homeowners make is not keeping a check on the outdoor faucets or water connections. But they can be equally prone to leaks as the ones inside.
For instance, if you have a pool or fountain installed in your backyard, it may leak due to physical damage caused by regular use or hard water quality. If you observe cracked or loose tiles on the pool bottom or damp surroundings, it may indicate a leak.
Place a bucket filled with sand on the top step of the pool and mark it where the water touches its exterior (a little above the base). Leave it for 24 hours, and if the water level falls below the mark, then there’s a leak in the pool.
Aside from that, algae formation (especially after chemical treatments) is a sign of excessive moisture accumulation, caused mainly by leaks.
How To Detect Leaks Inside The Home?
You’d agree that it’s easier to detect a leaky tap or faucet than a leaky pipe or joint that runs behind the wall. But here are some ways through which you may be able to catch one before it wreaks havoc.
Inspect the wall and flooring near any concealed taps or pipes for damp marks or if it feels wet to the touch. Alternatively, water pools on the floor, paint peeling off from these areas, or sudden cracks can all be tell-tale signs of leaks.
Whether you fix them the DIY way or call for professionals, taking quick action is important to prevent further and more severe damages. If there are electrical appliances in the vicinity, remove them immediately to a safe and dry place. Otherwise, it can lead to major short circuits.
Is A Water Leak Costing You?
Now that you know about the common water leaks don’t delay checking your water lines and fixtures any longer! At the same time, keep in mind that there can be various other instances or reasons behind water leaks in your home.
Since it can become difficult for you to conduct regular checks, we’d strongly recommend hiring an experienced plumber to perform routine maintenance and repair jobs. Trust us - it’s the best way to avoid paying hefty water bills even if your water consumption is low.
And if you’re performing the smaller repairs or replacements on your own, then arrange for the required tools and parts in advance.
We will see you next time. Till then, take care!