Finding Water Leaks


Undiscovered water leaks in your home can be costly. Even a small leak can cost you a lot of money on your water bill if you do not find it and fix it. Here are some easy ways to discover if you have a leak in your house:

  1. Hot Water Tanks

Check the Pressure Relief Valve on your hot water tank. If removing the pipe is not an option listen closely for a hissing sound. If you hear one it may be leaking.

  1. Toilets

Remove the top off the toilet tank and listen closely. If you hear a hissing noise, try to see where it is coming from.  If there is no obvious leak, try adding a couple of drops of food colouring in the tank (not the toilet bowl). After a couple of minutes if the colour has spread to the bowl then you have a leak in your flapper that is allowing water to leak through. Repeat this process throughout the house with every toilet.

If a leak is found, assess whether it is something you can repair yourself. If not, call a plumber asap.

  1. Meter Line

Locate your main water shutoff at the house. Shut it off temporarily. Check your meter by the road. If the dial on the meter continues to move, then you probably have a leak between the meter and the house. The other possibility is a leaking valve, which is common in older houses with the old bronze gate valves. In that case your leak is inside the house.

Walk the area between the shutoff valve and the meter. Look for obvious signs of a leak – muddy areas, grass that is greener or growing more rapidly than the rest of the yard. If such a sign exists, call a plumber right away.

  1. Hose Bibs

Next, check your hose bibs. These are the pipes that you hook your hose to on the outside of the house. In most cases you have one in the front and the back of the house but be sure to find all of them and check them.

The next thing we are going to do is to make a stethoscope out of a screwdriver! Find a long screwdriver to work with. Place the metal tip of the screwdriver on the metal part of your hose bib. Next, place your thumb knuckle on top of the screwdriver. Then place your knuckle on the side of your head, just in front of your ear. The sound will travel directly to your ear drum! (This is a great tip for all metal valves.)

Listen closely for any sound coming from the hose bib. Remember if you hear anything and go to the next one. If the sound is louder at any other hose bib, then the leak is closest to that unit. This information will be valuable to your plumber. It will save him time, and your money !

Edinburgh Central Heating Services offer free estimates and range of skills. A 24-hour emergency plumbing service is also offered. For more information visit or telephone 0131 5102418