Category Archives: Home Maintenance

Home Owners Guide: Finding a Water Leak

Today, we are going to find out some simple solutions for any home owner to detect water leaks. If you suspect you have a water leak, or would simply like some peace of mind, you can use your water meter as the starting point.

Finding the water meter

The first thing you need to work out is where the water meter is actually located. The water meter could be down the side of your house, in the front yard, or even on the nature strip out the front of your house. Once you have located the water meter, grab yourself a large screw driver or a pair of pliers and open up the meter box.

Is there water running through the meter?

Once you have accessed the meter, you’ll need to take a look at it by removing the cap. You will notice that the meter reader is an odometer style reader which is used by your water provider in determining the amount of water consumption. On the meter reader, you’ll also notice an underground water leak indicator which could look like a little red triangle, a blue square, or a variety of other small shapes and colours.

Regardless of the shape or colour of the underground leak detector, if this little object is turning it means there is water moving through the meter. If your water meter does not have an underground water leak indicator, it will most likely have what’s called a sweep hand. A sweep hand is a slow moving dial. Because the sweep hand moves so slowly, it’s often hard to figure out straightaway if it’s even moving. So you could try marking the sweep hand and come back 24 hours later to check if it’s moved. If it has moved, then you have water running through the meter.

This being the case, you’ll need to find out if there’s any appliances, irrigation systems or taps that are turned on. Once you have conformed that there are no running taps etc inside or outside the house, it’s time to go back outside to the water meter.  If that leak indicator is still turning, then this confirms you have a leak problem.

Isolating the leak

The next step is to isolate where the leak could be. And to do this, you’ll need to locate the main shut off valve. The shut off valve is typically located under the house, in the garage or down the side of the house. Then go ahead and turn the valve off. Then, find a tap located at the furthest point away from the valve and turn it on to make sure no water is coming out and that the valve is shut down correctly.

Then head back outside to check if the leak indicator is turning or not. Now, if the indicator has stopped turning, this means you have an issue inside the house with the internal plumbing. If the detector is still turning, you’ll need to look to the underground pipes outside for the problem.

By this point, you’ll know yourself if, you are capable of carrying out the repairs, or if you’ll need to engage a professional underground location service.

Leak Tech is based in Brisbane Australia, and specialises in underground location services in Brisbane.