With utility bills rising nationwide, ensuring that your business premises aren’t losing money over a leaking water pipe is essential. On average more than 3 billion litres of water are lost every day, and in large commercial premises, leaks can often go undetected for long periods of time, leading to costly damage not to mention a waste of water and money.

If you own the business premises, then a water leak onsite is your responsibility to fix, and acting quickly on discovering a leak can be the difference between pricy repairs and liability for lost water. Depending on where the leak is located (if the leak is on the other side of your meter then your wholesaler should deal with the problem). The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) has information on property owners’ responsibility when it comes to water pipework.

Knowing where to look is key in helping to discover a leak early on before it has the time to ramp up your water bill or cause considerable damage to the premises.

Things to know before you try to identify a water leak

Before you go tearing up areas of your business in the case of a suspected leak, it’s best to wait until out of hours, this way you won’t impact the business during its operation and can switch the water off for an extended period of time.

Identifying an external water leak

An external water leak usually occurs along the length of the pipe between the stop cock and the water meter. To identify a potential external water leak you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Locate your meter – Depending on the size of the business premises, this will either be close to where the service pipe enters the building (smaller premises) or in its own dedicated meter chamber underground (large premises).
  • Locate your internal stop tap – Turn this clockwise to close. The stop tap is usually located where the service pipe enters the premises.
  • Take two-meter readings an hour apart – If there is variation in the readings then there is a good possibility that you have a leak in your supply pipe.

Identifying internal water leaks

Internal leaks can be a tad more difficult to locate as they can turn up in a variety of places and will more than likely require a professional. However before you call, you can first identify if you have a leak by doing the following:

  • Turn off all water using internal appliances – Washing machines, dishwashers, taps and even the central heating need to be switched off before you leave the premises at the end of the working day.
  • Leave the internal stop tap open – This will allow water to flow around the internal pipes.
  • Take a meter reading before you leave – This will give you a comparison reading.
  • Take a meter reading in the morning – Compare this to the reading from the night before and see if there is any variation between them.

If the morning reading is different to the evening reading then there is a good possibility that you have a leak somewhere along your internal pipework.

Note: Be sure to take the morning reading first thing before switching appliances back on.

If you think you might have a leak at your premises then call Avon Water Servicesv

Avon Water Services are Severn Trent and WaterSafe approved leak detection specialists offering our services across Leicestershire and the East Midlands, as well as Coventry and Warwickshire.

We operate a 24-hour emergency call-out service 7 days a week so we can get the problem sorted as soon as possible.

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