The real reason why your water bill is so high

Do you pay for your water on a meter? Have the bills started to look suspiciously high? You may be paying for water that is going to waste, or in other words, you may have a water leak.

How to spot a water leak

The following circumstances could indicate a water leak:

  • You hear the sound of dripping or running water
  • You see wet surfaces around your home
  • Lots of plants are growing around your water pipes, even in dry weather
  • The water pressure in your home drops

Who is responsible for fixing leaks?

All water companies have a code of practice when it comes to water leaks and it usually depends on where the leak is to assess who is responsible for fixing it.

If the water is leaking on your side of the meter, on the public footpath or via the external stop valve, it’s your responsibility to call in a plumber.

If the source of the problem is the water meter itself, it’s your water company’s responsibility to resolve the issue.

If the leak is due to a damaged water pipe, it will depend on which section of the pipe is damaged.

The pipe that connects the water mains to your property is called the service pipe; the section of the service pipe running from the mains supply to the boundary of your property is called the communication pipe, and the water company is usually responsible for its maintenance, whilst the section that runs from the property boundary into your property is called the supply pipe, which you’re responsible for. The property boundary is typically where the stop valve and water meter are located.

Although you are responsible for the supply pipe, some water companies will offer a one-off free repair or subsidise the expense if the pipe requires fixing, so it is always worth asking for a breakdown of your water supplier’s policies regarding water leaks.

How do I resolve the issue?

Your next step will be to call a qualified plumber to diagnose the problem and replace or repair the broken part. The longer you leave a leak unattended, the more chance there is for it to cause greater damage to your property such as damp and corrosion, so act as soon as you suspect water escape.

If you rent your home, speak to your landlady, landlord or property management company about the issue, as a professional plumbing company will not start work on your building without written permission from the owner.

If the problem pipe serves several properties in your street, refer to your title deeds, as you may legally share the responsibility for leaks with your neighbours.

WPJ Heating is an accredited, award-nominated and established plumbing company based in South West London. If you’ve noticed a water leak in your home or garden, book one of expert engineers to visit your property today.

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