Water is something that we use day in day out and don’t give a second thought. Running a bath, flushing the toilet and turning on the dishwasher all use a considerable amount of water, so when there’s a leak, it’s essential to identify the source quickly. In doing so, you’ll avoid wasting water and damage to your property.
With a huge number of appliances throughout the home contributing to your water consumption, the risk of a leak is relatively high. Some leaks are so small, they can go undetected and quietly cause irreparable damage – so keeping an eye out for some key signs is vitally important. We’ll take you through some examples of small leaks, how to stop a small water leak and the damage they can cause if overlooked.
How To Stop A Small Water Leak: Signs To Look Out For
A leak can often be fairly noticeable straight away, meaning after a call to a plumber and emergency visit, the problem can be easily resolved. Don’t always rely on leaks to present themselves, however; as some will do their best to remain undetected.
Stay vigilant and stop leaks in their tracks, before they get out of hand. Although a small drip of water may not seem like a big deal, if left to leak constantly, the damage caused can get out of hand extremely quickly.
What Could Cause A Small Leak?
It’s helpful to take a look at the various ways leaks can be caused around the home, so identifying the signs become a little easier. If you have a water meter, home water works take you through ways in which you can perform a simple leak check, to easily identify what is causing the problem. As they state, a combination of small leaks as well as major leaks can be detected, so it’s well worth going through the process.
If you don’t have a water meter, don’t worry. We will take you through some of the smaller leaks you may face within your home and ways in which they can be stopped.
- Dripping tap – When you think of a small leak, a dripping tap is probably the first thing that comes to mind. While many people simply learn to live with the annoying dripping noise; it’s never a good idea to ignore this small leak. As research carried out by direct line indicates, around 460 million litres of water is lost through dripping taps each year in the UK alone, enough to fill 184 Olympic-sized swimming pools!!“The drip, drip, drip of a leaky tap can not only be annoying but also have a negative impact on the environment and your household bills. While it might not seem particularly problematic to begin with, this research shows just how much water is going to waste and how costly one small leak can be.” – Ryan Misiakowski, Disaster Recovery Manager at Direct Line Home Plus. The stats are hard to ignore and with the added environmental issue, getting a leaky tap seen to as soon as possible is definitely a good idea. Take a look at DIY Doctor for some great tips on how to fix a leaky tap, or if in doubt call your local plumber for assistance. Having worked as plumbers in Milton Keynes for many years, we have seen our fair share of leaky taps and promise that it is a quick and affordable job to carry out.
- Leaking sinks – While the pipes connected to our kitchen sinks are often hidden inside a cupboard and easily viewed, leaks can go undetected until we open up the cabinet and see your sponges and washing up tablets sitting in an unwelcome puddle! As well as this, pipes connected to bathroom sinks are more often than not hidden within the fitting itself or wall, making small leaks from sinks harder to see. As the plumbing underneath sinks is made up of a variety of components, the many connections mean a greater chance of a leak occurring. Leaks from sinks can happen for several reasons, including faulty seals, a cracked pipe and lose connections. The Mortgage Centres give some great tips on ways in which to deal with leaks under your sink, although we would always recommend calling a plumber to determine the root cause of the problem as it can sometimes be hard to conclusively identify where the leak has originated.
- Appliance Leaks – A leaky appliance isn’t always a major problem; as soon as a puddle begins to creep across the floor, we tend to address the issue fairly quickly. What if the puddle doesn’t make itself visible, however? If water decides to collect behind the appliance, however small the leak may be, it will soon begin to seep into the wall and floor, creating irreparable damp and mould damage. Appliances that can leak include fridges, washing machines and dishwashers and should all be checked regularly to ensure that there are no small leaks silently causing issues. If you can, simply pull away your appliances from the wall every so often to give them a clean and check for any problems. If your appliance is integrated, and you’re unable to move it, take a look at this handy guide from Repair Aid, on signs to look out for on that could indicate a leaking appliance. These include rust inside the machine, door leaks and leaks around seals.
- Leaking Shower head – We all have to deal with the shower leaking slightly just after it’s been turned off and we’re grabbing a towel. While this isn’t an issue, a shower head that consistently leaks is. Similar to a leaky tap, the water waste from this small fitting can be vast – increasing your bills considerably. Victorian Plumbing have put together a guide on how to fix a leaky shower if you’d like to have a go before calling a plumber.
How To Identify A Small Leak?
We all know that the sound of a dripping tap indicates a leak and problem with the fitting; however, there are other ways that small leaks can present themselves and subtle signs to look out for. Take a look at the following and keep them in mind if you’re concerned that there may be a small leak originating somewhere within your home.
Rise In Utility Bills
As previously mentioned, over time, small leaks build up and waste a considerable amount of water. If your water bills are high and you aren’t sure why, it could be that a consistent small leak is the culprit. Many water providers offer something called a ‘leak allowance’ if you have a water meter, meaning that if you have identified a leak and fixed the problem, you may be eligible for a refund. If this has happened to you, take a look at this guide from Ofwat – the economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales – on who is responsible for water leaks and how to proceed.
Our plumbers in Woburn Sands and surrounding areas have attended numerous properties due to the sudden appearance of a puddle! We talked earlier about these originating from appliances, but puddles can also appear elsewhere which indicate the presence of a leak in other areas of your home too. These could be in a sink, shower tray, within a cupboard or at the base of your toilet – either way, any puddle needs the attention of a plumber as soon as possible.
Mould & Damp
If a leak occurs behind an appliance or within a fitting, they can be left to silently wreak havoc. If this is the case, mould and damp can be the first indication that there is a problem, which should be treated immediately as this can cause structural damage if left. As well as calling a plumber to get the leak under control, you should look into removing the mould professionally. Envirovent have useful tips on how to remove rising damp and mould effectively, so it doesn’t go on to cause further issues.
Sound Of Running Water
If a leak has derived from a burst pipe, this can cause huge problems if left, whether it’s small or large. Walls contain a huge amount of pipes, running water through various parts of your house. This, unfortunately, means that pipes can often burst out of sight and be left to leak until bigger problems occur.
This helpful article from Hunker runs through some of the ways you can tell if you have a burst pipe in your house. If you’re worried that a pipe may have burst inside your wall, call a plumber immediately, who will be able to fix the problem urgently.
Fix Small Leaks And Avoid Water Damage
No leak should ever be ignored, no matter how small. We’re hoping that this article has gone some way in demonstrating the adverse effects even the tiniest leak can have. Not only can the damage be catastrophic if a minor leak is left to its own devices, but your water bill will undoubtedly also take a hit. Save your belongings, the structural integrity of your property and your bank balance by looking out for the warning signs of small leaks and acting on them immediately. Using the hints listed above, take the appropriate action once a leak has been detected and stop it in its tracks!