Common Household Water Leaks That Are Affecting Your Water Bill

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10 common household water leaks - water main leak in ground

These common household water leaks are not only wasting precious water but will be affecting your water bill. How your plumber can identify if any of these leaks are affecting your water usage. 

Water leaks are not only a drain on your water meter, but they are also a pain to your back pocket.

When you receive an unexpectedly higher-than usual water bill, it can be a reason to panic if your daily habits haven’t changed.

These 10 common household water leaks are ones to check out for. You may have a leak you’re not aware of.

While you can do a few checks yourself to around the home, a plumber will be able to do isolated tests to identify hidden leaks in your home. Regular checks are important as it may prevent not only an unexpected water bill in the future, but a sudden burst that may have been waiting to happen had regular maintenance been conducted.

Common Household Water Leaks That Are Affecting Your Water Bill

10 Common Household Water Leaks That Are Affecting Your Water Bill

Flexi hoses

The most common household water leak is the flex hose on your hot and cold water taps and mixer taps. These can be found under the kitchen sink, bathroom basin and laundry tub. You might also have a flexi hose connecting your toilet cistern to the stop tap.

Not all flexi hoses are equal but even the more reliable ones should be checked regularly. Any signs of fraying or corrosion and rust should be replaced as soon as possible.

burst flexible hose

T-Piece in Shower Combination/Bath Combination

Back in the day when copper pipes were welded, it was quite common for the t-piece (or sometimes known as a breach) in a shower combination or bath to crack due to age or movement of a property. This leak can be difficult to identify and fix as it’s concealed behind the walls. It’s most common to occur on bathrooms that are more 5 years old.

If the water meter dial continually clocks over when no water is being used in the house, this leak could be the cause.

Commons signs of a leak from a bath or shower breach include warping of walls or tiles lifting, swollen skirting and wet or moldy walls behind the shower. Thermal imaging can be used to identify a leak in the shower or bath wall.

If exploratory holes need to be made, ask your plumber to cut in plasterboard behind the shower wall and not through the tiled shower wall affecting the waterproof membrane.

Leaking Taps

A leaking tap can drip 20,000 Litres of water a year (according to Queensland Urban Utilities). That’s enough to fill 2 x 10,000Lt water tanks (if you need a visual representation!) Leaking taps can be caused from

Get your plumber out to fix these as soon as you identify a drip. In some cases, the taps may need to be replaced if parts can’t be sourced OR the seat of the tap has been worn down too much.

Check leaking taps around the home

Leaking Water Connection into House

Generally, the water line connection from your water meter to your house is usually run in black poly pipe.

Often the connection fittings weaken over time from ground movement and general wear and tear, causing a leak.

Other times, the pipe can be punctured from garden work.

If you see a damp, swampy patch in the front yard, there is most likely a water leak on your main water line. As a homeowner, this is your responsibility to get fixed. Council only fixes water leaks from the water meter to the street.

Dishwasher, Washing Machine and Fridges with Water and Ice Dispensers – Hose Bursts

Dishwashers and washing machine hoses should connect to a flood stop valve and a pressure limiting valve. The water is always on to these appliances, so the moment the hoses burst off, you can have full bore water running through your house because of the open taps.

To avoid an unexpected burst, dishwashers, washing machines and even fridges that have water dispensers, should have an

  • isolating valve, to turn off in an emergency.
  • flood stop valve so the water is automatically shut off the moment the hose bursts off.
  • Pressure limiting valve to reduce the water pressure feed to the appliance.

The warranty booklet of an appliance will recommend a pressure limiting valve at a minimum to prevent premature deterioration of the hoses to the water connections.

Under Sink Water Filters

Under sink water filters and their connecting pipes can be fiddly at the best of times. The plastic connections are notorious for wearing down over time and bursting. Usually, the connections will have a slow trickle of water before they burst.

Always check these connections when the filter is replaced. Having a towel or paper towel in the cabinetry can indicate a leak if you notice they are damp.

fusion-loc Under the Kitchen Sink Cupboard When There is Limited Space

Hot Water Units

Hot water unit leaks are most common on older hot water systems. Often, it’s connections to the valves that need to be tightened or replaced.

Sometimes the hot water unit may need to be replaced as the inner tank has rusted and water will leak from the bottom or the seams of the external tank.

The water will continue to fill the leaking tank, increasing your water bill. It is recommended to get your plumber to check your hot water unit every two years. If you see rust on any of the connections or the tank itself, make that the sign you need to call a plumber to inspect (and possibly replace) the hot water unit as soon as possible.

Leaking Toilet Cistern

A leaking toilet cistern is another fixture that will draw water to refill. If you notice water leaks into your toilet bowl or the cistern makes a filling or running sound every so often, you have a leak.

The two common areas for a toilet cistern leak are with the cistern inlet valve and the black flapper washer at the bottom of the cistern. Both will need to be replaced to fix the leak.

While you could fix this leak yourself, there are many toilet brands that require different inlet valves. It may be a time-consuming job to find the right one. Delegate the job to your plumber to save you time, as their experience will know what to order in for your toilet.

Which of the common household water leaks have you had in your home?

If you’re looking for ways to save water around the home, check out 30 Ways to Save Water at Home

30 ways to save water at home the plumbette