Undetected leaks

How do I know if I have a leak?

It’s really important that you know what’s going on at your house when it comes to water and usage - particularly as the days heat up and our patterns of water use increase.

It might be that you’ve noticed some greener patches around your yard, you can constantly hear running water, or that you have received a higher than usual water bill. You might have an undetected leak at your premises.

How to check if I have a leak?

If you suspect you might have a leak then it’s important that you know how to assess your meter at the earliest possible time.
You can do this by taking the following steps:

• Ensure no water is being used in your house (turn off all water appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers);

• Locate your meter and take a reading last thing at night (read the black numbers from left to right – they represent kilolitres (1000 litres) and the red numbers represent litres);

• The next day, take a reading first thing in the morning.

• If you have had movement on your meter (the red numbers) then the test confirms that there may be a leak and further investigation is required.

You can also watch our video on how to read a water meter here.

Where should I look for leaks?

Inside the home: look in the kitchen, bathroom/s and laundry for any dripping taps and washing machine and dishwasher connections, and damp patches on the walls. Also check your toilet cistern for leaks by placing a few drops of food colour in the tank. Without flushing it, see whether you can detect any colour in the toilet bowl.

Outside the home: look at your garden taps and hoses, garden reticulation (including sprinklers), automatic solenoids and manual isolation valves along with any exposed pipe work. Check hot water systems and air conditioning units. Also look for damp and unstable brick paving and garden areas that may be moist and greener than expected.

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If you're still not sure, download our 'High Water Use Checklist' for further ideas

How can I have a leak repaired?

Icon Water is responsible for up to and including the water meter. As a householder, you are responsible for maintenance of pipes and other water infrastructure on the "house" side of the meter and you therefore play a really important role in identifying anything out of the ordinary with regards to water usage. The earlier a leak or a problem is detected, the less financial pressure this will cause and the less valuable resource will be lost down the drain.

All plumbing work will need to be carried out by a licensed plumber and expenses covered by you. You can find a list of licensed plumbers by visiting http://www.masterplumbersact.asn.au/ or by calling 6112 8630.

Residential undetected leak allowance

If you have experienced an undetected water leak at your residential property, you may be eligible for a one-off allowance on your water consumption charges. Click here to find out more and access the application form.

Ongoing regular monitoring of your meter is important

We recommend that you regularly monitor your water usage to check for any potential problems – ideally on a monthly basis – but certainly at regular intervals throughout the year.

• Read your meter at approximately the same time each month (Note both the black and red numbers). 

• Calculate your monthly water use by deducting the previous meter reading from the current reading. 

• Calculate your daily water use by dividing by the number of days in the month.

For more information on water meters read our Domestic Meter Installations guide