Experienced Domestic and Commercial Plumbers
We understand that sometimes it can be hard to identify issues with your plumbing, so we have put together this handy guide to help you spot issues that you may need help with.
How do I spot a leak in my home or business?
The most common sources of leaks in the home are toilets, dripping taps, showers, radiators and pipework. We would also recommend keeping an eye out for poorly plumbed appliances and water tank or cistern in the loft overflows and don’t forget to check outside taps too.
Some leaks can be hidden from view and easy to miss and if you are on a meter, having a higher bill may also mean that there is a leak in your pipes or appliances.
Where is my meter located?
Inside your home, your meter is normally fitted close to your internal stop tap, which is either under the kitchen sink, in the downstairs toilet or in your garage.
Outside it will be near the boundary of your home, for example in the front garden, your driveway or on the footpath. A screwdriver may be required to lift the outer lid and sometimes you will find it in a wall-mounted box on the side of your house.
How Do I Check my Meter?
Here is how you can check your meter in five simple steps –
- Turn off all the taps and appliances in the house that use water
- Wait 30 minutes, which allows any tanks and cisterns to fill up – then write down your current meter reading, including the red digits.
- Take a second reading two hours later or overnight, making sure no water has been used in the meantime.
- Check the meter reading again (especially the red digits) and if the reading is higher this means there could be a leak in your home.
- If you are not on a meter, signs of a leak could be one of the following –
• Loss of pressure
• Areas of lush vegetation – could be a symptom of a recent leak during dry periods
• Areas of reduced vegetation – this could be a symptom of a long term leak
• Damp patches on walls, floors or carpets
• Mould on ceilings and walls
• A constant noise of flowing water coming from the pipes in your home
If you have a leak on your supply pipe outside your home, check with your water supplier as they may be able to help you to repair it. If you think your property has a leak contact Ignite Facilities and we can help sort it out in no time.
How do I tell if my toilet is leaking?
As we have previously mentioned, toilets are one of the most common leaks in the home with roughly 1 in 10 homes and businesses having a leaky loo.
A toilet that leaks clean water from the cistern to the pan can waste up to 400 litres of water a day (that equals 5 full bathtubs) and add around £300 a year to your water bill (if left unfixed).
A constant trickling sound at the back of the toilet pan is a clear sign that something is amiss, although some leaks are silent and easy to miss.
What is the banging noise in my pipes?
If you hear banging or noises in your property’s pipes, some of the possible causes are –
• Faulty ball valves can make noise
• If pipes are not clipped correctly, they may move and hit against walls/flooring
• If air is trapped at the stop tap, this can cause the pipes to vibrate and cause a hammering/banging sound
• Loose-fitting washers (jumpers) in stop taps.
Our plumbers will be able to help you to fix all of these issues.
What Should my Water Pressure be?
Water pressure in your home varies based upon the location, type and height of the property plus the type of appliances used and how much water is being used by other customers.
Water pressure varies at different times of day, with pressure normally being higher late at night when small amounts of water are being taken from the mains network and taps are turned off. Mornings are commonly when people are taking baths or having a show. In the summer watering your garden on a hot evening means there is a bigger demand for water which leads to low pressure.
Water suppliers’ statutory service standard level of mains water pressure is 10 metres/head which means there is enough force/pressure to push the water to a height of 10m. This is measured at the point where the water leaves the water suppliers’ pipework and enter yours through the outside stop valve or property boundary.
What Temperature should Cold Water be Distributed at?
The temperature of the water inside cold water pipes should not be warmed above 25ºC and ideally not above 20ºC. Adequate measures need to be taken to ensure this temperature isn’t exceeded.
What Temperature should Hot Water be stored at?
Defra guidance states hot water should be stored at a temperature of not less than 60ºC and distributed at a temperature no less than 55ºC. Where hot water is provided instantaneously or by combination boilers this water distribution temperature may not be achievable.
When practicable it should also reach your tap and be at least 50ºC within 30 seconds after fully opening the tap. These criteria are not achievable where hot water is provided by combination boilers or instantaneously.
How can I reduce the risk of burns and scalding?
Ignite Facilities recommend using a qualified plumber who can advise on the use of thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) with showers or taps to reduce the risk of scalding and burns and making sure these devices are maintained annually.
TMVs allow for water to be stored at a high enough temperature to kill harmful microorganisms but also reduce it to a safe temperature at the point it comes out of the tap or shower by mixing it with the cold water supply. TMVs can also maintain the pre-set and safe temperature even when the water pressure fluctuates when other appliances are used. Please note, TMVs will shut down the flow if the hot or cold water supply fails.