The photo on the right shows a root that has grown under the main water line running to the house and over time, as the root has grown, it has pushed up on the pipe until the pipe has cracked in half. If you look closely you can see that the root has actually grown halfway around the pipe and the pipe is now embedded in the root.
A leak of this size would typically leak the same amount of water as if you were running a basin tap constantly. The customer could have been losing as much as 3,000 litres of water or about $6.40 per day.
How To Spot A Leak
Water leaks can sometimes be difficult to detect depending on the terrain and the size of the leak. The easiest way is to check your water meter regularly. Most meters have a spinner that turns even if the leak is very small. Make sure all taps are turned off and turn off all toilets at the valve on the wall. If the spinner is turning very rapidly, you probably have a sizeable leak somewhere on the property.
You should also pay attention to any abnormal wet patches or puddles on the ground. These may not be near the leak itself, but unusual wet areas are a good indicator something is leaking underground.
If you find a wet patch you can have a dig around with a shovel, but many times water lines are very shallow in the ground so it is important to be careful when digging as copper (or plastic) is soft and can be punctured easily. And since the wet patch might not be near the leak itself, you don’t want to create a second leak.
You should also take care when driving wooden or metal posts or stakes into the ground as these will definitely puncture the pipe and cause a serious leak. If you don’t know where your water pipes are, we can arrange to have the pipe located and marked before you start your project.
What To Do
If you find the leak, or can’t find it and need our help, you can give Good Neighbour Plumbing a call at 9651 4884 and we’ll come and fix or locate it for you. If it is very difficult to find, we have a specialist locator we use to pinpoint the leak no matter how small or deep.
We then have the tools and experience to get the leak fixed quickly. We will also supply you with a Plumber’s Statement that allows you to claim the cost of the excess water from Sydney Water. Bear in mind, though, we can only provide you with the statement if we actually repair the leak ourselves.