4 Tips for Finding a Water Leak

4 Tips for Finding a Water Leak

From leaking taps to cracked pipes, there are many reasons you'll experience a water leak at home. So how do you find the leak and, more importantly, how do you repair it? Let's take a look.

How to Find Water Leaks

Sometimes, water leaks are pretty easy to identify. For example, if you find a wet patch on your floor, or you hear a dripping sound, you know there's a leak nearby. Other leaks are a little harder to find because they're really small, or they're hidden underground.

There are two main ways to find water leaks at home. If you want to identify a water leak, you can either:
  • Check the reading on your water meter; or
  • Look for the suspected leak on your own
To help you with your home inspection, here are four helpful tips for finding domestic water leaks.

Finding Water Leaks Without a Meter

If you can't check your water meter, there are three ways you can identify leaking pipes or taps:

1. Check the walls
If you're dealing with a water leak, you might see brown patches or mould on the wall. You might also identify condensation or damaged grout around wall tiles.

2. Inspect visible plumbing
This one's simple. Take a look around your:
  • Taps
  • Toilet cistern
  • Sink
  • Shower tray
  • Bathtub
Look for visible damp spots or obvious leaks, like a dripping showerhead. Broken caulking or loose floor tiles also suggest water damage.

3. Use your nose
Seriously. Damp patches, mould, and leaking sewage pipes all give off stinky smells. If you notice a strong smell, especially in your bathroom or outside around the sewage drains, you could have a leak.

Using a Water Meter to Find Leaks

This is the easiest way to detect leaks. Here's why.

4. Check Your Water Meter Reading
Are your water bills higher than usual, but you don't know why? Your water meter could reveal everything.
  • Turn off your taps.
  • Check the numbers on your water meter. Note them down.
  • Wait 10-15 minutes and check the reading again.
  • If there's a change in the figures, you have a water leak somewhere. The greater the reading change, the bigger the leak.

How to Fix a Water Leak

So now you've found a water leak, what do you do?

If it's a minor repair, like a tap washer, you can fix it yourself by simply removing the tap fixture and changing the washer. Just be sure to turn off the water first.

For larger leaks or leaks around heating tanks and sewage pipes, you should call a plumber. And if you can't find the leak, plumbers are your best option.

Finally, if you suspect you're dealing with a broken pipe, don't try to repair this yourself. Cracked or broken pipes will require a plumber to fix.


If you suspect there's a water leak at home, don't panic. Try to find the leak and call a plumber if you're unsure what to do. And remember, don't attempt any repairs you're uncomfortable with — that's what plumbers are for!