A water leak can be a big problem for your business. Leaks are often hidden, such as an underground leak, and can be difficult to identify. This will potentially waste thousands of litres of water… that your business will be paying for! For example, a moderate leak (1 litre per second) on the mains could add approximately £55,000 to your annual water bill.
The longer a leak is undetected, the more risk there is that water damage could affect the infrastructure of your premises. This will not only result in expensive repairs, but also cause disruption to your business.
Leaks occur when the water pipes become damaged. This can be for a number of reasons. If you have older metal pipes, there could be problems with corrosion or metal fatigue. If the temperature has been low enough to freeze the water in your pipes, there could be damage. Alternatively, volatile water pressure or blockages can put undue pressure on the pipes, which causes damage.
While you won’t see a hidden leak, there are a number of warning signs that will give you an indication there may be a problem. First and foremost is that you will have an unexpectedly high water bill. This is why it’s so important to monitor your water meter(s) and submit meter readings on a regular basis. By understanding what your business’s normal water consumption is, it will become obvious when there’s an unexpected spike in water usage. If the additional usage can’t be explained any other way, then you should investigate a possible leak.
Other indications you have a hidden leak are unexplained flooding or pools of water, penetrating damp in the floors and walls, or mould. In the grounds of your premises, look out for unexpected patches of green areas - they’ll be particularly obvious in the drier months.
If you are seeing signs of having a hidden leak, there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure. This does depend on being certain there are no water appliances being used on your premises, so you will need to do this outside business hours.
Firstly, make sure all the taps are turned off across the premises and no other water devices are being used, e.g. dishwashers. Take a water meter reading and wait for 30 minutes or so before taking a second reading. If there is a difference in the readings, this may indicate that you do have a leak.
If your leak is above ground, call your plumber. However, if you think you have a hidden leak underground, contact your business water supplier for further assistance.
Castle Water provide a range of specialist business water services that can help track your water usage and detect leaks:
For more information on detecting leaks, take a look at our leak assistance guide.
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