If you don’t know where to start or want to talk through your situation, give The Leak Team a call on 0330 102 5572 we will always give free and helpful advice over the phone.
The information below may help you pin point the leak without having to call us out, or you can find more useful Free Advice Articles here.
CENTRAL HEATING LEAKS
When they suspect a hidden leak, most people, in the first instance, turn to their plumber or a plumber they have found by recommendation or on the internet. The plumber comes out checks what he/she can and if no leak is found, tells you that you have a leak on your heating pipes or water supply pipes, gives you a bill and walks away. Sometimes they take one look say they will get back to you and never do; some are happy to tell you they can’t help. None of this leaves you very much further forward in finding your leak.
The plumber who checks your heating system does not usually have enough time to do this job thoroughly enough, so here are a few pointers to rule out a leak on your pressurised boiler. This work should only be carried out by a competent person, speak to your plumber if you need more advice.
- Pressurise the boiler and heating system to its normal working pressure, usually between 1bar and 1.5 bar of pressure. (The system should be off and cold at this point) Take a note of the pressure and the time the reading was taken. A photo on your phone is a good record of this.
- Isolate the boiler from the heating pipes and radiator. There are normally valves under the boiler on the flow and return pipework. If these valves are not there or not working, have new ones fitted.
- Leave the system for a period of 6 hours. It is very important that the boiler is not used in this time as it could cause it damage.
- Record the pressure and time again, a photo on your phone is a good way to do this to compare with the photo taken in stage one. (ensure the photo is take from exactly the same point and angle in front of the pressure gauge )
- If the pressure has fallen then the boiler is losing pressure ( or the valves don’t work). Open the valves; if the pressure gauge rises then the boiler has a leak. If the pressure does not move, the valves should be inspected. If the pressure drops further, there may be more than one leak.
- If the pressure does not fall then there is no leak on the boiler when it is not running. (It is still possible that there may be a leak on the boiler, but only when hot). Open the valves and watch the gauge carefully as its done; if there is no pressure drop then this indicates a leak only when the system is hot, if the pressure drops as the valves are opened this shows that the pipework has been leaking while the boiler was isolated. The amount of loss in 6 hours is very relevant to our chances of a successful leak detection. Phone us on 0800 464 0330 for further advice.
If the pressure falls when the valves are opened then the heating pipes/system have a leak. Phone The Leak Team for advice on 0800 464 0330
The plumber should have checked inside the boiler housing for signs of a leak which could be pooling water, small drips or a build-up of salts which indicate evaporating water. All of these would indicate a boiler leak which the plumber should be able to fix.
The plumber should also check the boiler’s pressure release valve for leaks. This is a safety device which vents pressure from your heating system if the pressure builds too high. High pressure could cause damage to your property and cause possible injury to you.
A simple test for this is to find where the pressure release pipe goes, usually to the outside of the property and place a balloon over the end of the pipe. This should only be done by a competent person, please seek professional advice. Never block this pipe or seal it!
If any water builds up in the balloon then there is a leak from the pressure release valve, get your plumber to fix it.
HAVE YOU HAD A LARGE WATER BILL?
You may have had a large water bill which indicates you may have a water leak. Your water company may have investigated and told you that you have a leak.
Our advice is that first of all you need to monitor your water consumption. Take a reading every day and calculate your annual water consumption.
Follow this link to show the average amount of water you should be consuming. If the levels seem correct go back to your water provider and challenge the bill. If you are using way over the levels indicated you most likely have a leak.
The first thing to check is whether the leak is before or after your stop cock.
Follow these simple steps to check;
Do not use any water in the property whilst performing the check.
- Monitor the water meter for an hour, take a reading and shut off every tap and water consuming device within the property so there is no demand; does the meter stop turning?
- If your meter has moved within that hour, you have a water leak. Take a second reading at the end of the hour to quantify how many litres have been lost.
- Carry out the same test again, but with the internal stop cock to the property turned off.
- If the meter has not moved in the second hour then you know that the leak is somewhere inside the property, past the point of the stop cock. If the meter continues to move at the same rate for the second hour, you know that the leak is between the water meter and the stop cock.
- Now you need to find your leak! Call The Leak Team on 0330 1025572 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about our NO FIND:NO FEE guarantee.
Call The Leak Team 0800 464 0330 for help and advice.
If the leak is between the stopcock and water meter contact your water provider they may find and fix your leak for free, or check their website for details.
HOW DO I FIND MY STOP COCK ADVICE?
The stopcock is a valve for turning off and on the cold water system in your home. When you turn the stopcock in a clockwise direction the water supply will be shut off. You can turn the water supply back on by turning the stopcock in an anti-clockwise direction.
Stopcocks are usually found on an internal wall in your kitchen, below the sink unit. In some houses the stopcock is found in a front or back hall or in a larder unit beside the sink unit. However some properties, typically conversions to multiple occupation, do not seem to have one! Even though they should, of course. If you can’t find an internal stopcock, an external stopcock can usually be found under a small square iron & plastic cover in the pavement It sometimes needs to be dug out & turned on & off with a special turnkey.
It is important that you know where the stopcock is and that you check that your stopcock is working.
How do I check my stopcock?
Run the cold water tap in your kitchen and turn the stopcock in a clockwise direction to check if the cold water turns off.
Please feel free to contact us any time for advice on all manner of leaks inside or outside your property. You can email us at email@example.com