Fixing Water Leaks and Water Leak Detection by Marianne B. Conway
Fixing Water Leaks
For help and information on leaks, bursts, burst mains, water pressure and other water or sewerage related problems your water supplier should have a dedicated emergency line.
If the leak is inside your house, then you should call a plumber. It will be your or your landlord’s responsibility to fix this. You should turn the water supply off at the mains to prevent further damage.
If the leak is from your water meter or between your house and the boundary of your property (your service pipe) you are usually responsible for repairing it. You will need to hire a contractor to find out where the link is then carry out the repair. Your water supplier should be able to provide you with a list of contractors.
After the pipe has been repaired most water companies should reimburse you with a one off payment towards the repair on receipt of the invoice. There will usually be maximum amount payable and certain conditions, for example, that the repairs were carried out within 30 days of finding out about the leak.
If the leak is outside the property boundary then you should contact your water supplier to arrange repairs.
A dripping tap can be an annoyance as well as a waste of water, a waste of energy if it is a hot tap, and can leave nasty stains on your bath or sink. It is also easier to fix than you might think, often just a replacement washer is needed, and by doing it yourself, you could save on expensive plumbing costs.
You'll need a spanner, a flathead and crosshead screwdriver, a cloth and some wire wool, washers
There are a few different types of taps:
- Taps that turn on and off with a quarter of a turn - ceramic discs inside a replaceable cartridge.
- Taps that take several turns - rubber sealing washers, different sizes depending on whether they are basin or bath taps.
- Mixer taps - often small washers.
As different taps will have different size washers, it is worth checking which one you need first and taking the old one in as an example or buying a selection so that you are sure you will have the correct size.
You will need to turn of the water supply to the tap, this will either be by turning the supply off completely - usually under or near the kitchen sink - or if the supply pipe to the tap has an isolating valve, you can turn the water off here by turning the valve ball will a screwdriver. Once done, you should open the tap up fully to check the water is off. A trickle of water may come out but that should be all.
Take off the screw handle. Depending on what type of tap it is you can either just:
- Pull it off.
- Unscrew the screw from under the hot or cold indicator disc and then pull it off.
- Undo the small screw set in its underside - if an old style tap.
Once the handle is removed, you should now see the stem of the tap with a brass nut holding it in place. Unscrew this buy turning it anti clockwise with a spanner, then lift out the tap stem.
The washer is on the bottom of this piece, you need to prise it off and clean any corrosion or scale off the stem with wire wool and a cloth before putting a new washer, the same size back on. You may be able to just push it back on, or it may be held on by a small nut.
Reassemble the tap correctly and turn on your water supply. You should have fixed the dripping tap and saved yourself some money.
Marianne B. Conway
Water Leak Detection Water Leak Detection Equipment
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