Water leaks are a common problem faced by many homeowners, but when they occur, they are usually unexpected and can be overwhelming. Knowing how to manage the situation is crucial, whether it’s a mildly annoying dripping tap or a major plumbing disaster.
The best way to minimise damage is to detect the leak early and do something about it! Never ignore the situation, even if it’s only a small leak, because it can quickly become a much bigger problem and cost you a lot more money to fix. This means that early detection and timely intervention are key to minimising the impact of water leaks to your property.

When You Discover a Plumbing Leak

Assess the Situation

The first step is to assess the severity of the leak. Is it a slow, manageable drip or a substantial gushing leak? Minor leaks, like a dripping tap, often indicate wear in fixtures or pipes, while larger leaks, such as a burst pipe, could signal more serious issues. Identifying the type and size of the leak helps to determine the urgency of the situation and your subsequent actions.

Properly assessing the leak can make it easier to explain the problem to professionals when you need repairs. Identifying and clearly describing the leak can speed up the repair process and help prevent more damage to your home.

If you can’t find the source of the leak, given that toilets are one of the biggest causes of slow, insidious leaks, you can quickly confirm or eliminate it by adding food dye to the cistern water. If the dye ends up in the toilet bowl without being flushed – that’s the cause of your leak!

Prioritise Safety

Safety should be a priority with plumbing leaks. For minor leaks, ensure that the area is safe for your family, keeping children, pets, and electrical items away from any free-flowing or standing water. However, in cases of large leaks, especially those hidden behind walls, there’s always a risk of water coming into contact with electrical wiring. This is a particularly dangerous situation that needs immediate attention by a qualified plumber.

Find Your Water Meter

Locating and understanding your water meter is a critical step in managing a plumbing leak. If you share walls with neighbours, as in a duplex or apartment, ensure the leak is tied to your property by checking if your water meter indicates usage when all water sources are turned off. This applies equally to single-family homes because if your water meter is running when you’ve turned everything off, then the leak is on your property, and you should look to turn the mains water off before it gets any worse.

Contact Emergency Plumbers

Once you’ve taken these initial steps, it’s time to call in a professional plumber to manage the situation and fix the problem. An experienced plumber can accurately diagnose the cause of the leak, offer a permanent solution, and give you a free quote for the work.

Navigating Water Leaks with Confidence

Dealing with a plumbing leak can be stressful, but knowing the right steps to take can reduce this stress significantly. First, figure out the seriousness of the leak, then keep the area secure. Next, find your water meter, turn the mains off (if necessary) and call a professional for help. Taking these actions quickly and getting expert assistance is crucial to preventing the situation from worsening.