Handy Hints Blog

How do you know if you have a leak?

  • 11 Oct 2017

Often we take our plumbing for granted. Unless we see a problem, we assume it's running smoothly. It's only when something goes wrong that we realise just how much we depend on it every day.

Leaks can occur at any time, in any home new or old. They can cause significant damage to your home if left undetected. Here are some things to check regularly to help prevent the distress of a leak.


Taps are the most obvious and easiest to check. If you find you are over-tightening your taps to turn them off completely, that indicates that the washer or mixer cartridge needs replacing.

Toilets are a common culprit of leaks and excess water consumption. There are a few checks you can do. First, check that when the toilet is flushed, no water comes through the pan collar at the base of the toilet.

Another check is the food dye check. To see if your cistern is draining into the bowl, drop a few drops of food colouring into the cistern tank, replace the lid and do not flush. Wait 10 -20 minutes and check the bowl to see if the food colouring as come down into it from the cistern. 

Shower leaks are detectable by any dripping or over tightening of taps, but they can also hide leaks in their tray. It is important to check for shower tray leaks to avoid costly damage to your home. If your showers are on the second floor of your home, you can check the ceilings underneath them. If your showers are located on the ground floor, check the surrounding walls and architraves. If you see dampness or water stains, this indicates a leak and it's important to have it looked at straight away as damp wood can attract termites. 


Flexi Hoses are commonly found connected to basins, toilets and sinks and they should be checked regularly for damage. A burst flexi hose can cause a lot of damage and are an all too common cause of flooding. They should be checked at least every six months and if you have concerns, have them replaced as soon as possible.

Water pipe leaks are a little difficult to identify as they are concealed in the walls of your home. If there is a leak, you may hear a hissing noise coming from your walls or there may be signs of damp. If you think you have a pipe leak, it's best to have a plumber take a look as they will have the proper equipment to locate and fix any problems.

Hot water leaks can be identified by checking for water leaking outside of the unit itself or by checking the valves. If you have an electric hot water system, there may be rusting at the bottom of the cylinder. For safety reasons, have any hot water issues checked by a licensed plumber and/or electrician.

If you are suspicious of a leak but are having trouble confirming the source, you can check your water meter. To do this, first turn off all taps and appliances. Locate your meter and check the reading. Wait 30 mins to 1 hour without using any water and check the reading again. If the meter has gone up or is continuing to roll numbers when nothing is running, this could indicate a leak somewhere in your pipes, hot water system or other plumbing that you cannot see. It is best to call a licensed plumber to identify the cause.

If you are unsure or suspect you have a leak somewhere in your home, give us a call on

1300 712 028

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