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Increased water bill

Discover how we helped a customer save on their water bill

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Increased water bill

One cold January morning, we received a call from a homeowner who had received a large water bill. The increased water bill was about 50% more than expected. She had checked around the house for obvious signs of a water leak and she had called her local plumber for assistance. Despite their best efforts they couldn’t find the leak, the water meter continued to spin no matter what they did. It was the plumber who recommended Peak Leak Detection.

We managed to schedule a visit within the week to carry out a leak detection survey. We started with a general visual inspection and also a conversation with the customer and the plumber who had called us. This is an essential step in the water leak detection process and helps us narrow down possible leak locations on the plumbing system. If the pipe is suitable, a pipe detection tool, similar to a metal detector might be used to locate the pipe run and help with the next step.

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After shutting off the stopcock, the water meter was turning, indicating to us that the leak was on the supply pipe between the water meter and the stopcock. Further tests ruled out a failed stopcock (even though the valve is closed some water can still pass when the mains shut off valve has failed!)
 
The water leak investigation concentrated on a leak in the underground pipe. Underground water leaks can be some of the most challenging to find. Water mains pipes I the UK are generally buried about a metre below the surface!
 
As much water as possible was drained from the pipe between the house and the water meter and our special lek detection tracer gas was injected in the pipe. At this point great care has to be taken to ensure that the gas pressure of the tracer gas in the pipe doesn’t become greater than the normal water pressure on the pipe. Our engineers can use their experience to tell when the pipe is full of gas. At this point the leak detection search can begin, using our gas detection probe the engineer can walk along the pipe, using the gas detector to check for tracer gas coming up through the ground from the break in the underground pipe, even through a metre of soil rock and concrete!
 
Once the gas detection probe has indicated the source of the leak we will often use a second or third technique to pinpoint the leak, underground features can interfere with our readings so a range of indicators and equipment are usually used before any work is done to expose the leak.
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The next step is to inform the customer of our findings, we never do anything destructive until we have got the customers permission and agreement. On this occasion the leak was under a flower bed so we made sure to dig carefully to protect the plants which had sentimental value to our customer.
             
After careful digging to expose the leak, we found an old repair on the underground pipe, it had clearly leaked many years ago and the repair had been exposed, a new piece of pipe inserted and the pipe re buried but the repair section had not been buried deep enough (regulations require the pipe the be buried between 750 mm to 1350 mm). The shallow pipe had been damaged by frost and sprung a leak. We exposed more of the pipe to allow us to repair the leak and re bury the pipe tom the correct depth to protect it from frost in the future.
             
After fixing the leak, we tested the pipe again to make sure there were no more leaks and to the customer’s delight the pipe was fixed, no more leaks were running and the high water bill should be back to normal. When the water bill has been affected by a leak then either an insurance claim can help or sometimes the water company will come to an agreement over the cost of the increased bill. When we got back to the office, our staff compiled a report and photographs to help the customer to reclaim her cost.
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50 years’ experience in domestic leak detection and commercial leak detection.

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Some Testimonies From Homeowners

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2 Mar 2023
“Excellent workmanship, extremely professional. Bob came out to see to a serious leak coming from a mains water pipe that was embedded in the concrete flooring of the flat above me. He responded extremely quickly and dealt with a difficult situation very calmly and efficiently.”

26 Feb 2023
“Great work by Steve and Robert, my water bill doubled and then we got a letter from the water board telling us we had a leak, the lads came out the next day and had it all fixed just after lunchtime!”

12 Feb 2023
“The water pressure dropped right down at my mums house and she couldn’t even fill the bath. Her driveway is really long but Steve found the leak within a couple of hours, the drive is thick concrete laid by my dad years ago so we agreed to get a local groundworker to dig up the pipe where Steve marked it, it was right under were he said. Then Steve came back to fix the pipe the next day. Then the groundworker came back to fill in the hole. Thanks Steve.”

12 Jan 2023
“Highly recommended, no nonsense team, much appreciated.”
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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions from our customers to help you find the answers you’re looking for faster.

Probably not today but most calls are attended within 48 hours, we can prioritise vulnerable customers –
elderly or with young children etc. Give us a call, we’ll be there soon.
In a word, “yes”. All our engineers are fully qualified, time served plumbers with nationally recognized plumbing qualifications, we have full insurance for public liability etc.
– Details available on request.
Good question, we specialise in hard to find, hidden leaks so it’s hard to give an estimate. We allocate half a day to find most plumbing leaks –
our priority is letting you get back on with your life.

We always try and fix the leak once we find it (it is a separately charged item). We are fully qualified
plumbers and bring all the materials likely to be needed to fix most leaks.

You will need to look for the words “trace and access” and “escape of water” in your cover documents or give your insurer a call for clarification.

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