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Wondering why your water bill is so high?

With the Gold Coast City Council recently posting out the quarterly Water and Sewerage Rate Notices we have noticed a spike in the number of calls for leaking water pipes.
A common theme is that the owners have been completely unaware that they have had a hidden water leak and only discovered the problem when they opened their bill, which unfortunately for some, contained a nasty shock.

Pipes Can Leak Without Any Outward Signs

The pure nature of plumbing, with pipes hidden underground or in walls, it often means that pipes can leak with no outward signs, especially in areas with sandy soil.  Couple this with the fact that the bills issued in early July are for water consumed between January and April, it is easy to see how charges can accumulate as a pipe could potentially leak undetected for a period of three months between billing cycles.

A pipe could potentially leak undetected for 3 months or more, between water rate billing cycles

How Well Was Your House Constructed

Unfortunately, as a home owner, there is little you can do to prevent leaks from the water meter to the house. Basically it gets down to how well it was installed when the house was built.

In our forty plus years of experience we have found that if a pipe is well protected in a bed of sand there are few problems. However if there are items such as pieces of tiles, small rocks or other building debris then the chances are you will have problems over time and in some instances repeated leaks.

Interesting Fact

An interesting fact is the incidents of water leaks increase when we have cycles of rain followed by dry spells and is likely caused by ground movement allowing any sharp or rough objects adjacent to the pipes to rub against its side with the potential to create a split or hole in the pipe.

Monitor Your Water Usage

As a home owner the most effective way of detecting a concealed leak is to monitor your water usage, this is especially important if you have experienced a previous leak.

Your bill will have a daily average usage calculated for you so by reading the meter you should be able to pick up any increase.

At Whywait Plumbing we recommend reading your water meter monthly.
Set a reminder for the first of each month, however if you have had previous leaks you may wish to do this more frequently.
If you suspect you may have a leak then doing an overnight meter check is a good way to confirm, however it is best to turn the water off to the cisterns in case someone gets up during the night and flushes the toilet and remember not to turn the dishwasher on before going to bed.  Not sure how to read your water meter? We tell you exactly what to do! Click here for instructions.

Consider A Leak Detection System

If you would prefer not to have the hassle of monitoring your households water usage then it is worth considering purchasing one of the Leak Detection Systems available on the market. We recommend Aquatrip a programmable Leak Detection System with an automatic shutoff valve.

Aquatrip is easily fitted on your main incoming water pipe, and acts as a Water Safety Trip Switch. It is designed to detect the difference between your normal water use and a leak and will shut off the water if a leak is detected or a tap, hose or appliance is left running.

If you suspect you have a leak or to find out more about the Aquatrip give our office a call to speak with one of our friendly staff.

 

Gary Mays is a Master Plumber and the owner of Whywait Plumbing Services. Since 1976 Gary has grown Whywait Plumbing into one of Queensland’s most respected, professional and innovative plumbing companies. Gary is a member of Gold Coast North Chamber of Commerce and is trusted by media to speak on matters of local infrastructure and development.