Checking for Leaks
Use these four simple checks to see if you may have an internal plumbing issue in your home. These are especially useful if your water meter is indicating a leak at your property.
Check the toilet
- Listen - Is there a constant sound of water running from any of the toilet cisterns in your home?
- Check for a stream of water running inside the toilet bowl by placing a piece of toilet paper on the back of the toilet bowl. If it absorbs water there may be an issue.
Check the water storage tank
- Listen - Your water storage tank is usually located in the attic. Can you hear it refilling even when water-consuming appliances are not in use such as a tap, washing machine or toilet? It's useful to carry out this check at night when it's quiet.
- You can also check for signs of water coming from overflow pipes leading from the water storage tank, usually seen on the external wall on the side of your home.
Check the taps
- Listen - can you hear a tap dripping constantly?
- Check all your household and external garden taps for drips. A dripping tap can waste over 1,500 litres of water per year and can generally be repaired by replacing the washer.
Check water-consuming appliances
- Check all your water consuming appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers for plumbing issues. This includes dripping joints or leaking supply hoses.
Are you unable to carry out these checks?
Please call us on 1850 278 278 if you have mobility concerns with regard to carrying out any of these checks in your home.
First Fix Free scheme
If you have completed these checks in your home and are still concerned that you may have a leak, you could be eligible for a free leak investigation. Find out more about our First Fix Free scheme.
Checking for a leak using a water meter
To do this test you will need to be able to safely access:
- The inside stop valve, typically located under the kitchen sink.
- The water meter for your property, usually located in the footpath or verge outside your home.
You will need to leave the water off for about one hour to complete this check!
- Make sure all of your water-consuming appliances (washing machine, dishwasher etc) are switched off.
- Turn off your inside stop valve (you can check the kitchen tap to test this - no water should be flowing when you turn on the tap).
- Take a note of your meter reading. Your meter has dials that are divided into two sections - a black section and a red section, as shown below. If your meter has a clear lid which covers the dials you must firstly lift the lid in order to see these dials. Read the dials from left to right taking note of all the digits in the black dials and the first two digits in the red dials. You may not be able to view the last digit in the red dials, in some cases, but it is not needed for this test.
- Wait for one hour.
- After one hour, return to the water meter and take a second meter reading.
- If there is a difference between your first and second water meter readings you should contact Irish Water, this may indicate a leak on your external supply pipe.