How to check for a leak if you have a water meter

Hi there, my name is Jason and I work for
South West Water and I’m here today to talk to you about the simple process to check for
leaks. Before you start the test make sure you don’t
need to use any water, make sure all the appliances that use water are switched off and make sure
all the taps are switched off too. Your internal stop tap is normally located
under your kitchen or under your bathroom sink, you need to be able to turn that valve
off and on to complete all of the checks on your water supply. Turn off the internal stop
tap, it usually closes in a clockwise direction and then turn the cold tap on to check that
its isolated. If the stop tap is working correctly the water
flow will stop within a few seconds. If not you need to get your stop tap repaired
in order to progress further with the leak tests. Your water meter is normally located at the
bottom of your garden or in the footpath closest to your property. You probably also need a screwdriver to lift
the lid and a cloth to wipe the meter. Remove any protective material and you’ll
need a cloth to wipe away the face of the meter to ensure you get an accurate reading. To find out if the meter you’re looking
at is yours you need to check the serial number on the meter. When you read the meter make sure you make
note of all the numbers on the dials. Small leaks will only be indicated on the
dials and not the numbers. Wait 30 minutes and then take another meter
reading, if the numbers are the same you probably don’t have a leak and there’s nothing
to worry about. It could be that your consumption is high
and you may need to speak to us. There’s a lot more information on It is important that you check all the numbers
on the dials, small leaks will only indicate on the dials, not the numbers. If you do notice a change between the two
readings this may suggest you have a leak on your supply pipe. The next step then is to find out if that
leak is outside or inside your property. So switch off your internal stop tap and take
another meter reading, noting all of the numbers. Wait 30 minutes and then take another reading. If the numbers have changed then you possibly
have a leak between your meter and your internal stop tap. If the numbers haven’t moved it may indicate
you have a problem after the internal stop tap, it isn’t sealing or you may not have
a leak. If carrying out the meter reading does not
indicate you have a leak and there no obvious explanation for your high water consumption,
the small centre dial on the meter will indicate very small leaks that it may not have indicated
in the 30 minute check you did earlier. Carry out the internal and external meter
readings again and look for a very slight movement on the dial. Then follow the solution steps depending on
the location of the leak. If you do discover an internal or external
leak you do need to get it repaired within 30 days and you need to tell South West Water. You can find a list of industry approved plumbers
on the Water Safe website, that’s We may be able to offer a contribution towards
the cost of a repair or a renewal and if you’re on a meter you may be able to claim a leak
allowance. Contact us on 0344 346 1010.

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