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Bloody mystery leak - has anyone used one of those leak detection companies?

(15 Posts)
BarbaraPalmer Sat 16-Aug-14 19:36:10

or have any idea how ££££ they are?

we have a leak under the house. No bloody clue as to where, but we can hear the sound of running water from pipes under the sink when nothing's on. Noise doesn't stop when our stopcock is turned, but does stop when we turn off the one in the street, so it's somewhere between the street and the kitchen. am quite keen on getting out the people with the detection equipment, so as to avoid having the whole kitchen dug up, but just wondered if anyone has a clue on cost, or can recommend anyone?

BarbaraPalmer Sun 17-Aug-14 09:29:50


wowfudge Sun 17-Aug-14 10:15:33

I think they are pretty accurate. We had a leak in the pipe from the street to the house, only way to stop it was to turn off the stopcock in the pavement. Cellar flooded because of it. When the people our insurers sent round to replace the pipe came to it, they located the cracked section of pipe straightaway and knew exactly where to dig in the garden.

PigletJohn Sun 17-Aug-14 10:33:16

If the house is 50 years or more old, it doesn't much matter exactly where the leak is, because you are going to have to run a new service pipe all the way to the road.

If the whole pipe is the same age, and is already leaking in one (or more) places today, why should it not start leaking in another part tomorrow?

If it is a lead pipe, see if your water co offers a subsidy for replacing lead. If so, ask them at once to test your drinking water for lead content. They may also offer a contribution to replacing a leaking pipe.

Havd the new pipe run in 25mm blue plastic, or 32mm if you have two bathrooms, with new full-bore stopcocks, and you will be delighted by the improved flow.

You, or a strong builder, are going to need to dig a 2 foot deep trench to lay the pipe, or you can have it moled if impossible to dig. The water co will inspect the pipe before connecting, unless you use one of their approved plumbers.

The sooner the better, because a leak under the house will weaken the foundations.

BarbaraPalmer Sun 17-Aug-14 13:01:58

thanks both

house is 120 years old, so we're prepared for the worst. we noticed the noise late on fri, and checked it out with the stopcocks on Sat.

Am going to get on the phone to the insurance first thing, although am reasonably certain we're not covered for the plumbing, just the patching up afterwards. Once I've spoken to the I'm going to get some one in to reveal the awful truth...

meadowquark Sun 17-Aug-14 13:12:16

I paid around 450 pounds for "water pipes survey" (cannot remember how exactly it was called). The guy stayed in my house for about 4 hours and checked pipes with his equipment and concluded that everything was OK. Mind you I did not have a leak, but was concerned with a musty smell in the house which he said it is normal for an old house.

PigletJohn Sun 17-Aug-14 13:44:19

keep the outside stopcock turned off as much as you can.

I had a case like this where a cellar was flooded due to a leaking pipe under a neighbour's house.

HappySunflower Sun 17-Aug-14 13:47:52

Call your water company first.
In my area, they are liable for any issues outside the property, and property owners are liable for things inside, so it is worth checking things out with them first as they may well come out and do a survey free of charge.

LBOCS Sun 17-Aug-14 13:57:59

The water company are only liable to the point where it is on your land, anything beyond that is your problem unfortunately.

Have a look to see if you have 'trace and access' cover OP - that might take some of the sting out of the work as it covers the labour cost involved in finding and accessing the leak (less any excess you have).

BarbaraPalmer Sun 17-Aug-14 14:01:44

don't think we have trace and access cover
<rues not thinking about this when buying insurance>

can't turn off the outside stopcock as it's shared. water company are not interested.

LBOCS Sun 17-Aug-14 14:04:18

Do check - it's not often advertised but a lot of insurers do cover it.

BarbaraPalmer Sun 17-Aug-14 14:12:25

LBOCS - just before you posted I was away checking. It appears that we may have some cover for this. Fingers crossed.

LBOCS Sun 17-Aug-14 22:17:10

Fingers crossed indeed! Good luck.

BarbaraPalmer Wed 20-Aug-14 11:05:32

just wanted to say thanks for all the advice.

the insurance will pay for trace and access - hurrah - although we have a hefty voluntary excess.

the trace and access guy has uncovered a hitherto unknown water feature in the garden, which he'll try to patch up today, but has echoed PigletJohn's thoughts that the whole pipe needs to go ASAP. We'll need to contact our regular plumber and get this arranged at heaven knows what cost.

The silver lining is that it appears that the supply pipe takes a very convoluted route via our back garden and around the semi next door, with only about 18inches worth running under the house, so at least we're not digging up the entire downstairs to get fixed.

PigletJohn Wed 20-Aug-14 11:24:23

remember to ask for the free lead content test, and look at the water co website to see what subsidies they offer.

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