Are you desperately searching for ‘leak detection Cape Town’ online in the hopes of finding some advice on how to identify and repair common leaks in your home?
Look no further because we’ve got all the answers. In this blog post, we will share with you the importance of leak detection, some useful information on how to find leaks around your property and a few DIY repair tips on how to fix common household leaks.
What is leak detection?
Leak detection is the process of identifying and locating water leaks in your home’s plumbing system. This can also include leaks in your pool, hot tub or spa. Leak detection involves the use of various techniques and tools to identify the location and extent of a leak. These techniques may include visual inspection, an acoustic water leak detector, gas-seeking machines, dyes and thermal imaging, to name a few. The choice of leak finder or leak detector machine used depends on the type of system and the nature of the leak.
Leak Detection Cape Town: Why it’s important to detect leaks in your home
In the last couple of years, Cape Town has experienced water shortages which have ultimately led to water restrictions, increased municipal bills and an increase in the cost of water. The City of Cape Town reports that a leaking toilet wastes 100 000 litres of water annually, which is the same as taking 3 baths per day. They also estimated that South Africa currently has 100 000 leaking toilets across the country!
Besides the obvious massive waste of water, performing a leak trace is a crucial part of home maintenance for the following reasons:
- Saves money: Unattended leaks can lead to a high water bill, expensive repair work and damage to your property.
- Helps to avoid structural damage: Water leaks damage the structural integrity of walls, ceilings, flooring and more.
- Health and safety: Leaks can cause mould, mildew and other bacterial growths that can lead to health issues.
- Maintaining property value: Water damage, black mould growth and discolouration can all negatively affect property value.
- Prolonging the lifespan of appliances: Leaks can damage dishwashers, washing machines, geysers and more.
- Water conservation: Even tiny leaks can waste a significant amount of water over time.
- Environmental impact: Sewage leaks can contaminate groundwater, or groundwater can enter through a broken pipe, contaminating drinking water and leading to health issues.
Detecting and repairing leaks can not only save water, help prevent high water bills and damage to your property, but it can also help reduce your carbon footprint, especially in water-scarce cities.
5 House Leak Detection Methods You Can Try
- Check your water meter
We recommend routinely checking your water meter at least once a month to ensure you do not have any leaks around your property. Here are the steps you will need to take to check for leaks using your water meter:
- Turn off all the taps in your home, including any appliances that use water, such as dishwashers and washing machines.
- Locate your water meter and find the low flow indicator. (This is usually a little cog, triangle or wheel that spins when water is flowing through the meter.)
- Watch the low flow indicator for a few moments closely. If it is completely still, then you do not have an obvious leak, but if it is moving even a tiny bit, then you need to call a plumber to perform a leak detection immediately before the leak can cause costly damage to your home.
If you notice a leak outside your property, you will need to report it to The City of Cape Town Water Leaks Department. Looking for The City of Cape Town water leaks contact number online? You can report leaks by calling this number 0860 103 089 or reach out to them on social media.
- Leak detection for your toilet
As we mentioned above, leaking toilets can waste 100s of litres of water each day. Here is a simple test that you can do at home to detect a leak in your toilet:
- Check that the toilet has been flushed after the last use; the bowl should be clean and the water clear.
- Open the cistern (toilet water reservoir) and drop in a few drops of food colouring into the water to stain it considerably.
- Leave the toilet for 30 minutes and do not flush the toilet (don’t forget to warn family members)
- After at least 30 minutes, check the colour of the water in the toilet bowl.
- If the water has changed colour, you have a leak coming from the cistern.
This test will not be able to tell you if you have a leak behind the toilet, but checking for standing water in the area often can help you decide if you have a leak in your sewage line.
- Inspect your water bill
Take a look at your water bills for the last six months; you should be able to see what your average water usage is and how much it costs you per month. If your water usage or monthly bill has increased exponentially without you changing your water habits, then it is likely you have a leak.
If you suspect a leak, we recommend following tip 1 and checking the low flow indicator. Sometimes the municipality estimates your water usage without getting an accurate reading. This can happen if they can’t gain access to your water meter for a variety of reasons. In this case, contact the municipality for more information.
- Perform a manual inspection of your home
Regularly inspecting your home for leaks can help you prevent costly repairs and expensive water bills. But sometimes leaks occur underground, and these are impossible to detect without professional leak detection methods. While plumbing leak detection and repairs are best left to professional plumbers in Cape Town, here are a few things that you can keep an eye out for when performing a manual inspection of your home:
- Listen for the sound of running or dripping water when water is not in use
- Notice if you feel any warm spots on the walls or floors within your home
- Vegetation that is growing unevenly in your garden can indicate a leak in that area
- Rising damp, especially in rooms other than the bathroom
- Check for spongy, wet or discoloured walls and floors
- Check for leaks in your pool or hot tub
Leaks in the plumbing, lining and paving of your pool or jacuzzi are common and often missed by homeowners until they cause significant damage. Here are the signs of a leak to watch out for:
- Water loss of over 4mm in 24 hours from your pool or hot tub
- Small or large cracks in the tiling, shell or deck of your pool
- Accelerated algae growth shortly after treating your pool with chemicals
- Long grass or vegetation that has sprouted up around your pool
- Your autofill is constantly running
- You see bubbles in your pool pump or piping
If you notice any of these signs of a leak, call Absolute Plumbing immediately so we can perform a pool leak detection before the leak causes expensive damage to your pool.
Leak Detection Cape Town: DIY Repair Tips for Homeowners
We understand that sometimes you would prefer to attempt to fix the issue on your own, so we have taken the 3 most commonly searched questions about leaks to see if we can provide you with some valuable advice on how to overcome these all-too-common problems.
How to fix a leaking tap
Fixing a leaking tap is a simple process that can save you money on your water bills and prevent water damage. With the right tools and some basic knowledge, you can fix a leaking tap in no time. Here’s how to replace a washer on a leaking tap:
- Turn off the water supply: Locate the shut-off valve under the sink or in your main water supply and turn it off to prevent water from flowing while you work on the tap.
- Remove the handle: Using a flat-head screwdriver or an Allen wrench, remove the handle from the tap. In some cases, the screw can be found underneath the decorative cap on the tap. Simply pop this off with a screwdriver.
- Unscrew the packing nut: Use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the packing nut that is holding the tap assembly in place.
- Remove the tap assembly: Carefully pull out the tap assembly from the faucet body.
- Replace the washer: Inside the tap assembly, there should be a washer at the end of the stem that needs to be replaced. Remove the old washer and replace it with a new one.
- Reassemble the tap: Put the tap assembly back in the faucet body and reattach the packing nut and handle.
- Turn on the water supply: Slowly turn on the water supply valve and check for leaks. If there are no leaks, turn the tap on and off a few times to make sure it’s working correctly.
If the tap is still leaking or if you’re not confident in your plumbing skills, it’s best to use professional plumbing services in Cape Town to avoid causing further damage to your taps.
How to fix a leaking toilet
A leaking toilet can waste a lot of water and cause damage to your home. Fixing it early can save you money and prevent further damage. By following these steps and checking the flapper valve and fill valve, you could potentially identify and fix the issue.
- Turn off the water: Look for the tap behind or next to the toilet and turn it off to stop the flow of water to the toilet.
- Empty the toilet tank: Flush the toilet to empty the tank of water. If the water level doesn’t drop much, use a bucket or a cup to scoop out the remaining water.
- Check the flapper valve: Lift the lid off the tank and check the flapper valve. The flapper is a rubber seal at the bottom of the tank that lifts up when you flush the toilet. If it is worn, misaligned or not functioning correctly, water may leak into the bowl.
- Replace the flapper valve: If the flapper valve is damaged, remove it by disconnecting it from the chain and sliding the new flapper valve in place. Adjust the chain so that it has the right amount of slack when the ball is in the down position.
- Check the fill valve: If the flapper valve is working correctly, the issue may be with the fill valve. To check the fill valve, turn the water supply valve back on and observe the level of water in the tank. If the water level rises too high and spills over the overflow tube, the fill valve may need adjustment or replacement.
- Replace the fill valve: If the fill valve is the issue, replace it by disconnecting it from the water supply, unscrewing the lock nut at the base of the tank, and lifting the fill valve out. Install the new fill valve, and adjust the water level as needed. Tighten the lock nut back in place.
- Test for leaks: Turn on the water supply valve and let the tank fill. Check for leaks at the connection points and in the bowl. You can also do the food colouring test above to ensure the leak is resolved.
If the issue persists or these steps sound too complicated, we recommend searching for ‘plumber near me’ on your browser or simply calling us at Absolute Plumbing.
How to fix a leaking geyser
A leaking geyser is a serious issue that requires a professional plumber to fix. Here’s if your geyser is leaking while you wait for a professional plumber to arrive:
- Turn off the power supply: If you have an electric geyser, turn off the power supply at the circuit breaker. If you have a gas geyser, turn off the gas supply valve.
- Turn off the water supply: Locate the water supply valve for the geyser and turn it off to stop the flow of water to the geyser.
- Drain the tank: Open a hot water tap near the geyser to release the pressure and drain the hot water in the tank.
- Call a professional plumber: Leaking geysers are complex appliances that require specialised knowledge and equipment to repair. A professional plumber can diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate solution for your specific geyser model.
Geysers are complex systems that require specialised knowledge to diagnose and repair. Attempting to fix a leaking geyser on your own can lead to further damage and potentially dangerous situations, such as gas leaks or electrical shocks. Attempting to fix a leaking geyser can also void your geyser warranty if not done properly. Using a professional plumber can ensure that the issue is resolved and provide peace of mind that your geyser is functioning safely and efficiently.
Leak Detection Cape Town: Why Choose Absolute Plumbing?
Absolute Plumbing offers professional leak detection in Cape Town that will quickly and efficiently find the source of your leak. Our team of expert plumbers will conduct a comprehensive inspection of your home in order to accurately pinpoint your leak. We use our no-dig solution in combination with our modern leak detection methods means we can find your leak fast with minimal disruption to your home.
No need to continue searching for ‘plumbers Cape Town or ‘leak detection cape town’ online; call Absolute Plumbing now for fast and affordable plumbing services with a smile.