Challenges With Leak Between Water Meter and House
Having a leak between meter and houses is not uncommon but it brings about a number of challenges that need considering and, in some instances, it can be much more complicated than finding a leak in your home or business. This is not least because the distance between your water meter and your house can be considerable, in some instances this could be many hundreds of meters!
On top of this, as we will see in this helpful guide, there can be a number of various materials that mean underground water leak detection is required (as it will usually be below the surface). The materials involved each have their own challenges, as you will see.
You may be interested in our article about who is responsible for a water leak outside too. In that we explain how, commonly, it is the responsibility of the bill payer / property owner on their land.
Leak Between Meter and House – Knowing you Have one
One of the first obvious question is – how do you know you have water leak between meter and house? Let’s look at that now, firstly explaining the signs and then how you know that it is within that range and not somewhere else inside your property.
With regards to the signs that could indicate a leak between the house and meter, see our article about the signs of a water leak at your home as many of those could apply to this too.
Now that you suspect you have a leak between the water meter and house, how can you know that for sure? Well here is a really useful tip, step by step:
- Firstly, given this topic, you most likely have a water meter
- Next, make sure nobody is currently using water in the home
- You may need help with this if you are unsure about this.
- If it is safe to do so and you feel confident, then…
- Check if your water meter reading is still spinning / moving
- That indicates you are likely losing water in your pipework
- Next, turn off your internal stop tap supply to the house
- If the meter is still spinning at the same rate it’s not beyond that
- So indicating a likely leak between meter and house
- This is because you have isolated that part of the water feed
If this leads you to think you might not have a water leak between meter and houses, then you may think it is an external mains water leak. If you think that, see our guide to reporting a water leak.
Finding a Water Leak Between Meter and House
So now that you know, or at least strongly suspect you have a water leak between meter and house on your land, how do you best find it? Well this is where water leak detection services like us can help. We have experienced staff who are leak detection experts, they have a lot of training, skills and professional leak detection equipment to help maximise the chances of finding your leak.
To see the benefits of using someone like us, see our guide to leak detection specialists where we explain some additional useful information about our services and expertise. So, following on from that, what is the best leak detection equipment when you have a leak between meter and house?
Well firstly, it’s important to cover what is less likely to be used in finding leaks of this nature. We are not saying these would never be used, but they are more likely to be beneficial indoors.
That would include things such as Thermal Imaging Leak Detection which are more common for things like when you have a boiler leaking. The other thing, which could be used somewhat, but is far more commonly used indoors is equipment such as a moisture meter.
That said, here are some other things beneficial for a leak between meter and house:
- Acoustic Listening Devices to listen for the sound of a leak
- This enables Acoustic Leak Detection
- Pipe Detectors to track the route of pipes across property
- Tracer Gas Leak Detection to ‘sniff’ out for leaks in pipes
- Collectively working to detect burst pipes
Clearly, the application of these may be made more challenging depending on what materials cover the surface over the leak between meter and houses, we will discuss that next.
Leak Between Meter and House – Materials Covering the Leak
Just like in a house where you can have a variety of leaks such as a leak under floorboards or even a ceiling leak (such as a shower leaking through ceiling), different materials will be involved from wood, to plasterboard, tiles, laminate or even concrete. The same applies outside.
Depending on where the pipework goes when you have a leak between meter and house, the materials may vary and there may be more than one to consider. We will now look at some of the possible materials you could need to consider and explain the challenges with each.
A common material that your leak between meter and house could go under is paving slabs (or stone) or a leak under block paving driveway. Clearly, both are solid surfaces that, depending on the specific design and construction, could help conduct or supress the sound of a water leak.
They key difference is that whereas block paving may be loosely fitted, slabs or stones are likely to be fixed in with mortared joints. Therefore making it harder to access the leak.
Next on the list is having a leak under concrete driveway or tarmac. Like the previous example, both are solid. However, although wherever possible we use non-invasive methods to access water leaks, there is generally little chance of accessing them without some impact on surfaces.
Clearly, this has implications on the machinery, time and labour involved in accessing a leak between meter and houses. Especially as they are commonly one solid, joined-up piece.
Next we look at when a leak between meter and house happens to manifest itself as a leak under grass or gravel in your garden. Both of these are likely to have soil underneath.
The challenge with both is that the gravel and grass can potentially compromise the leak detection process, especially interfering with or ‘deadening’ sounds. However, they are both generally more accessible than some of the previous examples, with superficial or shorter-term damage.
Finally on the list, we consider a water leak under decking in the garden. This is perhaps less common, in part because decking is often more common in back gardens and having a water leak between meter and houses is more commonly in the front garden of a property.
That said, it will certainly affect the leak detection process as there will be very likely an air gap between the surface of the decking and the subsoil below, where the pipes are buried. Whether the decking can be lifted or dismantled will depend on the design.
Water Leak Between Meter and House – Conclusion
We hope you enjoyed our guide to having a water leak between the house and meter in your home or business (remember we do commercial leak detection too!). As you have hopefully seen, there are a lot of things to factor into consideration and that is why each trace and access job is different.
The other thing to remember is the time of year as doing it on a dry summer day is very different to a rainy day or where there is cold frost and ice leading to a frozen pipe leak.
To discuss your outside water leak between the house and meter, contact us today for help.
Here are a few other articles you may be interested in too:
- Loft Tank Leaks
- Pressure Relief Valve Guide
- Humidity In House Vs Outside
- Bathroom Leaks
- Water Leak Insurance Claims
Water Leak Between House and Meter – FAQs:
Who’s responsible for leak water meter inside house?
Who is responsible for a leak from a water meter in your house may depend. Generally, if it is the actual water meter leaking, then it will be the water company (if it is one of their meters and not one for other purposes). However, if it is a leak in the pipework connected to the meter, this may depend, especially if it is before or after the water meter.
Who pays for a water leak outside the house?
The person or company who is responsible for paying for a water leak outside your house will depend on the location and circumstances of the house involved. This is because, where exactly the leak is located, will impact whose land it is on. Generally, but not always, if it is on your land, you are more likely to be responsible for finding and fixing it.
Will I be charged for a water leak?
Whether or not you will be charged for a water leak will depend on the location in relation to your property. Generally, if the leak is outside the boundary of your property then the local water company is most likely to be charged with fixing it, but if it is on your land, you may be liable to pay. That said, depending on your home insurance, that could cover the cost.