Detecting leaks

Leaks can be extremely wasteful and costly. Regularly checking taps, pipes and fittings around your property could save precious water and precious money!

Leak detective (man with magnifying glass)

You can use the following steps to check your water meter regularly and proactively check for signs of leaks – or download our 3 step check poster as a reminder:

Inside the home

Look in the kitchen, bathroom/s and laundry for dripping taps or leaking washing machine and dishwasher connections. Damp patches on the walls may also indicate a leak.

You can check your toilet cistern for leaks by placing a few drops of food colouring in the tank. Without flushing it, look for colouring in the toilet bowl. If it's getting through then you have a leak.

Outside the home

Look around your garden at: 

  • outdoor garden taps/hoses
  • garden irrigation (including sprinklers)
  • automatic solenoids and manual isolation valves
  • exposed pipe work.

Check your hot water systems and air conditioning units. 

Also look for damp and unstable brick paving and garden areas that may be moist and greener than expected.

To conduct a leak detection test yourself, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Ensure no water is being used in your house (turn off all water appliances, such as washing machines and evaporative air conditioners).

Step 2: Read the black and red numbers on your meter. Record the black numbers from left to right. The black numbers represent kilolitres (1,000 litres) and the red numbers represent litres.

Step 3: If the dial is not visibly moving, take another reading after 15 minutes.

Step 4: If the red numbers have changed, the test confirms there is a leak and further investigation is needed.

All plumbing work carried out in WA must be completed by a licensed plumber or tradesperson working under the direction of a licensed plumber. You can search online for tradespeople who are endorsed as waterwise and are up-to-date on water saving plumbing practices.

Search for a Waterwise Plumber

Once the repairs have been completed, carry out the leak detection test again to confirm the leak had stopped. It is not unusual to have more than 1 leak.

We may offer a leak allowance if you have had undetectable leaks repaired by a licensed plumber.

In the event of a leak in your irrigation system, the system must be brought up to standard (including a manual isolation valve and master solenoid) and verified by a Waterwise Garden Irrigator. 

Search for Waterwise Garden Irrigators

You will need to make sure the licensed plumber or waterwise garden irrigator completes the leak allowance application form, which provides us with details regarding the leak, and that the repairs are carried out. For more information, read our Leak Allowance Policy.

The stop tap, which is found at the water meter, is installed to temporarily stop the flow of water when carrying out routine repairs and maintenance.

We understand that you may need to use this tap when an internal leak is present, however it is not a long term solution and the property owner should arrange to have the repairs completed as a matter of priority. 

Whilst we supply water to the property boundary up to the water meter, property owners are responsible for:

  • the cost of any water use registered on the water meter
  • all water used or lost through the internal water service
  • ensuring the internal water service is in good condition.

If you require water supply to the property to be turned off regularly, or for an extended period of time, a manual isolation valve must be installed on the internal pipework. 

You may also be interested in

Water problem?

Report a fault now
pipe wrench

Further investigation needed?

See common reasons for a high bill
magnifying glass