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I want to know about leaks


How can I report a water leak?

Thanks for being a water leak spotter!

You can send us details of the water leak using our online report a leak form.

We will ask our technician to visit as soon as possible (within 3 working days). The technician will try to repair the leak if possible or will arrange for a gang to carry out the work. They'll also assess how urgent the leak is and will ask our planners to schedule in the repair.

If you believe the leak is an emergency please call us. An emergency is where there is any danger to the public, where flooding or damage is being caused to someone's home or business or where the water is causing a traffic hazard because of flooding or damage to the roadway. In these circumstances, you should telephone us straight away, so that we can attend urgently.

If the leak is on private land, perhaps from a leaking overflow or pipes in the ground, it is generally the responsibility of the landowner, householder or landlord and we may not be able to help. Please complete our report a leak form and we will be happy to investigate.

If the leak is on your own property but outside your building, you may need advice on repairing supply pipes, find out how we can help with your query. You, or the property owner if you are a tenant, will usually be responsible for carrying out repairs within the boundary of your property

If you are responsible for the maintenance of the water supply to your property, we recommend you consider protecting your home from unexpected water related emergencies with a range of cover brought to you by HomeServe Membership Ltd. Find out more about Homeserve. If you apply online you can also benefit from a generous discount.

Our affinity partner, HomeServe, also offers customers a cost-effective and reliable solution in the event of a plumbing, drainage or water supply pipe emergency. This service is offered to our customers who do not hold a HomeServe insurance policy and provides Instant Cover with a value promise.

  • HomeServe will agree to a price up front, no hidden call-out fees or hourly rate fees.
  • They will aim to be with you in 3 hours for emergencies or same day for water supply pipe jobs.
  • HomeServe only uses approved engineers who are monitored and audited for quality and expertise.
  • Repairs come with a guarantee and they are so confident in the quality of work that you don't need to pay until the work is done.


Who is responsible for leaks?

Leaks inside your property or on private land

If you have a leak inside your home or on your property, i.e. inside your property boundary, then you or your landlord are responsible. You may share responsibility if your property is on a shared supply. If you are a home owner, you should contact a plumber or your insurer, if you have a home protection policy. If you are a tenant you should contact your landlord or their repair team.

HomeServe offers our customers a cost-effective and reliable solution in the event of a plumbing, drainage or water supply pipe emergency. This service is offered to our customers who do not hold a HomeServe insurance policy and provides Instant Cover with a value promise.

  • HomeServe will agree a price up front, no hidden call-out fees or hourly rate fees.
  • They will aim to be with you in 3 hours for emergencies or same day for water supply pipe jobs.
  • HomeServe only use approved engineers who are monitored and audited for quality and expertise.
  • Repairs come with a guarantee and they are so confident in the quality of work that you don't need to pay until the work is done.

So, whether you have an internal leak, a blocked sink or toilet, a dripping tap or a range of other household emergencies, give HomeServe a call on 0800 032 7593, and they will be happy to help. Don't forget to mention that you are an Affinity Water customer and quote reference V10 to benefit from any special discounts.

Leaks from the mains on the public highway

If the leak is of fresh water on the public footpath or roadway outside your property boundary, we are usually responsible. You can report a leak online

Drainage emergencies

Unfortunately, we are not able to help with drainage emergencies. Find out who is responsible for Drainage emergencies in your area

Supply pipe leaks

We have a helpful leaflet covering supply pipe leaks.

In most cases, the pipework on your property running from the stopcock in the pavement to your internal stopcock, known as the supply pipe, is your responsibility and although we have no legal obligation to maintain it in most cases we will do the following:

  • If we think you have a leak on your supply pipe, we will visit your home to make an initial inspection which is free of charge. We may be able to advise you on the location and route of your pipe but we cannot guarantee to do so.

  • If a leak is confirmed we will give you a written report of our findings and we will set out the next steps.

  • Where the pipe is likely to be in good condition and we believe there is a good chance of locating and making a repair (we will not dig under any structure), we will make a single excavation to try and find the leak and then repair it. We will not make multiple repairs except as an emergency patch. This service is free of charge but this is at our discretion and is subject to terms and conditions available on request. If we do this and if the pipe is confirmed to be in good condition, you may qualify for a second free repair, subject to the same conditions as above.

  • If we cannot offer a free repair, or if you choose to replace the pipe instead of repair it, we will contribute towards a replacement. This will be explained in the written report that we give you.

In all cases where we excavate we will refill the hole and make it safe but we will not reinstate to match the existing finish.

Please note: We will do what we can to help but we do not guarantee to carry out any investigations nor to fix leaks on customer's property.

Find out more about supply pipe repairs

We have more information about leaks you may find useful.


What is a Waste of Water notice?

As part of our day-to-day leakage detection operations, we sometimes find leaks on pipework that is not a part of our network. If we detect a leak on privately owned pipework we have a duty to report it to whoever is responsible.

If we have sent you a Waste of Water Notice, it means we have detected a leak which is not our responsibility. It may be because it is a leak on your supply pipe or your internal plumbing or fittings. The leak may not be visible but usually, our leakage technicians have seen an abnormal pattern of usage or discovered the leak during a routine inspection. They will first check that there are no issues on our water network and then try to contact the owners of the leaking pipework.

Find out more about supply pipe leaks and pipework responsibilities

Why have you sent the notice to me?

We will always try to contact the owners of the pipework either directly through one of our community teams or our Customer Service Team will make contact. If we can't make contact with the owners in this way, we will send a leakage notification letter. If you have received a leakage notice or Waste Water notice from us, it is because we believe you are responsible for the leaking pipework.

We expect that the responsible person or company will make arrangements to get the leak repaired. This will probably mean arranging the contractor of their choice and agreeing a price. However, if the leak is not repaired, we may serve a legal notice under section 75 of the Water Industry Act 1991.

If you believe you are not responsible for repairing the leak, for example, if you are a tenant who is not responsible for repairs, please contact us. We would be grateful if you can provide details of who is responsible for repairs, for example, your landlord, council or managing agent


What happens if you discover a leak when you install my meter?

We follow a Code of Practice for leaks that occur on the supply pipe, which is the homeowner's responsibility to maintain. Under our Code of Practice, when we install the meter, we will check for leaks between the meter and your internal tap. If we find a leak we can repair without additional excavation, while fitting the meter we will repair the leak free of charge at the time of installation.

After installing the meter if we find a leak on the supply pipe within the boundary of your premises (not in or under a building), that requires further excavation to repair, we may also offer to repair the pipe free of charge.This service is offered to repair a leak found between the external stop tap and the property building boundary.

Leaks found to occur under the property itself are not included. Depending on the circumstance, we may attempt to fix very simple internal leak issues such as dripping taps and leaking dual flush toilets at our discretion.Any repair has a defects liability period of one year. Please note, the defect liability period covers the work done and does not guarantee a leak free supply for the defects liability period should a new leak occur from elsewhere.

Each customer can claim one single free repair for a maximum period of three months after the meter installation. If we are aware of a leak prior to a meter installation as part of our Water Metering Programme, a free repair will not be offered.


I have a high metered bill

Many of us have been spending more time at home this year. As a result, you may find you've been using more water than average. This can affect your bill. On top of this, Government guidelines during national lockdown meant we reduced our meter reading services and based your bill on an estimated read. However, now we have started reading meters again. These factors may have resulted in a higher bill than you were expecting.

If you have been significantly financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak we're here to help. You can find out more by visiting our support page.

Here are some simple things you can do:

  • Saving water: Keep an eye on your water use, we have lots of water saving tips, and you can even book a water efficiency check!
  • Direct Debit: You can set up monthly payments online on MyAccount to spread the cost of your bill. The easiest way to pay and once it’s set up, we’ll take care of the rest.

Understanding your bill

We have lots of advice and suggestions to help you understand your measured bill and to investigate possible leaks. You can also find out about how leakage might affect your bill

Other reasons for high water usage

Although increased usage is currently the most common, there are some other reasons for high usage that may affect your bill:

  • Internal plumbing problems created by dripping taps, washing machine flooding, overflow or ballcock problems in toilet cisterns or storage tanks
  • A leak on your private supply pipe
  • Building work and redecoration or a new lawn being laid leading to a higher than normal use of water
  • The number of occupants at the property has gone up since the previous bill (e.g. a baby or a new pet)

If you find that there is a leak on your side of the meter, you may be entitled to a one-off allowance against the cost of lost water.

In rare cases, particularly with older properties where there has been a change in the use of the property, such as a conversion of a house to flats, there may be a joint or shared water supply. So rather than indicating a possible leak or increased usage, the meter could be recording water being drawn off the mains by a neighbour. 

If you are responsible for the maintenance of the water supply to your property, we recommend you consider protecting your home from unexpected water related emergencies with a range of cover brought to you by HomeServce Membership Ltd. Find out more about HomeServe

Loggers

If you have carried out all the checks detailed in our tips to save water, energy and water leaflet, and are still concerned that you are using more water than you would expect, it is possible to request a logger which can give a more detailed picture of your water use. There is a charge for this service and there are limits to the information a logger can give you. Please contact us in the first instance. Our leakage team will be happy to carry out investigations and will ensure that fitting the logger is appropriate in your case.


Help with intermittent leaks

If your leak checks didn't find a free-flowing leak, or you are worried that an appliance is malfunctioning, then you may actually be using more water than you realise, or you may have an intermittent problem that uses water but not continually. Toilets are unfortunately very prone to leaking intermittently, and can use a lot of water without you realising it.

  • Intermittent problems, leaks and other issues that don't run continually can be harder to find because they may not be happening while you are checking. Broken pipes do not stop and start leaking, but appliances (such as toilet cisterns) can do this.

  • You may need to think about getting any appliances checked or serviced. You should check your toilets for signs of water draining into the pan long after flushing. If possible, isolate appliances one by one and see if your usage significantly changes.

  • Take more regular readings and check whether there is unusual usage when no-one is using the supply, for example by taking readings when everyone leaves the property in the morning and then comes back at the end of the day, or last thing at night and first thing in the morning. This can help you work out when the water is being used, and investigate further.

Help with toilet leaks

Toilet leaks can be very costly, and can be very difficult to find unless you know what you are looking for.

You can check for this yourself by placing toilet roll on the back of the toilet pan and checking for water – if your toilet has not been used recently then the paper should be dry, and if it is not then it is possible that your toilet is leaking water into the pan when it shouldn’t be.


I have a leak on my external stop tap

If you have a leak on your external stop tap, please contact us.

Please be aware that if the stop tap is outside in the ground, the chamber may fill with water when the weather has been very wet. If this is what is happening, the water will not usually flow out of the chamber and the chamber will empty when the weather is drier. This is usually not a leak but just groundwater collecting there and, which is something we cannot control.

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