How to diagnose leaking pipes

Leaking pipes, although potentially hard to find, can be repaired relatively easy. Let us show you how.

Experiencing a leak within your house can be a huge inconvenience, good thing for homeowners; most of the time, they are fairly easy to deal with. Whether it’s your toilet that is leaking or your overflow pipe, before getting stuck into any work, make sure you do the below:

  • Turn off your stop tap.

  • Drain your water system by running a tap until it stops.

  • Make sure you collect as much water as possible in buckets, baths and containers – you can use this water to flush the toilet – but DO NOT drink this water or use it for cooking.

  • If it's a heating pipe that is leaking, make sure that your central heating boiler is turned off.

  • Ensure that you don’t touch any electrical fittings that may have got wet – call in a qualified electrician to take care of these.

How to deal with a leaking toilet

There are four major causes of leaking toilets, these are; a cracked toilet pan, a damaged cistern or a leaking soil or overflow pipe. 

Damaged toilet pan

If you experience a leak in your toilet caused by a damaged toilet pan, there is a temporary fix that will keep your toilet working until you can get a professional to replace the whole pan.

If you can see the crack in the pan and it is easily reachable, the first thing you need to do is empty all of the water out of the pan.

Once this is done, you simply need to fill in any hole or crack using specialist putty – available to buy at most DIY stores.

As this is a temporary fix, you’ll need to replace the toilet pan as soon as possible and we recommend calling out a professional to do this.

Damaged Cistern

A damaged cistern can be treated in the same way that a damaged toilet pan, remove the water, apply the putty, get it fixed.

How to deal with a leaking soil pipe

You should be able to easily identify when there is a leaking soil pipe in your home; tell-tale signs and things to look out for are unpleasant smells and water draining too slowly from your toilet.

It can be hard to diagnose the cause for a leaky soil pipe if you aren’t professionally trained. Common causes and factors include cracked cement or a loose connector.

Due to the nature of what flows through soil pipes, repairs do tend to be very messy. So for a job of this sort we recommend you call in a professional plumber to get this sorted before it gets worse!

Leaking overflow pipe

One of the main causes for a leaking overflow pipe is the ballcock not fully shutting off the water tank's valve. This could be caused either by a damaged float valve or a worn washer.

How to replace a float valve or washer:

First you’ll need to purchase a replacement float valve or washer; you can pick one up from your local DIY store.

Turn off the cold water supply to the tank.

Remove enough water from the tank so that you can access the valve/washer.

Install the replacement part(s).

If, after you’re finished, the problem persists it could be an indication that the issue is something more serious. It’s at this point we recommended you call in a professional to take a look at this for you.

Read our disclaimer