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Water Leaks - Water Bill Too High

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South Africa's High Water Consumption

Water conservation is very important in South Africa. With droughts and water cuts from water shedding we are all trying doing what we can to save water. But apart from this there is another major issue that needs to be addressed – water leaks. According to figures released in 2018 by the Department of Water Affairs, the country loses about a third of its water supply due to leaking taps and pipes. These two causes of water leaks amount to a huge waste of water country-wide and consequently add to an increasing high water bill.
We Fix Water Leaks - Leaking Taps and Leaking Pipes
Water Leaks - We Repair Leaking Toilets and Leaking Showers

Most Common Causes of a High Water Bill

The largest usage of household water is firstly from flushing the toilet, followed by taking showers and baths. Toilets can account for about 30 percent of the average household’s indoor water consumption. It therefore goes without saying that if your toilet, shower or bath is leaking your water bill is going to be extremely high. You can bring down your water consumption and reduce your water bill by fixing toilet leaks, investing in a more efficient toilet or by reducing the amount of water that fills the toilet tank by adding something like a brick, rock or water bottle into the cistern.

As for leaking pipes – they can be under sinks, under the house, inside the walls. Concerning water pipes on your property, we can detect, replace and repair the pipes. Concerning sewerage pipes, we can also help in fixing the problem swiftly with no further problems – backed by our workmanship guarantees.

These are the leading high water bill causes, and need to be identified and sorted out quickly.

We also sort out leaking geysers! Call us for a leaking geyser or burst geyser today!

Other Potential Causes of a High Water Bill - How to Save Water

When you are faced with an unexpected high water bill it is more likely to be caused by either Water Leakages or a Change in Water Consumption.

We list the most common causes here:

  • A leaking toilet. A toilet that keeps running even after being flushed.
  • A dripping tap can waste on average 75 liters of water per day. Properly turn off taps and repair faulty taps.
  • Your swimming pool. Overfilling or backwashing without monitoring.
  • Outside hoses. Watering the lawn, plants, trees and washing vehicles.
  • Extra people. Guests and family spending the holidays.
  • Water-cooled air conditioners.
  • Broken water pipes. Leaking pipes. Leaking geysers.
  • Water softener problem that cycle continuously.
  • Running the water to avoid freezing water pipes during cold weather.

These are the causes of overly high water usage and leakage that will present themselves and cause unexplained high water usage. So be observant of any changes to your daily routines or call us to do leak detection.

Why is my water bill so high? – Read the article here

Water Leaking and Water Consumption - The most common causes!

Some interesting statistics on water usage:

Here we list the main culprits and the average amounts of water used when doing the following household activities.
Be water wise. By knowing how much water is wasted on each chore, by simply adjusting the way in which you use water, you can drastically reduce water wastage and drop your water bills.

  1. TOILETS: A running toilet can waste up to 16000 litres of water in one year.
  2. TAPS: A leaking tap can waste up to 17 litres of water each minute.
  3. BATHROOMS: The bathroom uses on average 49% of the total household water consumption. This should be the first place in your house to monitor when trying top save water.
  4. SHOWERS: Showing for 8 minutes uses on average 120 litres of water – while showering for 5 minutes uses around 30 litres of water.
  5. BATHS: Bathing uses on average 90 litres of water.
  6. DISHWASHERS: A dishwasher uses on average less than 40 litres of water. Compared to washing dishes by hand, you can reduce your water consumption and your electricity consumption.
  7. WASHING CARS: Washing your car with a bucket uses on average 10 litres of water compared to using a hosepipe – which usesd a lot more.
  8. SPRINKLERS: A sprinkler can use up to 540 litres of water.
  9. BRUSHING YOUR TEETH: Running the water while brushing your teeth can waste about 6 litres of water. Only Use the tap to rinse or to fill a glass for brushing.
  10. WASHING HANDS: Washing your hands can use as much as 4 litres of water or more.
  11. KETTLES: Filling a kettle uses 2.5 litres of water. If you are making only one cup of coffe or tea, use only that much water – no need to fil it to the top.
  12. HOSEPIPES: A hose pipe without a trigger nozzle can use as much as 500 litres of water each hour.
Water Usage Statistics in South Africa. Save Water

Water Pipe Repair Services

We at Electricians-SA and Plumbers have the right plumbers who are experienced and the right equipment to detect the causes of your water leaks on site. We will investigate and identify the cause, quote and repair what needs fixing. You have peace of mind knowing that we know our business and that we are ready to assist when you need us!

Leaking Pipe Repairs

Leaking pipes not only waste a lot of water but they can cause a lot of damage to your household or business. There are also hazards involved with excessive water and flooding that can all be avoided if sorted out quickly.

Our master plumbers are qualified and proficient. We aim to provide our clients with quality products and excellent service. We offer over 10 years experience and the peace of mind that comes with calling our registered plumbers to assist.

Leaking pipes and burst pipes are usually easy to spot as they leave large puddles of water – but there are also pipes running underground and through the walls and roof. If these hidden water seepages start leaking or burst they may do a lot of damage before they are discovered.

Contact our trusted plumbers to trace and locate leaking pipes in your home or business. We are proficient and we come out as soon as possible to sort out the plumbing problem. We have local plumbers in Gauteng and Pretoria who are available to help.

Plumbers serving Gauteng for more than 20 years

Leak Detection Services to Find Hidden Leaks

Leak Detection Services

If your water bill is excessive and you need to check for a leak on your property, call us without delay. We have the tools and expertise to detect a leaks and we will discuss with you the best way forward that is affordable and complete.

Depending on the water leak we use leak detection equipment that can find hidden pipes that have been damaged. A water leak detector prevents unnecessary digging and lifting up of paving or breaking of concrete.

Saving Water Loss by Fixing Water Leaks. The cost to South Africans is staggering.

“A slow dripping tap or leaking toilet can on average waste up to 30 litres of water an hour. Multiply this over thousands of leaking pipes and taps across South Africa and you’ll begin to see the enormous amount of water we waste.

To conserve this life-giving resource, the 2015 “War on Leaks” project was a 5 year project to address water loss from leaks called on South Africans to fix leaking taps, toilets and pipes in their homes and communities.

“Water leaks accounts for nearly 36 per cent of the nation’s unaccounted for water and costs the country about R7 billion annually.”

Government used the project to turn the challenge of water loss into a job-creation opportunity. Young unemployed people to be trained as water agents to visit communities to investigate water leaks and teach people how to conserve water.

“Municipalities in the process of refurbishing the existing infrastructure, especially faulty and poorly maintained equipment as well as ageing infrastructure that results in leaks.”

By all of us taking action, we can combat this we could further eliminate wasteful water leaks and be on a path towards sustainable water conservation.

Phumla Williams – Deputy Director-General at GCIS explains.
Save Water by Fixing Leaks

How to Fix Leaking Pipes - Temporary and Permanent Fixes (A Quick DIY)

Leaking pipes if not sorted out can cause a lot of damage to your property. While you are waiting for a plumber you can employ a few temporary fixes or skip to number 4 to sort the problem out yourself.

The methods outlined below are:
  1. Shutting off the water
  2. Using epoxy putty
  3. Using pipe clamps
  4. Using a slip coupling – which is a permanent fix and is also regarded as “up to code.”
  5. Let’s begin:

    Be sure to turn off your water supply while you work so that they don’t leak while they’re being fixed.

Method 1: Turn off the water supply.

  1. Locate the main water supply and turn the tap completely clockwise. In an emergency phone your water company to shut off the water leading to your premises.
    If you have a leaking drain, then there is no need to shut off the water supply.

  2. Drain excess water from the tap/s.
    All taps connected to the leaking pipe need to be opened (completely anticlockwise) starting from the lowest tap until all the water has run out.

  3. Dry the leaking area on the pipe.
    Completely dry the area around the damaged pipe to make it easy to work on.
    Place a bucket or cloth under the leak to catch any excess water that may still drip out.
    Check to see what kind of leak you have. ie. There could be a hole in the pipe of a loose or damaged fitting.

Method 2: Applying epoxy putty as a temporary fix

  1. Wear latex or nitrile gloves.
    Because epoxy putty heats up when being worked with it can burn your bare hands. The gloves should not be too thick because you still need to have some dexterity. These can be bought from most hardware stores.

  2. Mix the epoxy by hand.
    Cut off even amounts of the dark and light epoxies. combine the two and knead them together between your fingers. The two become a consistent non-streaky grey colour.

  3. Wrap the putty around the hole.
    Mold the putty around the area that was leaking completely around the pipe. Make the thickness about 1.3cm so that it holds in place. Use tape on the edges to make a watertight seal. Epoxy works on straight pipe, edges and joints.

  4. Let it set for 10 minutes.
    Epoxy sets quickly once it has been mixed together. Within 5-10 minutes it should set hard and be solid. Once set, you can turn the water back on.

  5. * NOTE: Epoxy putty is only a temporary fix! Your pipe still needs to be replaced, so phone a plumber the next day. In fact, phone us! We are fully qualified and experienced to replace leaking pipes.

Method 3: Clamping small leaks

  1. Buy a pipe clamp to fit the leaking pipe.
    Pipe clamps use rubber gaskets to create a tight seal around small leaks on pipes. Make sure to buy a pipe clamp that is the same diameter as the as your pipe and at least as long as the section of pipe that’s leaking. Pipe clamps work well on copper pipes and PVC pipes. You can purchase them from most hardware stores.

  2. Align the rubber gasket.
    The rectangular rubber gasket sits inside the clamp. Align the rubber gasket on top of the hole or tear in the pipe to seal it completely.

  3. Fit the clamp around the gasket and tighten.
    Place the clamp around the rubber gasket while it is in place. Close the clamp around the pipe tightly and then feed the bolts through the clamp holes provided. Tighten the nuts on the ends of the bolts using a wrench or spanner. Continue to tighten the nuts until the entire clamp is tighten in place.

  4. NOTE: Clamps are only a temporary fix. You still need to replace the pipe or call a qualified plumber to replace the pipe for you. We are available to replace leaking and burst pipes, so call us today.

Method 4: Place a Slip Coupling on the Leaking Pipe

  1. Purchase a slip coupling that matches the size and type of the leaking pipe.
    Copper pipes need a copper slip coupling and likewise you need to purchase a PVC slip coupling for PVC pipe.
    Slip couplings connect two pieces of pipe by creating a watertight connection. The slip coupling must be the same diameter as the pipe and be long enough to replace the piece of pipe you are cutting out.
    Slip couplings can be a permanent solution to fixing a leaking pipe and they are also up to code.

  2. Mark the length of the slip coupling on your pipe.
    Hold the slip coupling up to the break in the pipe and make sure it extends out on either side. Use a marker to mark lines on the pipe where the ends of the slip coupling sides end. This ensures that you cut out the correct length of pipe and that the slip coupling will fit.

  3. Cut out the damaged area of pipe.
    Use a pipe cutter – a small device that easily slices through pipes works by rotating the device around the pipe. Mark the pipe where you want to cut out. To cut off the leaky area of the pipe set the edge of the pipe cutter 2.5cm inside the line you drew (allowing the blade to meet the line). Tighten the device (with the screw of the bottom) and rotate once completely around the pipe. Tighten the screw again. Keep spinning / rotating and tightening the pipe cutter until it has cleanly cut the pipe. Do the same for the other side of the pipe.
    You can purchase pipe cutters for both metal and PVC pipes.

  4. * NOTE: Some PVC pipe cutters look like a pair of scissors. By placing the blade over the line of the pipe and slowly squeezing the cutters will shut and cut the PVC pipe.

    * NOTE: Using a hacksaw may also work, but may not allow such a clean cut.

  5. Using a deburring tool, scrape the inside and outside of the pipe.
    A deburring tool assists in shaping the edge of the pipe after it has been cut. If you are right handed, hold the pipe in your left hand and set the blade edge inside the pipe. Scrape the inside of the pipe to deburr it. After you’ve done that, deburr the outside edge of the pipe.

    * NOTE: Make sure to deburr both sides of the pipe to prevent leaks.

  6. Slide the slip coupling onto the ends of your pipe.
  7. Take the coupling and slide one end over the one side of the pipe. Push the coupling far enough onto the pipe to line up the other end of the coupling with the other end of the pipe. Line up the other end of the coupling with the pipe and pull it over so that the two pipes now connect.

    * NOTE: Some couplings tighten by hand and others need a pair of pliers / wrench. Follow the directions precisely for each type of slip coupling.

    * WARNING: If the leaking pipe is difficult to reach or you don’t fancy yourself a handyman, contact us and we will send one of our plumbers to quickly assist in repairing the leaking pipe.

    Contact a plumber if you don’t feel comfortable cutting or replacing your own pipes or if the leak is difficult to reach.

    Article Co-authored by James Schuelke and Hunter Rising
    Read the article here

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