How much does it cost to fix a water leak?

 In News

The true price of a water leak is far more than the initial outlay to repair it. On a metered supply the costs start to accumulate as soon as water begins to escape from the pipe, and for many businesses these creep up un-noticed until either a bill arrives alerting them to the over consumption or a water company inspector posts a leak notice through the door giving them just 14 days to respond.

All too frequently surrounding damage and resultant downtime can hit companies just as hard and lead to number crunching in other areas of the business. Identifying a problem early is the key to preventing those same costs from spiralling.

The Maths

At a headline level, the cost to a business of each cubic meter of clean water lost is £2.18. In reality that figure is increased by a further £1.68 in return to sewer charges for every cubic metre of clean water squandered – amounting to £3.86 per cubic metre in total*.

The maths can be scaled to provide information on the costs of a leak over time. Should a business lose 526 m3 of water a year through leakage for instance it will cost £2,029 in addition to the cost of the water used by the business, a high and avoidable fee. The longer the problem goes unnoticed however, the worse the financial hit.

Leaks of around 12 litres a minute for example will add around £24,346 to a water bill. Anything above that rate of loss is considered a serious leak, where losses will set you back £26,000+.

Naturally, the sooner a company or homeowner can react to tell tale signs, the better. Indicators may include an unexpected hike in your monthly water bill or a slower flow of water throughout the premises. Elsewhere, wet patches can be a sign when a leak develops but are very rare as usually the water escapes without trace. Should any of the aforementioned materialise, a proactive response will lessen eventual expenditure.

The best and by far the most effective way to spot leaks is to monitor the meter readings regularly as this will alert you to a rise in consumption well in advance of the next bill. There are lots of technologies available to assist businesses with doing this automatically, and any forward-thinking business would be wise to look at installing a device as part of their Energy Management Plan.

Here at Pipefix we specialise in the identification, isolation and correction of leaks and are proud to say we have never failed in this regard. In those rare instances where we are unable to fix a problem upon arrival, we will apply a temporary repair that ensures the water supply is at least restored in the meantime.

Our specially trained engineers deploy a host of tools designed to restore water systems both above and underground. These include the likes of acoustic microphones, moisture meters and thermal imaging devices, all combining to paint a picture of the leak and inform decisions on how best to correct it.

Unfortunately, the true extent of a water leak is often not felt until after it is repaired. Indeed, only then can the actual damage be assessed. Worse case scenarios involve structural damage; staining, discoloration and streaks upon walls. These  are glaring and immediate after effects. Less obvious is wear and tear to support beams; weathering that threatens the very security of the building and those within it.

Further fall out may involve the markings of furniture and carpeting, not to mention rusted metal – real eyesores that impact the look and feel of any home or working environment. In a business sense, this can impinge on staff and client perceptions.

In many cases a period of downtime is enforced while a makeover ensues. The true cost of such periods of inactivity will differ according to the industry and business of course but few can afford to shut down altogether. When the option of working from home is not viable, that is unavoidable.

Here at Pipefix we seek to repair leaks with reduced disruption, endeavouring to reinstate surface finishes whether made of tarmac, concrete or paving. The greater the damage however, the more difficult this becomes. We may reinstate but cannot decorate!

Bring In The Professionals

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the cost of a water leak will increase exponentially if calling upon the wrong servicemen to repair it. Pipefix are regularly sought out to correct not just a leak but a job badly executed. Should a leak arise it pays to bring in the professionals. Pipefix have a rich history of restoring water systems in various sectors – ranging from agriculture to hospitality which is why we are the only independent contractor that are officially endorsed by Wessex Water.

Research also plays its part and guards against appointing unsuitable contractors. Horror stories we have heard include engineers drilling into cables as opposed to pipes and subsequently killing power throughout office blocks. Clearly, that comes at added expense, worsening the problem.

In summary water leaks are a costly inconvenience but one that could lead to a much bigger and uglier outlay if handled in the wrong way.

If you suspect a water leak has developed in your home or place of work contact Pipefix today. Whatever the problem, we will fix it.

* Figures are based on retail charges implemented by Water2Business in 2017-18 and quantify the obvious cost of a water leak.
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