Finding leaks is often pretty easy, although it is not uncommon for plumbers to be telephoned and asked " water is dripping from the light fitting" or " water is running down the walls of my living room". Both of these scenarios are very common and sometimes it is not obvious exactly where the water is coming from.If a leak develops in a upstairs room then the water often finds it way to the hole which is made for the wire that is feeding the light in that room, hence the water will drip through the light fitting first. If the leak is not remedied fast the plaster or plasterboard on the ceiling can become saturated which will mean that it may bulge or even break away, this then means an expensive repair job!

If the leak is really bad and a large amount of water is falling from the ceiling then you must shut off the water supply to the house as quickly as possible, instructions on how to do this are here. If there is only a slight drip then it is possible that you have a pipe or fitting that is leaking slightly, turning off the water before you find the cause of the drip may prevent you from finding the leak as it is not always obvious. As soon as you find the leak you can isolate the water supply and fix the leak.Leaking Water in the home can come from several places, the first and most obvious is the roof! Your roof is one of the most important structures in the home and should always be kept in good condition, any leaks should be fixed by a roofer or competent person. The central heating system could be leaking or the pipes that supply the bathroom could be leaking or any of the waste pipes.

Where to look first-

Has any work been done on your home in the last few months, such as plumbing work, or has someone nailed down loose floorboards? If so then this is an obvious place to start looking. Water dripping down a wall in a downstairs room normally means that a shower or bath could be incorrectly sealed against the wall and leaking, has someone recently used the shower?

Before lifting up the floorboards you should check all union joints and tap connectors in the bathroom, it is not unusual for a tap connector to start dripping and for the water to run down the pipe, round two bends and travel 6 feet along the pipe before dripping off and causing the leak to show.


tap connectors

Check all tap connectors for leaks by wiping around and below them with some dry tissue, if the tissue becomes wet then you may have a leak. In some cases you will find condensation on some pipes which is perfectly normal.

check compression fittings for leaks

Check all visible compression fittings for signs of leaking

check under bath for leaks

Remove the bath panel and check the tap connectors and the pipes supplying the bath.

 Check the toilet and all of the pipes feeding the toilet and the waste pipe. Also check the valves at the bottom of the radiator or towel heater, If you have a combination boiler and a leak develops it will loose pressure and stop working until the leak is rectified and the boiler is re-pressurised, instructions on how to do this are here- combi boiler pressure

If you still cannot find the leak then you will have to start lifting the floorboards to find the leak!