Mains water leak

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We live in a detached house built in 1979.

Yesterday morning the dog was barking at about 8am. I looked out of the window to see a man in an orange hi-viz, putting around looking at the water shut off valves at the end of my drive and the neighbour's drives. I didn't think much more of it.

Then today I got a call to say that they want to come round and 'gas' the pipe as they think there is a leak.

They said if it is their side of the shut off valve then they will sort it, otherwise I have 14 days to rectify it on my property.

There is no sign of a leak, there isn't any standing water, the garden is dry.

From what I can tell the pipe goes under the tarmac drive, under the concrete floor of the garage, then turns and goes under the concrete floor in the kitchen to the stop cock in the kitchen.

Water pressure is excellent in the house. I don't know if it is coincidence though but on flushing one of the upstairs toilets today, there was a bit of a gurgling sound in the pipe as it filled (the cistern is mains fed).

I'm just a bit worried that they might say we have a leak on our side and demand it is sorted within 14 days.

Has anyone got any experience with this? Do they located the leak for you? Is this sort of thing covered under buildings insurance?

Can anyone fix it, or does it have to be an authorised repairer?

Thanks
 
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CBW

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Gas doesn’t leak water. Orange high vis jackets are often Cadent or other ESP.
 
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Gas doesn’t leak water. Orange high vis jackets are usually Cadent or other ESP.
It was Severn Trent water phoning, I couldn't see a logo on the man's clothes who was looking around on the drive etc.

It is the water pipes. They are saying they will come and 'gas' the pipes. I asked what this meant and the telephone operator said that they would disconnect the water and pump gas into the pipe so that they can use a sniffer to detect where the leak is.
 
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CBW

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They probably have an indication of a leak somewhere then. Sound s more likely their side.
 
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The theory is that by putting a hydrogen / nitrogen gas mixture into the water pipes they can then use sensitive hydrogen sensors to detect gas where it is seeping out of the ground as a rough indication of the location of the leak. I recall that it is not necessary to drain the pipes of water as the gases are reasonable soluble in water.
 
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Do you have a water meter fitted at the property boundary? If you turn off the water at your internal stopcock and the water meter is still turning, then the leak must be after the meter and therefore your responsibility.
 
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Do you have a water meter fitted at the property boundary? If you turn off the water at your internal stopcock and the water meter is still turning, then the leak must be after the meter and therefore your responsibility.
No we aren't on a meter, so we can't use that test.
 

CBW

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Can you hear water running in your pipework? If yes, you could turn the internal stopcock off and hear if it gets louder.
 
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Can you hear water running in your pipework? If yes, you could turn the internal stopcock off and hear if it gets louder.
Why would it get louder, the leak will still be passing the same amount of water whether the stopcock is open or closed?
 

CBW

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Why would it get louder, the leak will still be passing the same amount of water whether the stopcock is open or closed?
Outlets are used and the noise is more sporadic. From the boundary to the incoming is a short leg.
 
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Can you hear water running in your pipework? If yes, you could turn the internal stopcock off and hear if it gets louder.
No can't hear anything when all is quiet.

The only thing that we've had is that if we go out all day and then flush an upstairs toilet then you can hear a bit of air in the pipe. When we've been around using water all day if doesn't do it at all.

It did only do that once though, we haven't been out all day since!
 
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If they come back and confirm that you have a leak on your side it is your responsibility to sort it usually.

Then you have the challenge of working out if it is an internal leak in your property or an external one which there are tests that can be done.

Might be worth checking if you have trace and access cover on your home insurance as that could cover the cost of finding and fixing your leak.

If the leak is inside then clearly water damage is a potential issue too.
 

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