A hard lesson learned by yours truly

  TopCat® 18:51 21 Aug 2014
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It is all 'water under the bridge' now but last month I received my annual water bill from my supplier. I was shocked to see that I owed them £2,638 for water and sewerage charges, even though we are on a meter and pay monthly by direct debit. Their meter reader used to visit twice a year but this was later reduced to one visit by the company.

Having regained my stunned senses I determined to investigate matters. Firstly, a check on the meter in the pavement showed the meter dial was whizzing round even though no water was being used. Next, I turned off the stopcock in the kitchen and rechecked outside - the meter dial was stationary. I was relieved to see this as I then knew that the main, blue service pipe from the meter to the stopcock, which we had installed several years ago, had not failed. This meant I wouldn't need to dig up the concrete brick-paved front garden to repair or replace it.

From the beginning I searched high and low for sounds of a leak but found nothing until carpets were pulled back and access panels removed from the suspended floors. I started to faintly hear water escaping but this increased as I found the actual one. It ran from the stopcock out to and under the solid floors of the added extensions and garage and up to its tap. The leak was from somewhere under those solid floors and was just running away into the ground!

Set about shutting off, cutting and sealing this pipe so we could have water on all the time. A plumber ran new piping out to the garage tap by re-routing the run to bypass the solid floors. All done and lagged at a cost of £168,including call-out charge. I helped where I could!

I explained everything to the water company and they sent an employee to check. By the size of the bill and the amount of water used, I would expect that leak started quite some time ago, to which he agreed. The sympathetic company later disregarded the hefty charge and left us showing £67 in credit! :)

I will be keeping an eye on our meter activity myself from now on, something I commend to others. TC.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:07 21 Aug 2014

Mother is about to have a meter fitted.

  Aitchbee 19:21 21 Aug 2014

I've got a small but continual leak 'somewhere' in my central heating system and it's starting to worry me. I know there's a leak 'somewhere' 'cos I've gotto top up the water pressure nearly everyday in order to run the hot water tap in my kitchen where the wall-mounted boiler is situated or else it makes a helluva racket. I will have to get a heating engineer out [before the winter sets in] to fix it but will have to clear-the-decks in my house beforehand in case the leak(s) is/are in the copper pipes under the floorboards [ which I suspect to be the case ;o[ ] ... this clearing task will not be easy! My neighbour who lives directly underneath me has not reported any damp spots appearing on her ceiling ... so far.

PS. I have been pestered [ with automated phone calls ] for the last year about the government's Green Deal Scheme but have not taken it up as I have heard many bad reports about it on the radio.

Hope you don't mind me mentioning this, TopCat.

  john bunyan 20:08 21 Aug 2014

I live about 150 metres down a private lane (not mine) and have a big garden that needs a lot of water, so I have resisted a water meter which would be 150 m away a) because I use a lot in the garden, and b) There is the risk of an un noticed leak in the long pipe run. I pay a fortune in "water rates " based on rateable house value but there you are.

TopCat®

Your ware company are to be congratulated on their pragmatic approach - would that mobile phone companies were the same in the case of "accidental" phone use abroad!

  rdave13 20:10 21 Aug 2014

I would recommend that no one installs a water meter. If the 'now' owner will possibly benefit by it by being a single person, then have a thought about the future owners, they'll have children and the hike from 'one to four' persons living there will make the water bill very expensive. Remember that once a water meter is installed in a private house it cannot be removed. It's a con.

As TopCat® 's post you will be liable to any water leaks within your boundary if metered. Whether you're aware of any such leaks or not. They're soft at collecting any monies now, with any leaks within your boundaries, but in the future it will be joe public being screwed again and will have to pay the full amount in future.

If you have a property to sell always state that there's no water meter installed and the charges go by the rateable value.

Will bump up the value of your property in the future I think.

  morddwyd 20:36 21 Aug 2014

Last time I thought about installing a water meter it turned out that the quarterly rental exceeded the water charge!

I thought perhaps I should not bother!

  bumpkin 20:46 21 Aug 2014

Sorry to disagree rdave, but in my instance 5 bed house 4 adults and 1 child uses a lot of water. I asked for a meter a few years back and the bill is about half of that which is rate related. Also had a leak on my supply pipe which although my responsibility they repaired at no charge and also gave me a refund of their estimated water loss which was far greater than the actual loss as I was reading the meter daily. Everyone in the house uses or wastes as much water as ever despite my attempts to discourage it but bill is still half what it would be.

  bumpkin 21:06 21 Aug 2014

Aitchbee, Try some Fernox leak sealer first before getting into major expense.

  TopCat® 21:10 21 Aug 2014

rdave13

I can't speak about the other water companies leakage terms but mine actually allows two cases of leakage. The first and only one occurring inside my property area is repaired free of charge and the second is subject to adjudication by the company, based on favourable reports from their staff who visited the site.

I think that is quite fair, all considered, and now it is up to me to check the meter from time to time.

At my previous home we also had a water meter installed and averaged about £250 yearly saving on our bill. TC.

  Aitchbee 21:20 21 Aug 2014

Thanks bumpkin, will look into that; but not sure how an amatuer like me would be able to 'introduce' it into the water system without causing a tsunami. :o]

  bumpkin 21:38 21 Aug 2014

Aitchbee, do you have a Magnaclean installed as part of you system, if not then you need to depressurize it to get it in. Not difficult.

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