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What is Your Responsibility as a Homeowner with Your Water Supply Pipe?

One of the most misunderstood areas around the pipes in and out of your home surrounds the water supply pipe. Many homeowners don’t understand their responsibilities regarding it and think that if something goes wrong, it is down to the water company but this isn’t always the case.

Types of pipes

There are three main types of pipes that bring water to the property and these have differing ownerships: • Water mains are the big pipes that are used to distribute water around all of the properties in the area and are most often found under roads • Communication pipes are the ones that carry water from those mains pipes to the boundary of the property. Sometimes there is a stop-tap fitted here that will mark the end of the communication pipe but not always • Supply pipes are the smaller pipes that carry water from the communication pipe into the house. They run from the boundary of the property, say the front fence and include a stop tap in the property Of these three types of pipes, the first two are the responsibility of the water company and if there is a leak or a blockage, then they will need to deal with it. The third, supply pipes, are the responsibility of the homeowner or homeowners if the pipe supplies more than one property.

Cover for water pipes

Typical home insurance won’t cover problems with your water supply pipe. If your water supply pipe bursts and causes a leak that means the garden footpath needs lifting to deal with, for example, your normal home insurance won’t cover the costs.

You can take a separate type of insurance that does cover the water pipes that you are responsible for. Many of the water companies offer this kind of cover and some home emergency policies also offer cover so look to see what you already have before taking additional policies.

Problems with leaking water pipes

When the water pipe leaking is outside your house but still on your property, it may not seem a big issue. But sometimes homeowners are given a specific time limit in which to fix the problem – under the Water Industry Act 1991, you can be issued with a legal notice from the water company to deal with the problem.

Water leaks can lead to other problems such as waste water and damage to property if the leak is forceful enough. Also isolating the leak can be tricky, especially when the pipes are underground. Traditional methods of leak detection can lead to serious disruption to your home while the location of the leak is isolated. If the leak cannot be found on first visit, you may have to arrange for other plumbers to come and inspect the leak which can cause a huge delay not to mention disruption.

Specialists companies offer fast leak detection services that don’t require every area of the ground to be lifted to find the problem. These companies use the Ferret Leak Locator to explore the water supply pipes to find leaks. This way you don’t need to suffer any more disruption than necessary to fix the water supply pipe and, if you check your existing home insurance policy you may already have cover. But do check and if not, look into a separate insurance.

Concerned about your responsibilities as a homeowner and having pipe or water issues? We can offer professional advice and further information about our products. If you would like to find out more get in touch by giving us a call on 0800 292 2835. Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form and we will get back to you.