Who is Responsible for Mains Water Pressure?
If you’re dealing with low water pressure in your home, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and blame your water supply company.
However, they aren’t as responsible for your mains water pressure as you may think. The guaranteed standards scheme states that water companies should maintain a minimum water pressure of seven metres static head. However, many set their own target of around 10 metres static head, or 1 bar of pressure.
It is important to note that this minimum level is only required in the communication pipe — this means that your supply company is only responsible for your mains water pressure up to the boundary of your property.
I Think My Mains Water Pressure is Low, What Should I Do?
Before you get in touch with your water supply company, you should check that the reason for your low water pressure isn’t a result of a problem in an area you are responsible.
To begin, you should check for internal and external leaks that could be reducing your home’s water pressure. Before you can identify any leaks, you’ll need to locate the correct meter supply for your home. Here’s how you do it:
1. Open your meter chamber and remove the polystyrene on top. Use a sponge to wipe away any surface water in the chamber.
2. Check the serial number on the meter against the number shown on your water bill.
3. Turn off the external stop tap.
4. Turn your cold-water tap on inside your home. If the water stops, you know that you have located the correct meter. If it doesn’t, you should get in touch with your water supply company.
Checking for Internal and External Leaks
Once you have identified which supply is yours, you can detect internal and external leaks:
1. Ensure your external stop tap is on and turn off the internal stop tap.
2. Check the dial on the external meter. If the numbers are moving despite the internal stop tap being turned off, there may be a leak on your supply pipe. If the numbers stay the same, there is no problem with your external supply.
3. To check if the leak is internal, turn the internal stop tap back on. Check the meter again — if the numbers have changed, there is a problem with your internal supply.
If you do think you have a leak, you should contact a certified plumber. They will be able to carry out more thorough testing to establish whether there is a leak in an underground pipe and repair any internal leaks.
Contact details for some of the major UK water supply companies can be found below:
PO Box 300
0345 717 1100
PO Box 52
0345 1 24 24 24
PO Box 4994
03457 145 145
PO Box 286
0800 316 9800
Severn Trent Water
PO Box 407,
0800 783 4444
South West Water
PO Box 4762,
0344 346 2020
Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water)
PO Box 690,
0800 052 0130
Can I Claim Compensation for Low Water Pressure?
If your water supply company fails to maintain the water pressure level on two occasions lasting for an hour or more in a period of 28 consecutive days, you could be entitled to a compensation payment of £25. This can either be paid directly to you by the company or credited to your account.
To make a compensation claim, you should write to the water company within three months of the last occasion of low water pressure.