Leaks - Prevention & Repair

Leaks come in all shapes and sizes.  Common causes of high water usage in our area are issues with irrigation systems, toilet leaks, water softener issues, dripping outside showers or spigots.  Believe it or not, we also see many leaks in the winter due to freezing temperatures!

NOTE:  Bogue Banks Water can look for signs of a leak at the meter but it is the customer's responsibility to handle issues between the meter and house.  We do not turn off water at customer valves but can turn off our valve in emergencies (ie. when a leak is visible and no one is home to turn off the customer valve).  Repairs after the meter are the customer's responsibility.  

  • ALL WEATHER LEAKS:  To start, here is a link with some general information on checking for and locating various leaks. www.home-water-works.org/indoor-use/leaks  BBWC meters have a handy leak detector (a small red triangle) that will turn if any water is passing through the meter.  This can be an additional help to taking meter readings at various intervals.   
  • WINTER & FROZEN PIPES:  Water expands as it freezes.  Yes, we are on the coast but we do experience freezing temps during the winter.  If your pipes have water in them and they are exposed to the cold, the water can freeze.  Your pipes are not flexible - therefore the freezing water may very well crack the pipe, causing a major leak once the ice starts to thaw.  This can happen to your home even if you live there full time and run the heat indoors.

          What can I do to prevent frozen pipes?

  1. Locate any water lines at your home in unheated areas – (crawl space, outside showers etc) and insulate them. You can purchase “pipe sleeves” or “heat tape” but even ¼” of newspaper wrapped around the pipes can provide significant protection in areas that do not have frequent or prolonged freezing temperatures.
  2. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  3. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.Let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Even a trickle can help prevent the pipes from freezing.
  4. Let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Even a trickle can help prevent the pipes from freezing.  
  5. If you are accustomed to lowering your thermostat at night, forego this habit. The difference in your electric bill will still be cheaper than a broken water pipe repair job.
  6. If you will be away from home during the cold weather, leave your thermostat on at least 55 degrees F.  If you will be gone for an extended time you might want to WINTERIZE YOUR HOME.

        Winterizing your pipes:   Many of our customers winterize their homes' plumbing.  They typically contact their property management company or a local plumber to do this job (see our list of local plumbers on the All Forms tab).  If you are a do-it-yourself-er, you can find tips online.  NOTE: When turning off your water, for winterizing or any other reason, DO NOT USE THE BBWC VALVE.  Each home should have a customer valve near the street for this purpose.  If your valve is missing or broken you will need to hire a plumber to repair/install the valve.

       MORE TIPS:  For more information on both preventing AND repairing leaks, check out some of these additional websites:

       http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes

       http://www.bobvila.com/articles/winterizing-pipes/#.VOuLGy4e2h8

       http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20315602,00.html