Burst pipes in Spain

Life in Spain Wed, 21 Nov 2012
Burst pipes in Spain

There’s one story that keeps cropping up every so often in the free paper. The story goes like this. Someone receives a water bill for an extortionate amount of money and hasn’t got a clue why. Burst pipes are a common problem in Spain. It’s a particularly harsh and unfortunate situation that pops up every so often to plague an unsuspecting resident or non-resident.

Water leaks in Spain can go undetected for days and even weeks. Old pipes, subject to slight movements of earth suddenly split below ground and the result? You discover at some point that you have been watering the urbanisation’s foundations with enough water to fill a swimming pool. And, of course, there’s a bill to match. So what can you do to protect yourself from the worry of having a burst pipe in Spain?

One thing you can’t do, is to rely on your home insurance policy. Most insurance policies will not cover you for water leaks in Spain. They will usually include cover for damage done to house contents if you have a leaked pipe internally, but that’s probably about it. Repair of the pipe and the payment for the bill itself are unlikely to be covered. In some cases, the cost of lost water can be into thousands of euros, so it really is worth applying a few precautionary measures.

If you leave your property for any period of time you’re best to turn off your tap before going. Water leaks can go undetected for a while and if you’re not around to notice other indications that one has happened then it’s best to remove the opportunity. Watch out for any drop in pressure of the water in your home. It might not just be that your next door neighbour is running his bath, especially if the problem persists. Every so often check the water meter. If you’ve got a leak you will know because the handles will be travelling around at a furious pace.

Some water companies have their own schemes you can join to insure yourself against the possibility. If not, be vigilant and watch out for your spinning dial. 

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