Reasons For A High Water Bill
A fact of life is that we need water to survive. We also need water now more than ever to keep washing our hands during the Covid-19 pandemic. So if you water bill has a sudden increase you will want to know the reasons for a high water bill.
If you notice a sudden increase in your water bill it could be a sign of a significant plumbing issue. It could also be related to a change in your water usage.
1 - Leaky Fixtures
A tap that leaks 1 drip of water per second can waste 8.64 gallons of water each day. That equates to 3153 gallons per year. If the leak is larger the number will be even higher.
Luckily, a leaking fixture is easy to spot. In your normal day to day use keep an eye out for a drip coming from your faucets, shower heads and other fixtures. The majority of a leaky fixture is due to a faulty rubber washer and these can be easily replaced.
2 - Running Toilets
According to the EPA, toilets account for about 30% of the water usage inside our homes. With this high water use, toilets are a leak risk that could not be ignored. 6000 gallons of water is what a running toilet can waste per month.
To check to see if your toilet is leaking:
- Simply just listen to your toilet. If you hear a hiss you may have a leak. Open the tank and check your flapper and seals as well as the water connection.
- A more visible method is to open the tank and drop in a few drops of food coloring. Do not flush and wait for about 15 minutes and see if the dye has moved to the bowl of the toilet. If you do see dye in the toilet it signifies that your tank has a leak.
The toilet flapper is the cause of most leaks. Repairing the flapper is an easy fix and most home owners can do it easily.
3 - Outdated Fixtures
Older homes will have equally as old plumbing fixtures. If you live in a home with old fixtures, they will not have efficiency improvements that are now standard in today’s new fixtures. These features include aerators, low flow toilets, and water saving faucets and showers.
Though these may not cause an increase in your water bill unless they fail, they will contribute more to your bill compared to new models.
4 - Irrigation Leaks
Indoors is not the only place that a plumbing issue can affect your water bill. People that have irrigation systems for their landscaping could have a leak, cracked line or loose connection that could be leaking water.
Irrigation systems are buried to make them hidden so finding an issue can be a challenge. However, a location that is abnormally damp or areas of grass that are greener that others can be an indicator. If you suspect that this is the reason your water bill is increasing, a professional plumber will be able to locate and correct for you.
5 - Supply Line Leaks
Lateral lines are the underground pipes that supply water to your home from the water meter. A crack or loose joint can be caused by the age of pipe, tree roots, or even seismic activity.
As with irrigation systems, finding the problem is not easy because the pipes being underground. With the new technology that exists, your professional plumber can find the location of the problem.
6 - Leaking Appliances
You dishwasher, washing machine and even refrigerators with a water or ice dispenser can be sources of higher water usage. Though a leak from these would normally be highly visible, that is not always the case. Even a small drip behind the unit that does not spread to where it is visible can exist.
7 - Changed Usage
It is possible that your water usage has changed. One small change can make a significant difference. Have you added a new appliance recently? Do you have a guest staying or has your family grown? Has the weather become hotter and your drinking more water or your children are running through the sprinkler?
All of these can add to your water bill increasing.
8 - Wasting Water
Some things that we do in our homes are water wasters. Check to see if any of these items apply to your homes.
- Washing less than full loads of laundry
- Having top loading washing machines – these use 200% more water than the modern front loading machines
- Over watering your lawn and gardens
- Showers over 5 minutes – showers use 2.5 gallons of water per minute so if you take a 10 minute shower you could be wasting 4562 gallons per year
- Using a hose to wash your car instead of a bucket – this can waste 150 gallons each time you wash your car
- Defrosting food by running water over it instead of letting it thaw naturally
- Running water while you are brushing your teeth – only turn on the water when you are rinsing or cleaning your brush
How much money do you think you are wasting each year because of these habits?
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