If you have a high water bill, there are many factors that could be contributing to the problem. Here are some of the more common reasons for your high bill and how to fix them.
Causes Of A Large Water Bill
The “why is my water bill so high all of a sudden” is a question that many people ask. There are common reasons for this issue, and they can be fixed easily.
Water is a vital resource in every community, making it a big worry for homeowners, renters, and business owners alike. A large water bill is inconvenient not just because of the financial expense, but also because it implies that valuable water is being squandered. According to the EPA, leaks in the typical home waste roughly 10,000 gallons of water per year, with 10% of houses leaking 90 gallons or more each day.
When your water bill is greater than usual, it’s critical to figure out what’s causing it and fix it as quickly as possible. With that in mind, here are the most prevalent causes of high water bills, as well as what you can do about them.
12 Reasons Why Your Water Bill Is So High
1: Toilets That Are Leaking Or Running
In the typical American house, toilets account for around 31% of indoor water usage. It’s no wonder, however, that they offer a significant leak risk. A leaking or running toilet may waste up to 6,000 gallons per month, costing hundreds of dollars in water.
Checking for a toilet leak may be done in two ways:
- Simply go up to your toilet and listen to the sound. If you hear a strange hissing sound, you may have a leak and should double-check the tank flapper, water line connections, and seals.
- The Dye Test: You’ll need some food coloring or a dye tablet for this test. Remove the lid from your toilet’s tank and add a few drops of food coloring (or a dye tablet). Wait 15-20 minutes after putting the dye in the tank before checking the toilet bowl for dye. If there is dye in the bowl, there is a leak enabling tank water to seep into it.
A malfunctioning flapper in the toilet tank is the most common source of these leaks. This is a simple remedy that just takes a few minutes of labor and a quick trip to your local home improvement shop.
2: Leaky Faucets & Fixtures
Another typical reason for high water costs is leaking faucet fittings. The more water that is wasted as a result of the leak, the higher the water bill will be. Over the course of a day, a faucet that drips roughly one drop per second may waste about 17 gallons. A leaky faucet, thankfully, is extremely simple to detect and repair.
A simple visual inspection of your faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures is all that is required to detect a leak. A defective rubber washer in the faucet handle is the most typical cause of a faucet leak. Most leaking faucets may be repaired by turning off the water, unscrewing the handle, removing the faulty washer, and replacing it with a new one.
3: Leaky Dishwashers Or Washing Machines
You could have a greater issue than lost socks: It’s possible that your washing machine is leaking. Many people are unaware of them since they are hidden in closets and corners. So be careful to look underneath it. Consider investing in a high-efficiency washer, which may save up to 50% on water compared to older machines.
So, how’s that dishwasher working out for you? It’s also possible that it’s leaking, so keep an eye on it. But keep in mind that a modern dishwasher consumes less water than hand-washing. You still don’t trust us? According to CNET, washing dishes in the sink may consume up to 27 gallons of water every load, while an Energy Star certified dishwasher can save over 5,000 gallons per year.
Check out #10 on our list for additional information about washing machines and dishwashers!
4: Leaks In The Irrigation System
Not all leaks happen inside. If your landscape includes an irrigation system, a line break or weak junction might enable water to escape even when the system is turned off.
Finding these leaks may be difficult, particularly if the irrigation system’s pipes are underground and hidden. Check your lawn for particularly moist spots or sections of grass that are lusher than the rest of the lawn to find these leaks. Keep in mind, however, that these leak indications are similar to those of a lateral line leak.
To address a leak like this, you may need to hire a professional plumber to locate the leak and repair or replace the damaged irrigation lines.
5. Leaks In The Lateral Lines
A fractured or loosened joint in one of the subterranean pipes carrying water from your metered connection to your house may exist in certain situations. The origins of these leaks vary, but they often include pipe aging, seismic activity, tree root penetration, and animal activity.
While this issue is comparable to an irrigation leak, it is frequently far worse. The quantity of excess water use reported on your utility bill might serve as an indication when determining whether the leak is in your irrigation line or your lateral line water supply pipe.
For these leaks, the best solution is to contact a professional. A professional can recommend the best solution for the problem—such as traditional trench & replace, trenchless pipe lining, or pipe bursting.
6. Old, Outdated Fixtures & Toilets
Many Sacramento houses have a lengthy history, as well as similarly antique plumbing equipment. Numerous efficiency improvements to popular water fixtures, such as new-model aerators for faucets, low-flow water-saving toilets, and water-saving showerheads, have been produced in recent years.
This isn’t normally an issue that arises out of nowhere; it’s usually something that comes with the home and causes you to pay higher-than-expected water bills from the start. Check for WaterSense marking or the date of manufacture on your home’s faucets, toilets, showerheads, and other water-using equipment. Ask the owner or real estate agent whether the plumbing fixtures have been updated since the house was built when purchasing a new property.
7. Seasonal Changes & Water Consumption
Your water use may alter as the seasons change. For a variety of reasons, summer is known for increased water bills:
- Members of the household are more active and sweat more, resulting in more showers.
- Lawns and plants must be watered on a regular basis.
- During summer vacation, children are more likely to be at home during the day.
- Water-cooled air conditioners are available.
- It’s possible that pools may need to be refilled.
Water bill rises may, of course, occur in other months as well. In the winter, for example, you could run your water to keep your pipes from freezing. Alternatively, humidifiers linked to the furnace might be misaligned or broken.
You may not realize it, but even a little adjustment in your living arrangement can have a significant influence on your power cost. For instance, imagine welcoming a new friend or family member into your home. This is particularly prevalent around the holidays, when children are on vacation and returning home, or when relatives or friends are visiting.
The easiest way to deal with or avoid a sudden increase in your water use is to plan ahead as much as possible. You may need to budget for increased water use during specific months or for as long as you have that extra person in your home in certain circumstances.
9. New Water-Consumption Equipment
Adding new water-intensive equipment to your house, on the other hand, might result in a big rise in your water bill. Pools, sprinkler systems, washing machines, refrigerators, and other modern appliances may cause your water bill to skyrocket.
Choose appliances that are labeled as high-efficiency or have the WaterSense badge to reduce the effect of new equipment on your water bill. If you add a pool to your property, be sure you cover it while it’s not in use to reduce water loss due to evaporation and reduce the amount of water needed to replenish it.
10. Habits That Waste Water
Overconsumption practices associated with appliances and household utilities are often the cause of a large water bill. Among them are the following:
- Using top-loading washing machines, which use up to 200 percent more water than contemporary, front-loading washers.
- Instead of waiting for complete laundry loads, use washing machines for half or quarter loads.
- Overwatering lawns and the indiscriminate use of water-intensive leisure toys and equipment.
- Showers that are too long and unneeded. Showers lasting fewer than five minutes may save up to 1,000 gallons of water each month.
- Using running water to defrost meats and frozen items rather than pulling them out of the freezer at more convenient times.
- Dishes are being washed by hand. Dishwashers use 4-5 times as much water as running water while cleaning a load of dishes.
- Leaving the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving is a waste of water flow.
11. Water Softener Systems That Aren’t Working
To regenerate, water softener systems are backwashed with new water on a regular basis. However, the backwash valve might get stuck in the open position, resulting in water being wasted repeatedly into the sewage system. What’s the end result? A lot of water was wasted, and the bill was quite expensive. Contact a professional or look for troubleshooting tutorials online if you suspect a problem with your water softener system.
12. Mistakes With Water Meters
Doesn’t any of the above apply to you? It’s conceivable that your meter is just inaccurate. It occurs all the time. In 2017, the city of Hollywood, Florida, for example, had to repair citizens’ meters (costing $7 million) because they were not built to withstand South Florida’s hot, humid, and rainy weather. As a consequence, they were giving out erroneous readings.
If you suspect that your water meter is malfunctioning, you should call your water provider to have it inspected. Alternatively, you may contact a professional plumber who can do a meter test.
You may drastically reduce your water cost and resource efficiency by eliminating water-wasting practices.
A high water bill can be one of the most frustrating things to deal with. If your water bill is too high, you may have grounds for disputing it.
To learn more about the many factors that affect your water bill and usage, as well as what you can do to limit your consumption and save money, contact a sewer & drain professional today.
If its a pipe issue you are having, there are ways of fixing it that do not involve much mess. For more, see The 8 Best Things About Sectional Point Repair.
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