Will a leak on my property cause a higher water bill?
Nobody likes to get their water bill and open it up to a surprise. Most water bills are manageable with minimal excessive amounts unless you just filled your pool. There are numerous reasons for increases that you can’t easily explain, but it may be worth hiring a Santa Cruz plumber to take a look. Let’s explore some of the reasons your water bill could have increased, and some of the solutions to thwart unnecessarily high bills.
In most cases, leaks can increase your water bill, but that is not always the case.
Reasons For an Increased Water Bill
In this article, we are going to explore the most plausible situations that could increase your water bill. We will also address possible solutions that might bring your bill back down to an acceptable level. Not all instances require a plumbing professional, but for the ones that do, using a plumber you trust is essential.
In the average American home, using the toilet accounts for about 31% of indoor water usage. If your toilet is leaking or always running, you could be looking at a lot of water gone to waste. In a month, you could see an excess of over 6,000 gallons of water used from a leaking or running toilet. This amount of water could cost you hundreds on your water bill.
There are two different ways to test a leaking or running toilet:
- Sound Test
- The test implies what it says. Listen to the sound of the toilet. If you hear the odd hissing sound, you need to check the components to see if one of them is faulty and causing the leak.
- Dye Test
- Add dye or food coloring to the tank of the toilet. Wait up to 20 minutes and then check the toilet bowl. If the dye is present in the bowl, then a leak in the tank is allowing the water from the tank to run into the bowl.
In most cases, leaking or running toilets can be rectified by visiting your local hardware store for an inexpensive replacement part.
Leaky Faucets and Fixtures
At the rate of one drop per second, a leaking faucet can cause approximately 17 gallons of water to be wasted in the course of a single day. Luckily, leaky faucets are not complicated to identify or fix.
The most common cause of a leaking faucet is the rubber gasket in the handle. After replacing this gasket, you should be able to see the leak go away.
Old and Outdated Fixtures or Toilets
Over the years, the toilet and other appliances have been revolutionized to help be more efficient. This comes in the form of using aerators in faucets to use less water, low-flow toilets, and other fixture adaptations to make saving water a priority.
If you find that your water bill is out of control, and you have a lot of older fixtures in your home, you may consider replacing them. Most of these fixtures will include special labeling and include the costs associated with operating them. Most will also show the savings of switching.
Not every leak you encounter will occur indoors. Some of the leaks you will encounter will happen outside or under your home. If you have an irrigation system with your landscaping, it is possible that a crack in the line or a loose joint could cause water to leak even when the system is turned off.
These leaks are often hard to detect due to the systems being installed underground. You will have to look for excessively damp patches in your landscaped area or overly lush patches of grass. These are also the same symptoms of a lateral line leak, but seeking the guidance of an experienced plumber will help you determine which problem you are facing.
Lateral Line Leak
Sometimes you will end up facing a problem in the lines that feed water into your metered connections. These are often like an irrigation leak but on a monumental level. When you are trying to identify if a lateral line leak or an irrigation leak is the culprit for your extra water consumption, it is best to call in the professionals.
New Water Consuming Equipment
If you have added something new to your home, like a dishwasher or a pool, that could be the answer to the extra water consumption. Take an inventory of all the new items you have purchased or installed and see if they are efficient for water consumption. If you have added something new that is not considered efficient, it may be the reason you see the spike in your water usage.
Bad Water Habits
It isn’t always a leak that gets us in over our heads with our water bill. Thre are often a lot of times where we aren’t the most efficient water users. Here are some examples of bad water habits we have all done one time or another:
- Using top-loading washing machines that are not considered water efficient can consume 200% more water than the newer front-loaders.
- Using your washer for a partial load instead of waiting until you have a full load to wash. More water is consumed when washing a partial load versus a full one.
- Overwatering your lawn or excessive use of outside water recreation toys uses extra water.
- Long, drawn-out showers can consume large amounts of water. Keeping showers to five minutes or less can save thousands of gallons of water a month.
- Washing dishes by hand and allowing the water to run to rinse them can consume more water than using a dishwasher.
- Brushing teeth with the water running can increase your water consumption.
Becoming aware of these bad habits can help you learn to make cuts in your water usage. When you are more efficiently using water, you can lower your bill.
Call the Professionals
If you still are not sure why your water bill is so high, calling a professional Santa Cruz plumber can help you find the answer. Leaks are not always easily found by the naked eye, but plumbers have the training to identify and locate trouble areas.
When you experience an excessively high water bill, call Anytime Plumbing for a consultation. We can check to see if your problem area is a plumbing issue in the Santa Cruz area.