4 Common Causes of a High Water Bill
After living in a home for a while, you tend to have an idea of how much you spend each month on water. Or if you have a vacation or second home that is closed up for the season, you know you’ll have a lower-than-average monthly cost. But what happens when you receive a water bill and it’s abnormally high? Beyond the normal stress on your finances, this could also mean that you might have a larger issue looming in your house like a water leak.
According to the EPA, nearly 10,000 gallons of water is wasted each year from household leaks, with only 10% of houses being responsible for 90 gallons of water leaking per day. Since people don’t usually visit their vacation homes year-round it’s important to monitor your water usage on your second home by keeping an eye on the water bill. If you see an unusual spike, it’s an indication that one of the following 4 things could be going on, and your home may need your immediate attention to not cause further damage like structural rot and mold. Learn about these 4 common causes of water leaks and see if that’s why your bill is abnormally high.
1. Toilet Leaking Water
Toilets are the number one reason for higher water bills. The good news is that since this is common, they are easily fixable. Flushing toilets accounts for one-third of water usage in a home, accounting for about 6,000 gallons of water usage each month. If a toilet is not working properly, it could continually run. You can tell if your toilet is running by doing a flush test. If you flush it, and it keeps making a hissing sound long after the flush should be complete, it means the flapper in your toilet tank is not sealing correctly, and the water is not filling up the tank and stopping the flow of water. By replacing the flapper, you can save hundreds of dollars on your next water bill.
If the flush test is negative, and the bowl and tank fill up as expected, you may have a leak in the bowl or in the pipes behind the bowl. This may mean replacing your entire toilet, or having a professional come out and repair or replace your pipes.
2. Bathroom Faucet Leaking
Leaky faucets can cause your water bill to spike in a surprising way. A faucet that drips just one drop per second can waste 17 gallons of water per day! That can lead to a large increase in your monthly cost. To fix a leaky faucet, you can remove and clean the aerator assembly from the faucet head. If that doesn’t work, remove and replace the rubber washer in the faucet handle. When looking for a leak, be sure to check not only your bathroom faucets, but your kitchen, laundry room or garage sinks, too!
3. Irrigation System Leak
One of the most common leak types is not indoors. If you have an irrigation system in your yard, there is a possibility that it has a crack in the line. If it has not rained and you have wet grass, with a pool of water built up, particularly around a sprinkler head or valve, this is a sign that your sprinkler system might be broken. The water may also appear where important sprinkler system connections exist. The water may not be just a stagnant puddle, but a bubble from an active leak. If water leaks, you can lose about 225 gallons of water in about 15-minutes if a leak is big enough. That is enough water to soak into the ground, through your home’s foundation and cause greater water damage. Being aware of pools of water around your system can help prevent flooding and larger structural costs.
4. Lateral Line Leak
In some cases, you may have a crack in the pipe that runs from the metered connection to your home. The causes of a cracked pipe may vary, but can be caused by the roots of a tree, earthquakes, utility digging and puncturing the pipe, or a pipe’s old age. When a leak comes from a lateral line, the amount of water can be great. Depending on the location of the leak, water may flow through your foundation and into your basement or crawl space. In these cases, it’s best to contact a professional to recommend next steps for repairing the situation and preventing further damage.
Do You Have a Water Leak in Your Home?
Call Riverside Restoration at the onset and avoid insurance delays. This allows the mold and mildew damage to your property to be remediated and restored quickly, safely, and professionally. We can also help clean up any water damage from a leaky pipe, broken appliance, or severe weather storm to prevent further structural damage or mold growth.
At the same time that you call your insurance adjuster, call us, too. We will help you navigate the thicket. By being proactive, you also will help to prevent an insurance company from recommending an undesirable contractor out of their own self-interest. As a policy holder, you have the right to choose your own contractor.
When you work with Riverside Restoration, you are assured of professionalism, integrity, and fine craftsmanship. Riverside proudly serves Cos Cob, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Southport, Weston, and surrounding CT areas.