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What Causes a High Water Bill?

A Shower Head is Leaking

A Leaky Shower Head Can Lead to Thousands of Gallons in Water Waste.

Why is my water bill so high? That’s a question we often hear at Plumbers 4 Real. While  numerous factors, such as rising water costs, can cause your bills to escalate, there are some plumbing issues that may be to blame.

Today, we’ll be uncovering several usual suspects that could be affecting your water bill. We’ll also discuss how to save water at home using simple, but critical habits. Afterwards, you’ll be able to craft a practical plan for addressing that costly spike in water usage. Let’s jump in!

What Can Cause a High Water Bill?

If we rule out rising water costs, we can narrow down the answer to two potential possibilities: plumbing malfunctions and usage habits. As homeowners, we can control both of these elements with careful planning and watchfulness. Our first step to discovering our money sponge is eliminating each possible cause.

Cause #1

Changes in Water Usage

The simplest answer is most often the right one. Homeowners often search for a more dramatic reason for the rise in water costs, when the explanation typically lies with usage habits. While one month’s usage bill may seem unusually high, you need to ask “How much is a typical water bill?” Thankfully, water bills typically provide a record of the last 12 months, breaking down each month’s individual usage in gallons.

If this year’s usage rate matches the previous year’s, there’s probably some sort of seasonal activity that accounts for the change. Examples could be:

  • Kids playing sports and showering more
  • Increased workout sessions resulting in hot baths
  • Hosting family members for holidays

If you still can’t account for the uptick in your water bill, it’s time to examine your plumbing system.

Cause #2

Plumbing Malfunctions and Inefficiencies

Some of the most intensive spikes in water usage are caused by small, unnoticed malfunctions in your plumbing systems. This could be as simple as a dripping shower head or as treacherous as a leak in behind the wall. You can easily test your plumbing for leaks! Simply make sure your water appliances (outside and inside) are all turned off, then check the meter. If the dial is still spinning, you have a leak somewhere in the house.

Be very diligent when it comes to taking on these leaks. Even a dripping faucet can account for the significant water waste reflected in your monthly bill. “How much does dripping water cost?” you might ask. A fast dripping faucet could cost you as much as $200 in a year. That’s equally true for leaking pipes.

There’s also running toilets. “How much does a running toilet increase my water bill?” You could pay up to $200 more in monthly water costs. That’s thousands of dollars a year! Bottom line: malfunctioning appliances and degraded piping can hurt your budget. 

So…How Can I Lower My Water Bill?

Check each of your appliances and water fixtures, carefully inspecting them for leaks, loose connections, etc. You can also try turning off your appliances, then walking through the house while you listen for running water. If there’s a leak inside the house, you’ll probably hear it.

If you just can’t seem to find that leak, call your local plumber. They have the tools to find and repair any leaks within (or outside) your home. Your personal plumber can also ensure that your appliances aren’t wasting water through inefficiency or loose fittings.

How to Prevent a High Water Bill

Plumbing Tips

A Pipe With a Very Large Leak

A Ruptured Pipe Can Lead to High Water Costs and Expensive Restoration Work.

First, keep your eyes peeled for breakdowns in your plumbing. The easiest way to do that is to become well acquainted with your water meter and test your system for leaks every month. Here’s a great video on how to do it! This process will help you detect and isolate potential leaks very quickly.

Don’t shy away from calling your local plumber if you believe there’s an active leak. It could also save you an expensive repair bill from your local restoration company. Make sure to schedule regular inspections for your plumbing each year as well. Finally, you can greatly improve your water bill by switching to low flow faucets and shower heads.

Water Usage Tips

Take a look at your daily activities that consume the most water. That most water-intensive ones include:

  • Clothes Washing
  • Cleaning the Dishes
  • Irrigating the Yard
  • Showers and Baths

It’s easy to optimize your water usage for the first two activities; simply make sure that you have a full load (of dishes or clothes) before you start a cycle. That’s a little difficult if your kids are throwing in small loads of uniforms, so be sure to coordinate with the whole family! Speaking of family habits, try asking everyone to take shorter showers. That may be a tall order, but a few minutes shaved off during each wash time translates to thousands of gallons saved every year!

Irrigating the yard can consume a lot of water. However, homeowners can avoid costly over-watering by installing shutoff timers and more efficient distribution hardware. These products can be found at online, or at your local Home Depot.

A Water Meter Opened for Inspection

A Few Small Changes in Your Family’s Usage Habits Will Provide Big Savings.

Schedule Your Plumbing Inspection Today!

If you haven’t had a plumbing inspection in a couple years, it might be time to schedule one! At Plumbers 4 Real, we offer affordable checkups for your plumbing to ensure that your system is healthy and leak-free. Our team also can help with any maintenance issues that have been causing your high water bill. Remember, a little pipe leak repair is preferable to hundreds of dollars in water costs! 

Give us a call today at 404-475-3009!