Potential Reasons Why Your Water Bill Is So High

Posted by on 05-10-2020

Reasons for high water bill

Bills are a part of life, so you will probably get accustomed to allocating a fraction of your monthly earnings to settling your water, electricity, and other costs. Your spending on bills should be easy to track, provided there’s no change in your monthly activity. So, when your water bill suddenly skyrockets, even if it’s twice as much as your average water usage, you’ll naturally contest it unless your investigations reveal a good reason to justify the spike. 

Generally, households consume a lot more water during the summer months because of gardening, watering the lawn, and using the pool. If you have visitors staying over for a while, your water bill will also be higher than average. However, even this kind of higher water consumption should be easy to track and be within your expectations. If a personal assessment of your water lines and fixtures doesn’t reveal any leaks, and your water company maintains that your bill is correct, then you should consider hiring a professional plumber to help you find any hidden plumbing issues that could be wasting water in your house. 

Here are some of the common reasons for a higher water bill:

Leaking Toilet

A continuously or intermittently leaking toilet is the most common reason for an unexpectedly high water bill. Often, toilets leak silently, which means that the problem may go unnoticed for a long time until you receive your next water bill. 

Toilet leaks may affect any of the following parts:

  • The flapper. This is the rubber valve positioned at the bottom of the cistern that lifts when you flush the toilet. If the flapper is cracked or worn, it may allow water to continuously flow into the toilet bowl from the tank without flushing. 
  • The flush handle. Old toilets may require you to “jiggle” the handle to prevent the toilet from running. This is usually a sign that the flush bar and chain mechanism is sticking, which may prevent it from shutting off the water entering the cistern once it reaches the required level. The handle sticking may also cause this problem. 
  • Overflow tubes. The water level in the tank can be adjusted to increase or decrease the quantity used per flush. Generally, though, it should refill to a specific level, which is about a half-inch below the overflow tube. However, if the level of water increases, it could cause the excess to continuously spill into the overflow tube. 

In some cases, you can identify the cause of a toilet leak and successfully correct it. For instance, in the third case above where you have an overflowing tube, you only need to adjust the water level by turning the adjustment screw or gently bending the float arm, so the water shuts off at a lower level below the overflow tube. If you have trouble finding the problem or fixing it, though, you should contact a professional plumber to make the necessary repairs. 

Leaking Taps 

Leaking taps can also contribute to the spike in your water bill. The steady drips from your sink, tap or bathtub can be quite annoying. While you may ignore them at first because that doesn’t seem like a lot of water going to waste, it may actually reach about 20 litres a day. This is only a fraction of the water wasted from a toilet leak, which could be about 330 litres a day, but it will still affect your bill. 

Leaking taps can be prevented by asking everyone in your household to close them properly after use. However, if the dripping persists after closing the taps fully, it could be due to a worn-out washer that can be quickly replaced by a professional plumber. 

Make sure to inspect your outdoor taps as well. They tend to leak, and if you use them infrequently and don’t turn them off well after use, you may end up wasting a lot of water without knowing it. Depending on the tap’s position, you can place a bucket under it to collect the water for later use until the problem has been fixed by a professional. 

Outdoor and Underground Leaks 

Outdoor leaks can also occur in harder to find areas, such as in the service line between the meter and your house or in the pipes under the house. Inspect outdoor crawl spaces and fixtures, and check for any wet spots on your yard, which could be an indicator of cracked or damaged underground pipes supplying water to your house. You shouldn’t try to dig into the ground to find the leak, as you may inadvertently cause more damage to the pipes. Instead, contact a professional plumber as soon as possible to fix the problem.  

Leaking Water Appliances 

You may also have a leaky dishwasher, washing machine, or water heater. Simply inspect underneath and around the base for any signs of leaks or discolouration stains on the floors. If you suspect a leak, turn off the water to the appliance if it has a unique shut-off valve, and then contact your plumber for quick repairs. 

Damaged Water Meter 

Faulty metres are quite uncommon, but if your water bill is unbelievably high, you may just as well request a thorough inspection to ensure that it’s not broken. You can easily check whether your meter is broken by stopping the use of all water in your house. Note down the water meter reading, and then fill a large container with an exact amount of water. The meter should indicate a corresponding number to the water in the container. If it doesn’t, then the meter could be giving false readings. You can also ask your plumber to help you detect any problems with your meter if you suspect that it’s faulty. If there is an issue with the meter, you should report it to your water provider for a thorough inspection. 

Final Note 

Leaks are the most prevalent cause for a spike in the water bill, so we recommend that you routinely inspect your household plumbing, fixtures, and appliances for leaks in order to keep your water costs consistently low and prevent costly property damage in the event of flooding. Just as important is keeping track of water consumption in your home by tracking how long it takes to wash the dishes, the number of times you flush your toilets, and how much time you spend in your baths or showers. This will make it easier for you to detect any anomalies in your water bills and quickly contact professional plumbers to fix the problem.

If you suspect there is serious damage in your household plumbing that only a professional can address, then call Drain King Plumbers at 833-983-5301 or contact us at our website.