If you’ve just received your water bill and it seems unusually expensive you might want to do some digging to find out what’s causing it. It could be a completely normal reason, or there could be an issue with your plumbing that needs fixing.
A1 Choice Plumbing & Drain has a long and trusted history in plumbing services throughout the Okanagan. Nominated many times by our peers and customers we take pride in our staff’s knowledge, expertise and customer service.
Normal Reasons for a High Water Bill
Before you get too worried that you have a serious plumbing problem, consider some causes of a high water bill that are normal in any household. Any increase in water consumption could be the culprit so think critically about the past billing period.
Here are some common causes of increased water consumption:
Guests or new family members living in the home can increase water consumption. That’s an extra person showering, using the toilet, washing laundry, and dirtying dishes in your home. Even if they’re only there a short period of time the extra usage could have you seeing a difference in your water bill.
People usually use more water in the summer months. Watering lawns and gardens, washing cars, or filling pools can cause your water consumption and your bill to skyrocket.
Water consumption often goes up during holidays. Having more days off to spend in the home you end up using more water. Also having guests over, and washing more dishes and laundry to prepare for a holiday can be the cause pad the bill.
If you have kids in the home, make sure to consider their water usage habits when determining household consumption. As kids grow their habits can change, such as when a toddler starts learning to use the toilet and wash their own hands, or when they reach adolescence and start showering more often.
Even a new pet can have an effect on your families water consumption. The water used to bath them and clean up after their countless messes could be a contributing factor as well.
If you think the source of your high water bill is from increased consumption for either of these reasons you may want to call a family meeting to talk about your water usage habits. Not only is water consumption expensive, but it’s also harmful to the environment. Check out these tips for how you can Go Green with Your Plumbing to reduce water consumption and energy.
Abnormal Reasons for a High Water Bill
If you still can’t think of an explanation for your high water bill, you might have a plumbing issue on your hands. A high water bill can be a red flag that you have a water leak. Leaks can be hard to detect, so often a high water bill is the only indicator that something may be wrong. Some water meters can detect leaks for you, find out how to read your water meter to see if you have a leak.
A toilet that sounds like it’s constantly running can be a major source of water consumption. Leaking toilets may not seem like a major concern because the leaking water doesn’t cause any damage to your house as any other leak would. But the water leaking out of your toilet and down the drain is measured by your water meter and contributes to your families water consumption. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day, which will certainly cause a spike in your water bill. There are two ways to tell if a toilet is leaking. The sound test and the visual test. If you can hear the hissing sound of running water you’ll know right away that there’s a leak. If you can’t hear anything, place a couple drops of food colouring or dye into the upper tank and wait a few minutes. If the colour seeps into the toilet bowl, there’s a leak.
A faucet leak may not seem significant enough to jack up your water bill. But a tap that drips just one drop per second can account for more than 3,000 gallons of wasted water per year. Be sure to check all your indoor and outdoor faucets including sinks, bathtubs, shower heads, and hose bibs.
These can be a little harder to identify. A cracked or loosened pipe fitting could be causing a leak where you can’t see it. Check your walls and ceilings for signs of water damage and don’t forget to look around shut off valves and your hot water tank for signs like rust or corrosion. If you suspect you have leaking pipes contact your plumber immediately. Water leakage is second only to fire in causing damage to the home.
If you have irrigation or a line that feeds water to your home underground, then an outdoor leak could be the root of your problem. A cracked line from age, animal activity, or tree root intrusion could be causing an underground pipe to be leaking water into the ground. You can check your lawn for unusual damp spots, but the leak still may not be detectable from above ground. If you suspect you have an underground leak contact your local plumber immediately.
What to do about your high water bill
Now that you have an idea of what causes an increase in your water bill, here’s what you can do to prevent it from happening again in your next billing cycle.
Step 1: Examine your water consumption habits
If you think increased water consumption is the culprit, identify some proactive steps you and your family can take to reduce your water usage.
Step 2: Examine indoors and outdoors for signs of leaks
If you’re certain your consumption habits haven’t changed, start looking for signs of leaks and call your plumber immediately if you find the source of the leakage.
Step 3: Call a Plumber
If you’re still not sure what’s causing your high water bill, contact A1 Choice Plumbing & Heating and we’ll help you get to the root of your problem. Sometimes the only visible sign that you have a plumbing problem can be your high water bill and professional help is needed to identify the source.
Who to Call About Your High Water Bill
Hiring a trusted, experienced professional is the best place to start. At A1 Choice we’re equipped to handle the small plumbing problems and the big ones. If you require excavation services we have all the equipment on hand so you don’t need to hire an excavation company.
A1 Choice Plumbing & Drain
For all your Plumbing & Drain needs, A1 Choice offers a full range of services:
- Heating & Gas Fitting
- Camera Inspection & Line Locates
- Water Heaters
- Sump Pumps