There are some obvious reasons why your water bill might be higher than normal. Water consumption usually increases in the summer months, when we drink more water and bathe to stay cool, or where an extra person has joined a household.
However, if you don’t think that your water output has changed considerably, but your water rates are considerably higher than usual, there could be a plumbing issue. Here are four things that a high water bill could indicate.
1. A dripping faucet
Although this may seem like a small inconvenience for the price you’re paying, dripping faucets can lead to 20 gallons of wasted water a day. This could be a lot more if the leak is significantly heavy.
If you’re experiencing high water bills, perhaps the easiest thing you can do is first check your home water appliances. This includes bath and sink taps, showerheads, and hoses.
Once you find the source, you can replace your leaky appliance with a hardware store alternative or contact a professional plumber to install it.
2. Outdated fixtures
If you have always experienced high water bills upon moving into a new property, you probably have outdated fixtures. Old homes are not likely to have had modern water systems installed. This means that you don’t benefit from new energy-efficient improvements. These include water-saving showerheads and toilets, and modern aerators.
To identify if this problem applies to you, check the manufacturing dates on your home appliances. You may have to buy new equipment to be installed, but these renovations will save you money in the long run.
You should always ask an estate agent whether the plumbing structures have been updated when considering a property.
3. Leaking toilet
There are many ways to identify if you have a leaking toilet. This includes cracks in the porcelain, regular clogging, it emanates bad sewage smells, visible leaking from the base of the toilet, or strange noises after flushing.
You can also conduct a dye test to establish whether you have a toilet leak. Put a few drops of food colouring into the tank of your toilet and wait for 15-20 minutes. If the dye is still present in the toilet bowl after this time, then you have a leak.
Toilet leaks are the most common cause of high water bills and perhaps result in the most water wastage. A leaking toilet wastes around 200 gallons a day – ten times more water than a leaking faucet.
If you have a toilet leak, it is important that you seek professional help immediately.
4. Lateral or irrigation leaks
An irrigation system comprises a network of pipes that disperse water around your garden. Breakages or loosening of the pipes can cause leaks to occur. Be sure to check your grass for particularly wet patches or uneven growth.
Lateral leaks are caused when underground pipes that feed water to your home become loose or disconnected. This could be due to many factors, such as seismic activity, aged pipes, or tree root intrusion.
Lateral leaks are the most severe type of leak and must be attended to by an expert plumber.