high water bill reasons, toilet leaks, faucet leaks

High Water Bill Reasons

Why The Spike In My Water Bill? 9 High Water Bill Reasons


Water is one of the most used resources in the world, and almost every household uses it as a major utility.  Unfortunately, a huge percentage of water used is actually water lost through leaks and faulty systems. 


According to the EPA, about 10 percent of households waste roughly 90 gallons of water on leaks alone every single day. That is about 3,000 gallons every year in household leaks!  This causes a major impact on your water bill.


If that statistic shocked you, take a look at the list below to learn more about what might be causing a spike in your water bill, what to watch for, and how to fix it.


1. Toilet Leaks

About 35% of an average American home’s water usage goes for flushing the toilet. That’s anywhere from 6 up to 32 liters of water per flush. 


Undoubtedly, the toilet is an easy location for leaks to arise.  When these leaks go undetected for a long period of time, they have the possibility of causing a major impact on your monthly water bill.


We advise checking the toilet for leaks by listening for any odd hissing sounds around the toilet (though odd hissing sounds from elsewhere should be addressed too) as they might be coming from the water line connections, the tank flapper, or the seals. 


You can test for a tank leak by placing any dye or food coloring in the toilet tank. Wait for about 15-20 minutes then see if there’s dye in the toilet bowl. If there is, this means there is a leak in the tank.


2. Leaks in Fixtures and Faucets

One easy indication of a leak in your fixtures or faucets is a dripping sound.  If water drips from a leak at the rate of even one drip per second, you will lose roughly 20 liters of water per day. 


This type of leak commonly happens when the faucet isn’t properly closed or you have a worn-out washer. 


Don’t forget that outdoor taps and hoses can also have leaks, which are easily overlooked if you seldom use them. 


If, after tightening the fixtures, the dripping still persists, you should call a professional to fix it right away. While waiting for the plumber to arrive, you can place a bucket under your tap to save some water.

high water bill reasons faucet leaks

3. Underground Water Leaks

These types of leaks involve the lateral lines and irrigation system and are difficult to detect without professional help. The most common causes of an underground pipe leak are root intrusion, animal activity, age of the pipe, or loose fittings.


Due to their placement, underground pipe leaks are usually found only once your water bill starts to run high. Monitoring the average water consumption in your home from overall usage to itemized usage will help you identify the cause when your water bill starts to spike. 


If all other water usage seems normal, but your bills are running higher, the cause is most likely under the house. The sooner you can discover this and resolve it, the better for your home and your wallet.


Due to the difficult location of these pipes, if you suspect an underground leak, it’s best to contact a professional to help immediately. 

4. Old Plumbing Fixtures

Old and outdated toilets, appliances, and fixtures are oftentimes the cause of a high water bill in older homes. Newer systems typically have improvements in water use efficiency such as faucets that come with new models for aerators and water-saving showers and toilets. 


When buying new appliances, look for the WaterSense label. The WaterSense label is EPA endorsed and identifies water-efficient appliances.


When buying a house, be sure to look at the appliances included and don’t forget the often overlooked dishwasher and washing machine, and their manufacture date.  You can also ask the real estate agent if the plumbing fixtures have already been replaced if it’s a remodeled home.

high water bill reasons sprinklers

5. Additional Water-Consuming Equipment

Adding a sprinkler system, swimming pool, washing machine, freezers, or other new piece of equipment will cause your water bill to increase. To keep the increase to a minimum, always look for the WaterSense logo when purchasing a new appliance, and make sure it has high-efficiency features. 


Pro Tip: Covering the pool when not in use helps prevent the pool water from evaporating quickly. This way, it’s not necessary to refill it as often, which allows you to save more on water consumption.


6. Bad Practices When Using Water

There is no denying that we have all been guilty one way or the other of irresponsible water usage, such as leaving the kitchen faucet open because we needed to get something from the refrigerator or getting a new bath soap in the middle of your shower. 


All of these seemingly simple disruptions actually lead to wastewater going down the drain. Other examples include top-loading washing machines that consume more water than front-loading machines, thawing frozen foods under running water, brushing our teeth while the faucet is on, and overwatering lawns.


7. Broken Meters 

If there are no leaks present at home but the water bill is high, a broken water meter might be the cause. Though this isn’t a common problem, you may want to double-check if your meter reads your water usage accurately. 


Check if your water meter works properly by stopping your water usage completely then check the meter. After that, fill up a bucket or any large container which can hold a couple of liters. Compare the water measurement in the container to that of the meter reading. If they don’t match and if there is a significant difference, it might be time to have it inspected thoroughly.

high water bill reasons meter

8. Seasonal and Occasional Consumption

Are relatives and other visitors coming over and staying for a while for the holidays? The water consumption will have a significant increase during this period. During the summer, the water demand will also rise if you need to water the lawn and the garden more than the usual schedule. 


When buying a house, don’t forget that the bigger the lawn, the larger the water bill you can expect due to watering.


9. Price Change

It is not only leaks or broken meters that can cause an increase in your water bill. Check how much the rate per year is, if there have been adjustments made, and also look into the billing period. The number of days you were billed will affect how much you will pay. 

High Water Bill Reasons - If You Are Experiencing Any of the Above, Call Us Now

If you’re currently experiencing one of the reasons for a high water bill listed above and are unsure how to handle it, call the experts at So Cal Services.  We can help you save more on water expenses by identifying the problem, fixing your leaks, or installing updated appliances. 


In addition to calling when you have trouble, we also advise taking preventative measures by having your plumbing lines inspected regularly to make sure they are all in good working condition. 


For questions, concerns, or quotes, call us at (951)926-1978 now. We’ll be glad to help.


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