Are you looking at your water bill and wondering why it’s so high this month? It can be frustrating when you suddenly have to pay more for something that is a necessity. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! We will go over the top 7 reasons your water bill is high and what you can do to fix them.
1: Leaking Faucet or Fixtures
If you have children, or even if you live with other adults, you’ve undoubtedly gone into the restroom behind them and discovered the faucet leaking slowly. When washing their hands, small children frequently have difficulty turning off the water fully. This is one of the most common reasons, but it isn’t the only one.
There are instances in which your toddler might not be the reason for water leaks. You could have a hardware issue with the faucet itself. Fortunately, this problem is rather simple to detect and fix. A brief look at all of your faucets and attachments is enough to find the source of the leak. You should be able to determine whether any of them are leaking with a single glance.
A corroded rubber washer in the handle is the most typical reason for this problem. Replacement washers can be found at your local hardware or home improvement store. Before removing the old washer, shut off the water supply. Remove and replace the faulty washer then unscrew and replace the faucet until it’s secure again. Then simply reattach it with screws. Done!
2: Your Toilet is Running
Toilets running nonstop aren’t very common, but when they do happen they can significantly increase your water consumption. The toilet is often the biggest source of unusually high water bills. A continuously running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day. Just a couple of weeks of your toilet running can have a significant impact on your current month’s bill.
There are two reasons your toilet would be running water, and both can be diagnosed by opening the back of the toilet:
- Remove the lid on the water tank(top/back of the toilet). Flush the toilet and wait for it to refill.
- Did it refill? If not, there’s a major leak. The flush valve isn’t sealing, and water is pouring into the toilet bowl as a result. This is causing your toilet to run, and it’s the reason you pay so much for water usage.
- If the tank refills but is still running, the next step is to put some food coloring (or a dye tablet from the hardware store) into the tank.
- Wait 20 minutes. If there is food coloring in the toilet bowl, you have a slow leak. This likely isn’t the source of your high water bill but should be addressed.
Fixing your flush valve is relatively simple. If you consider yourself handy, you can do it yourself. Most hardware stores and home improvement stores carry replacement flush valves. Take a picture of your flush valve for reference at the hardware store. There are two options: a 2-inch valve and a 3-inch valve. You should be able to spot the difference by using that picture for reference.
If you had a slow leak then you should check your flush lever. It’s possible that the lever is stuck in the ‘down’ position. Jiggle the handle and see if it makes any difference. If not, check the metal rod and chain connected to it. It’s possible the chain has gotten wound around the metal rod and is leaving the flush valve slightly open at all times when you flush.
3: Your Water Hose is Leaking
Examine your outside hose spigots for leaks and damp locations beneath the spigot. Diagnosing a hose link is simple and only takes a quick inspection to get your answer. If you find wet spots near the mouth of the hose or at the spigot, you’ve discovered your leak. The repair procedure is comparable to that of a faucet, and isn’t difficult.
4: Your Sprinkler is System Leaking
Sprinkler systems and irrigation systems can be a source of your high water bill. Leaks in your irrigation system can be difficult to find. Look for signs of significantly uneven growth or dampness. This repair is one that is beyond the scope of DIY (do it yourself) and we recommend that you call a plumber to repair or replace the affected lines.
5: Your Lateral Line Leaking
Many people are unaware of their lateral line, but it’s a crucial part of their plumbing. There are two: One that brings water to the home from the water meter, and one that is responsible for carrying wastewater away from the home. If there is a leak in the lateral line, it can cause serious damage to the home and the Foundation.
A lateral line repair is not a do-it-yourself project; it should be completed by a qualified professional. In most cases, lateral line leaks are caused by cracked pipes or faulty connections. The repair process typically involves excavating the affected area, repairing or replacing the damaged pipe, and backfilling the trench. While lateral line repairs can be costly, they are often necessary to protect the integrity of the home.
6: Old Toilets and Fixtures
This one isn’t very common, nor is it something that will cause a spike in your water bill. If anything, it’s likely to give you high water bills on a consistent basis. This is attributed to the age of technology in the toilet. Modern toilets have made significant advancements in terms of the overall efficiency of water use. Older toilets can use more than three times as much water as modern ones.
Check your toilet age. You may be able to find a stamp on the toilet somewhere. Toilets installed before 1995 can use 6-7 gallons per flush. Toilets after 1995 toilets are required to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
Modern faucets and showerheads are more efficient in providing more pressure with less water. Older faucets struggle in this category. Newer showerheads aren’t painfully expensive, and they are worth the cost of replacement in the long term.
You are probably surprised to see this on the list, but family members could be the cause of your high water bill. Adolescents will sometimes play in the water for entertainment and teenagers will use more water than their younger counterparts. As children mature, their water consumption will go up. This could be drinking water, showering water, etc. A teenager’s water use will be similar, if not more than an adult due to longer, less efficient showers. This is especially true if they play sports and shower more often.
8: Bad Habits
This one is a bonus and isn’t exactly one reason. It’s a list of common mistakes and bad habits you will want to avoid:
- Overwatering or forgetting to turn off your sprinklers
- Washing many small loads of laundry rather than big ones
- Longer than necessary showers (previously mentioned)
- Washing dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher (which is much more efficient)
Luckily, reducing your water bill is fixable. With these solutions, you’ll be saving water in no time. Have you ever experienced any of these problems? Comment below!