Reduce Your Bill - Find Leaks in your Home
Is your bill higher than usual? You may have a leak.
Receiving an unusually high water and sewer bill is an unpleasant surprise and can have a significant financial impact to a family’s budget. There are steps you can take to identify and fix issues in your home to reduce water use. The EPA estimates that the average home leaks nearly 10,000 gallons per year and could increase your bill by 10% or more. The good news is that you can easily address most of the reasons for a high bill.
It is important to find the cause of high bills and repair them as soon as possible to reduce wasting both water and money. Below are some common reasons for high water bills:
A change in How Your Family Uses Water
This is one of the most common reasons for increased water consumption. If you have frequent visitors, had a family member or returning college student move in, installed new appliances or started to water your lawn and garden, then you can expect an increase in your bill. Water use is generally 25% higher during the summer since we water lawns and flowers, wash cars, fill pools and use water for other outdoor activities.
There are many ways to conserve water see the links below for tips and ideas.
Here are some household activities that contribute to high bills:
- Using top-loading laundry machines, which consume as much as 200% more water than modern, front-loading laundry machines.
- Using washing machines for half- or quarter-loads, as opposed to waiting for full laundry loads.
- Over watering lawns and use of water-consuming recreational toys and equipment.
- Lengthy and unnecessary shower times. Keeping showers less than five minutes can result in up to 1,000 gallons of water savings every month.
- Running water to thaw meats and frozen foods, as opposed to taking them out of freezers earlier.
- Washing dishes by hand. Running water while washing a load of dishes consumes 4-5 times more water than dishwashers.
- Keeping water running while brushing teeth or shaving.
Toilets account for nearly a third of all the water use in a typical home, so it’s important to make sure that they are in good working order. A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons per day!
If you hear a hissing noise from your toilet or if it flushes on its own, you may have a leak. It’s even possible to have a silent leak. To make sure that your toilet isn’t leaking, you should conduct a dye test. Simply add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet’s tank. If you see dye in the bowl after 15-20 minutes, then there is leak.
Most of the time, these type of leaks can be fixed by replacing the flapper valve in the toilet tank. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive repair.
Leaky Faucets and Fixtures
Leaky or dripping faucets and fixtures are another common cause of high water bills. The faster your faucet drips, the more water you waste. A dripping faucet can waste 5 gallons a day. Check to see how much water a single dripping faucet can waste: Drip Calculator
A simple visual check of your faucets, shower heads, and other fixtures is all it takes to identify a leak. The most common cause of a leaky fixture is an old rubber washer which can be replaced. How to Repair a Leaky Faucet
Not all leaks occur indoors. If you have an irrigation system for your lawn or garden, a cracked line or loose joint could allow water to leak even when the irrigation system is off. Finding these leaks can be a difficult since the irrigation system is buried. You may need to hire a professional to find and repair you irrigation system.
You should also check your exterior hose bibs and hose connections to make sure they are not leaking. This can be especially important before you go away on vacation or in the fall when you prepare for winter.
It’s always possible that there is a leak in the pipes and plumbing system for your home. A visual inspection is a good place to start. Look at the piping in your house including the water connections to major appliances. Hot water heaters, hot water heating systems, pipes located on exterior walls (freezing), sinks, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and shower connections should all be checked. A professional can help you look for these types of leaks and recommend a repair.
It is possible that there was an error reading your water meter. If you believe this is the case, just call us at 860-638-3501 and we can look at the billing history or even send one of our technicians to re-read the meter.
In some cases, your consumption may appear to increase if a new meter was recently installed. Older meters typically run slower with time, which means it would have recorded less water consumption than what was actually used.