It can be alarming to open up a water bill and find that it is much higher than usual. Although increased seasonal usage or rising rates could be the culprit, the problem often lies somewhere in your plumbing system. The following are some common causes of increased water use.
Toilets can waste water for a couple of reasons. Issues with the flushing and filling mechanisms can lead to the slow leak of the constantly running toilet. Fortunately, new hardware or an adjustment of existing hardware usually fixes the issue. In some cases, cracks in the tank or bowl can also lead to a leak. Another common issue is that your toilet is simply outdated and using a lot of water for each flush. In this case, even a slight increase in usage can lead to many gallons of waste. Cracks and outdated toilets will need to be replaced.
Leaky faucets, showerheads, and water-using appliances can also waste a lot of water. Some of these leaks are obvious, like a dripping faucet, and can typically be repaired. Others may not be as obvious, such as a slow leak in the wall from a dishwasher line, but a repair is still possible once you pinpoint the issue.
Just like toilets, the fixture could be outdated and wasting water, which means you will need to upgrade to a low flow device.
Your irrigation system can harbor a leak for weeks, and you may not even notice it. Irrigation leaks usually occur at the shut-off valves, or they occur in the lines buried in your yard. You can spot a valve leak by looking in the valve box for standing water. For line leaks, you need to walk your yard and look for wet, boggy spots. Irrigation leaks are typically fixed with a quick valve repair or line replacement.
Hidden leaks in the water supply pipes running through your walls are less common, but still a possibility. Signs of a supply leak include the sound of running water when no taps are open, peeling paint or softened wallboard, or low water pressure. A plumber can pinpoint the exact point of the leak and do the repair.
Main Line Breaks
If your main water supply line breaks, you will likely notice a huge increase in your water bill combined with poor water pressure, sediment in the water, and a soggy lawn. Mainline breaks require an immediate repair.
Contact a plumbing company like Roto Rooter to learn more.