High Water Bill? These Plumbing Problems Could Be to Blame
As much as we’d like to try, you can’t avoid bills as a homeowner. However, there are always steps you can take to reduce your utility usage and lower your monthly charges. If you do your best to conserve water, it can be incredibly frustrating to open your water bill and see a sudden, unexpected increase.
If you experience a spike in your water bill, the first thing you should evaluate is any changes in water usage and habits. If none of those comes to mind, you may have a leaky pipe, toilet, or faucet, or an old fixture that needs to be replaced.
Common causes of high water bills
- Pipe leak. The majority of a home’s water supply pipes are concealed, making it challenging to spot small leaks – until it’s too late. Metal pipes made from galvanized steel and copper can corrode from the inside out, leading to a pinhole leak. These tiny holes are enough to cause your water bill to increase. And worse, these leaks can worsen and cause costly water damage. If you have old pipes (or are unsure), it might be a good idea to have a plumber take a look.
- Leaky fixtures. Plumbing fixtures like sink faucets and showerheads don’t last forever. Inside most fixtures are small rubber parts that can wear out or crack, allowing water to seep through. A small drip might not seem like a big deal, but the wasted water can add up quickly.
- Running toilet. If you hear your toilet running for no reason in between flushes, it’s a sign that water is leaking from the tank into the base. Often, this is due to a worn-out or out-of-place flapper. To be sure, you can add a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank, then come back in about 30 minutes. If the color shows up in the toilet bowl (and no one flushed), then the leak is confirmed and the flapper should be replaced.
- Old toilets and fixtures. If the age of plumbing fixtures can be measured in decades rather than just years, it may be time for an upgrade. Outdated toilets, faucets, and showerheads are not as efficient as their modern counterparts. For example, older toilets could use up to 7 gallons per flush, while a newer model can do the same job for 1.6 gallons per flush or less. If you want to be extra environmentally conscious, look for a new product that carries the WaterSense label, meaning it meets the EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance.
- Main water line or irrigation pipe leaks. If you’ve ruled out a leaky pipe inside your home, it may be time to turn your attention outside. Underground pipes such as the water main line and irrigation pipes can creak, loosen, or become damaged, allowing water to seep into the ground. If you notice an unusually soggy area of your lawn, that may be a clue that you have an underground pipe leak – and you should call a plumber right away.
Experienced plumbers in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio
A healthy plumbing system is one of the best ways to keep your water bills as low as possible. If you need assistance with any of the water-wasting problems outlined in this article, call Ohio Buckeye Plumbing today at (440) 283-9377.